The Audition Room
Inside the Audition Room is where all your training as an actor and your preparation come together so that you can do your best and hopefully book the job – OR NOT.
What the heck happens in there that often inhibits us from doing our best? The following audition pointers were formulated from personal audition experience, teaching thousands of students and observing actors who have auditioned at my casting sessions. I truly believe these tips will serve your auditions for commercials as well as TV and film:
- * As you walk into the audition, don’t think about anything you worked on. Let it all go. Be present to whatever happens.
- * Be respectful, positive and professional without losing your personality.
- • Give full attention to the person who is directing you: Don’t be distracted by anyone or anything.
- • When you are being given direction, don’t be figuring out how to do what they are saying. Just listen otherwise, you might miss information.
- • If clarification is needed, ask questions. Questions are only irritating when they are unnecessary. Their answers will help you to do a better audition for them.
- • If they talk to you or ask questions, don’t second-guess what they want to hear. Just talk to them as opposed to trying to impress.
- • If the session director or CD is rude, short-tempered, rushed or seems ambivalent, do not take it personally. Remember, when “the powers that be” watch your video audition, they will only see you, not the irritating session director.
- • Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Before you start your audition, “get centered.”
- * Breathe, take one or two seconds before beginning or find your own way to “get centered”.
- • Do not speed through your audition. On the other hand, don’t speak really slowly or take long pauses between the lines.
- • Stay focused and don’t allow unexpected incidents to upset you and or put you “in your head.” No matter what happens, go with it and adjust quickly.
- • Motivate toward camera. In on-camera improvised and scripted scene auditions, when possible, find a way to “motivate out” your face, actions and/or dialogue at least fifty percent of the time to maximize your facial exposure.
- • Look into camera when auditioning with a reader and told to do the dialogue looking into the camera, don’t look back and forth between the two.
- • During the read, trust and commit to your instincts. Unless given a specific direction, don’t consciously perform anything you rehearsed or that you have learned. Don’t interrupt your instinctive interpretation trying to perform rehearsed choice. Allow for your read to flow – you will most likely organically do most of what you rehearsed.
- • Have fun. Getting auditions is what you have trained and worked for – now enjoy the experience.
- • When you feel your solo audition was lacking or if you have another interpretation that you would like to do, politely request, “If you have time, I would like to do it again” or “do another interpretation.” If they refuse, say “thank you (mean it) and leave. They may have loved what you did and don’t need or have time for a second version.
- • Don’t ask “needy” questions, e.g., “When are the callbacks or bookings? Should I wear this outfit if I get a callback? Should I keep the script?” Needy inquiries make actors look insecure.
- •Don’t be overly grateful or acknowledging. A simple “thank you” or “it was a pleasure reading for you” is sufficient. Much more might make you look desperate.
- • Unless they insist you leave the audition material, take it. Build a library of sides, copy and scripts that you can use for practice.
- • Let it go. When you finish the audition, those in charge will say “great” or “thank you,” which is your signal to leave. Just do your best, and when you leave, let it go.
Who is there in THAT audition room to help direct actors? Your guide, the person who can help you do your best audition is the Session Director. Watch my video featuring two top session directors and you will learn their insider “do’s” and “don’ts”.