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walking into the Audition Room

Walking Into The Audition Room

The audition begins for the viewers when the actor walks into the audition room. That first impression of the actor can determine whether the viewers want to take 3 minutes to read the actor – or not. They want to see a confident actor who is focused, prepared, and ready for the audition. They want an actor to take control of the room and make eye contact as they say “Hello”. They want the actor to solve their problem of needing to cast this part and, believe it or not, they are rooting for the actor. But, if the actor walks into the room looking down, mumbling, and looking like a deer in the headlights, the viewers will assume this is either an actor who is very nervous, unprepared or inexperienced. They have tuned you out and don’t want to bother reading you even before you say your first line.

The audition begins for the actor when they are in the lobby; BEFORE they walk into the audition room. Walking through the door should be “part of the act”….acting the part of a confident actor… even if they don’t feel confident. If the actor does not feel confident, they should fake confidence: “Fake It Till You Make It”. As you walk from the waiting room into the audition room, treat it as if you are going from the wings of a theater onto the stage. Get into your zone, bubble, mental focus…whatever you call it…and begin your audition as you walk through the audition door, a confident actor taking control of the room.

Behavior influences thought. If an actor feels nervous or unprepared before walking into the audition room, they should try imitating a confident walk or assume a confident stance. The “feeling” of confidence in the body fakes the mind into “feeling” confident. So when the actor is waiting in the lobby, before their name is called, their mental focus should be that of an athlete…focused and ready to walk into the room.

As the actor walks into the audition room, they should make eye contact and say “Hello”, entering the room in a hybrid state…NOT in character…but focused and ready to go. If an actor chooses to walk into the room “in character”, it can backfire in a big way. The part the actor is auditioning for could be described as a jerk, a drug addict or arrogant. If you say “Hello” as the character would say “Hello”…not as yourself…it is possible the viewers will think you are really a jerk, a drug addict or arrogant. I have seen this happen during my years as a Casting Director, and the actor needs to remember that just the act of saying “Hello”, may be the only moment that shows they are an OK human being who will show up on time if cast, be civil to their fellow actors, and will learn their lines.

The actor should take control of the room and make it their space for 3 minutes. A chair is usually provided for the actor to use if they would like, and moving the chair to where the actor would like it to be, is a great way to take control of the room. Right off the bat the viewers can see the actor has made choices and is prepared. Five seconds should be taken before the audition begins so the actor can make the transition from walking into the room… into the scene itself. The viewers also need this transition time before they watch the scene, so if chit-chat happens, taking five seconds helps everyone have a moment to adjust. There are four tools the actor should use during these five seconds to help with this transition…

(1) Sense Of Place: Where does the scene take place

(2) Relationship: Who is the character talking to in the scene, and how does the character feel about that person

(3) Intention: What does the character want at the top of the scene

(4) Pre-Beat: What happens the moment before the scene starts

Once the scene gets going, the actor should LISTEN to the reader! This is the best tool an actor can use in an audition. “Listening” grounds the actor in the scene instead of anticipating what their next line will be. If an actor is not “listening”, the viewers can see it…they will know that the actor is not “present” in the scene. The last tool in the actor’s audition arsenal, is RESPOND IN THE LISTENING. Most Television and Film auditions are put on tape, and the viewers of the audition tape only see a close up of the actor…they don’t see the reader. It is very important that an actor genuinely “listen” and “respond in the listening”, so when the viewer watches the tape, they can see the thoughts going through the actors head …they see an actor who is present and in the moment of the scene.

Walking into the room is a skill that can be mastered with a confident mind set and the use of simple audition tools. The actor should walk into the audition room as an athlete would walk onto the field, dive into the pool, or step onto the mound. Having the mental focus of an athlete will help the actor conquer the first step in the audition process…walking into the audition room.

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Reading For Studio Executives: Auditioning For a Series Regular Role on Television

When the Producers decide that they want to take you over to read for the Studio Executives, you first have to make a “test” deal before you are allowed to read for them. This happens because the Studio wants to know how much you will cost before they “buy” you. The Casting Director calls your Read the Rest…

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Acting: The process is the Product

A rare interview with Award-Winning Director/Teacher Kimberly Jentzen by Emmy Award-Winning CD/Teacher Holly Powell

Watch this interview — Emmy Award-Winning Casting Director, Holly Powell talks to Los Angeles Acting Coach, Kimberly Jentzen, author of “Acting with Impact” about the acting process: “Know that your performance is created and lives in the moment and can’t be fixed in place or held in time. The key is to not judge yourself Read the Rest…

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The Inside Scoop: A Conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem Part 1

Written by: Holly Powell I sat down and had a great conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem who has worked in many different areas and mediums of casting. She has worked on Television Pilots and Series, Feature Films, Voice Over for animation and was Head of Casting for Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

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Educate Yourself Before Your Audition

By: Holly Powell   Thinking back over the thousands of actors who stood in front of me before they began their audition, the one’s I remember most are the one’s who walked in and said “Hi Holly!” I know that seems obvious and simplistic, but it always surprised me when an actor would walk into Read the Rest…

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Casting Director Jason La Padura

Casting Director Jason La Padura: Audition Advice & Tips – Part 3

Jason La Padura has been a Casting Director for 30 years and his long list of Television, Film & Theatre credits include casting all three films of High School Musical, Heros, and Touch to name a few. He also had the privilege and fun of being a judge for The Miss America Pageant. Jason started Read the Rest…

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Casting Director Jason La Padura

Jason La Padura: Audition Advice & Tips Part 2

I first met Jason La Padura in New York almost 30 years ago. I had my first job as a Casting Director at an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Company called Manhattan Punch Line. Jason’s partner, Gary Murphy, was the PR person for MPL and we had cubicles next to each other. Jason was quickly establishing himself Read the Rest…

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Don’t Ever Walk Into The Audition Room In Character

By: Holly Powell There are many theories and opinions out there about whether an actor should walk into the audition room in character or not. Some actors have told me that a coach they worked with had been adamant that they should walk into the room in character, and another coach had advised them against Read the Rest…

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The Chair: Taking Control of the Audition Space

By: Holly Powell I always say that part of the fear an actor experiences while waiting in the lobby of the audition room before the audition is, “the fear of the unknown”. They become anxious because they don’t know what lies beyond the audition door. What does the room look like? How many people are Read the Rest…

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holly_and_Jason_LaPadura

Casting Director Jason La Padura: Audition Advice & Tips – Part 1

Jason La Padura has been a Casting Director for almost 30 years. His long list of Television, Film & Theatre credits include High School Musical, Heros and Touch to name a few. Jason started out casting theatre in New York and eventually moved to Los Angeles forming La Padura/Hart Casting.

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