The key to landing that big role you’ve been dreaming about is nailing the audition process. Being a great actor doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find auditions a walk in the park. For some people it’s a strength and for other it’s something they just don't feel confident with. If you actually think about the audition process, what you are doing is arriving to a room filled with complete strangers who are there to judge your look, your words and your actions. As if that isn’t nerve-racking enough, you’re expected to remember your lines without fault! It’s a lot to take in but with the right preparation you can give yourself the best shot at nailing those auditions. Here are our top tips for audition success -
1. Be Off Book
Being off book means knowing your lines without needing to look at the script. This is one of the most important things to do whilst preparing for your audition... learn those lines! It shows that you are a professional who is not only organised and committed to your craft but also that you can handle learning lines in what is more often than not a short period of time.
Being off book also gives you the chance to really bring your character to life with your actions and mannerisms, you may even bring something to the character that the writers may not have thought about. There’s nothing wrong with being a little creative!
This rule also applies to self-tape auditions. Self-tapes give you a very short time in which to convince them you are right for the role so make the most of it!
2. Read the Room
Be aware that you are not the only person auditioning. They may have hundreds of people pass through their doors, which means they’ll need to stay on a tight schedule. It’s always good to show interest and ask questions where relevant, but respect their time if they’re running behind and put your efforts into the audition itself rather than chit chat before and after, unless they ask you questions specifically. Remember that this isn’t the X Factor, your mentality should always be that you are a professional actor so really carry yourself in a way that you feel best suits that.
3. Be Prepared for Questions
If they aren’t against the clock, they may ask you questions that you should be prepared for. For example, what is your favourite movie? What do you like about this script and character? What do you think you can bring to the character? It’s also always good to have a fun fact about yourself ready as an icebreaker should you need it. Do your research too. Find out about the writer, the director and get as much info on the production as you can so that you go in with as much of an understanding of their vision and expectations as possible.
4. It’s Ok to Be Nervous
Everyone gets nervous before an audition. Nerves are a good indicator that you really care about what you’re doing and want to do well, but they can go against you if you don’t get a hold of them. The key is to learn what controls your nerves so that your nerves don’t control your audition. Everyone will have a different technique to overcoming their nerves; for some it’s simply going over your lines a few more times than normal whilst others use breathing and visualisation
techniques. Find out what works best for you, take a few deep breaths before going in and show them the star you are!
5. Don’t Torture Yourself After the Audition
Being offered the opportunity to audition for people is a big deal, so enjoy it! Yes there will be auditions that don’t go as well as other but it’s all part of the learning experience. Once you leave the room it’s out of your hands, so don’t torture yourself if it didn’t go to plan. Auditions are a learning experience and a good opportunity for you to test yourself and grow as an actor. No matter what, remember to thank them for their time and the opportunity.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
If you feel like you need help honing your auditioning skills, there are workshops designed to help you do just that. The Reel Scene host regular audition workshops that cover different aspects of the audition process from cold reading to self- tapes which are run by industry experts who know exactly what casting directors are looking for in auditions. Aside from the wide knowledge they have to offer on the audition process, they’ll also help you on a personal level to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and how to work on both.
Find out more about The Reel Scene audition workshops here.