15 Essential Audition Tips
Here they are then, 15 of the most important tips you’ll ever hear about to help you nail that audition.
1. Never, ever, be late
Seriously. Actors have been refused entry to auditions because they turned up late. After all, if you’re late to an audition, who is to say you won’t be late on set and keep the whole production waiting?
So arrive at least 30 minutes early and make sure you know the address and where to go in. Then walk round the block and relax a little. Finally go in about 10 minutes before the audition time.
2. Learn your lines
This always impresses a casting director or CD. If you go in knowing your lines your are one step ahead of many actors there.
Ok, so maybe you don’t know them 100%, but that’s not a problem, you should be able to get through the scene well enough without forgetting what’s going on.
3. It’s the character and NOT the lines
But more than knowing the lines, you MUST know the character.
A CD might cast you if you forget your lines halfway through; but they won’t cast you if you know your lines perfectly but have no idea who your character is.
So spend a lot of time working out your character and what they are doing in the scene!
4. Know who you are talking to
Get to know as much about the production as you can before you go in: who’s involved, what it’s about and so on.
After all, it’s good to know about what you’re getting into and you won’t stumble over a name when you’re talking to them. Getting someone’s name wrong never looks good.
5. Get enough sleep!
Don’t arrive tired and half-asleep. You have maybe 10 minutes to make an impression so don’t mess it up by staying up late the night before and not producing your A-game.
6. Dress right
If you’re playing the part of a business person, don’t turn up dressed like a plumber. Or vice versa.
No need to go overboard here, but dress to give a flavour of the role. It helps put you in the mood and tells the CD that you’ve put a bit of effort into the audition.
7. Don’t drink coffee!
Actually, it’s a bit of a metaphor for keeping calm. The more relaxed you are, the better, so take some tea instead, walk around the block a couple of times and… relax.
8. Don’t fret the rest
There’s no point in worrying about who else is waiting with you to audition. For a start, they might be going for a completely different role and if not… well what good does worrying do you?
So when you go into the waiting room, greet the room nicely then find a quiet place where you can sit alone and not get caught up in meaningless chit-chat. If you see a friend, tell them you’ll meet & talk afterwards… you need the time now to chill and prepare on your own.
9. Be nice!
When you’re called in to the audition, walk in confidently, smile at them and – if offered – shake hands.
Simple, eh? But you’d be surprised with the number of people who get this wrong and mumble into the room and wait there like an empty bucket for something to happen.
Or those who burst into the room and try to take over.
No. Simply walk in and be nice to everyone. It pays off.
10. Be bold in your audition choices
CDs see a lot of actors do the same old thing.
So when you come in with a bold choice for the role (and dare we say, a risky idea) well they will certainly remember you.
So don’t always go down the safe route. Let yourself go and try the audition from a different angle and make an impression!
You’ll do the audition piece once. Then the CD will probably make a suggestion and you’ll do it again.
Always listen. Listen carefully to what the CD says. Listen because it’s important and then follow exactly what the CD suggests.
This is because often the CD will ask you to do something differently just so they can see if you are able to listen and follow instructions.
The theory is simple: if you don’t listen to the CD, then you won’t listen to the director… so you won’t get the role.
12. Be flexible
Do your audition the way you have planned it. But then if the CD asks you to do it another way then do it another way exactly as they’ve asked.
In other words, be flexible.
So this means that BEFORE you do the audition, think about alternative ways of doing it in case the CD asks you for another interpretation of the character.
13. No excuses
If it’s not working out, never, ever, make excuses.
No one is interested if you have the flu or if you were kept up all night by your neighbour’s drum practice or if you only got the lines ten minutes ago.
No. CDs want actors they can rely on and who can overcome problems on their own.
So if it all goes wrong, simply apologise and ask if you can do it again. Nothing more.
14. Audition, Consider, Consign to Oblivion
Audition – go there and do your best.
Consider – come out and go over it in your mind: could you have done anything better in which case remember it for next time.
Consign to Oblivion – then just forget about it and move on with your life. Maybe you will get the offer tomorrow, maybe not. But there is no point at all in hanging over the phone waiting for it to ring. No… it’s time to move on to the next audition!
15. Have fun!
Lastly, the best piece of advice in there: have fun!
If you can learn to enjoy the audition process you’ll begin to relax more and that means ultimately that you’ll do a better job of it.
Here’s something extra you should always remember.
The CD and everyone else in the audition room are on your side.
They have asked you along because they seriously believe you could be right for the role so they all want you to be brilliant and they really do hope you are the best.
The people in the room are your friends… not your enemies!