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Preparing for an Audition – What to Bring

By: Kimberly Jentzen

Recently, an actor shared that she is always lending out her highlighter when she is at auditions. I’m thinking that it’s time for a blog to prepare all actors for the actual physical necessities for your auditions. What else do actors forget to bring?

What to bring to your audition:

  1. A highlighter: in case you have more or new dialogue. This makes cold reading material so much easier.
  2. Your photo and resume: already stapled or adhered together back-to-back. An unstapled photo and resume is a pet peeve to most casting directors. It’s unprofessional and often happens, so it’s become an annoyance. It’s important to respect your meetings with them by having your photos and resumes already attached.
  3. Your sides: if you were able to get them on-line, which is usually the case.
  4. Pen or pencil: just in case to take notes.
  5. Mints: for obvious reasons. You don’t ever want to feel self-conscious about anything, especially your breath.
  6. Bottled Water: it’s best to be self-sufficient and not need anyone to bring you anything.
  7. Your cell phone turned off! There is nothing worse than “Apple Bottom Jeans, Boots with the Fur” blasting out during your reading.
  8. Your coaches cell phone number: just in case you would like a last minute suggestion for the reading or to get feedback on your choices.
  9. You clothing should lean towards the role you are auditioning for. So, if you are auditioning for a lawyer, wear a dress shirt instead of the T-shirt with the holes.
  10. Most importantly, bring a positive attitude!

What to bring in your car:

  1. A great navigation system/or map.
  2. Plan extra time for parking and bring parking money.
  3. Dictionary: one that not only has definitions but notates the punctuation of words. Or you might be able to look up words and pronunciations on your smart phone. It’s great to have one. You can always mosey on out to your car to check out words in the dictionary you don’t know so you can commit to that dialogue!
  4. Different shoes: boots, heels, sandals, flats, thongs and tennis shoes all deliver different walks, stances and strides. Dependent on the script, you will want to choose your footwear accordingly. It’s so important for women to always have a pair of heels in their car (just in case) and for those tall women, flats.
  5. For women: hair accessories. A brush or comb and makeup is helpful to have in your car just in case the role calls for a different look and/or to freshen up.
  6. For men: a comb or brush. You may need hair-gel and base cover makeup to hide any imperfections or breakouts to feel less self-conscious about them.
  7. Your acting tools: that means if there’s a good reference book that you like to have to inspire you or help in your preparation, have it in the car. My actors like to bring a deck of Life Emotion Cards.

What not to bring to the Audition room:

  1. Don’t bring a tote bag: or huge bag of stuff and lug it around…unless it’s part of the character.
  2. Don’t bring animals: or other living things, unless they are required for the audition.
  3. Don’t bring gifts: Leave those to a more appropriate time, other than an audition.
  4. Don’t bring a bad attitude: always be ready to take direction and enjoy the process of auditioning.

Finally, always plan to be a half hour early. That way, with traffic and parking, you’re pretty safe to say that you will be there early enough to catch your breath and center yourself, so you don’t feel rushed. If you are always early, you will always be on time, which is essential for production. Being on time is one of the few things you can control as you apply your commitment to getting that gig.

Happy auditioning!!!!

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