PSA: Auditions don’t have to be scary! You can walk in calm and confident, and the key to this is good preparation. Read on below and formulate your foolproof plan for a smooth audition every time.
1. Follow your instincts
There’s only one chance to look at your script for the first time so don’t waste it! Before you read, grab a pen to scrawl down all your initial observations and impressions. It’s in our nature to second guess ourselves but our gut instincts are there for a reason and we can use them to hone in on raw, powerful, emotional reactions to taking in the text for the first time.
2. Know the text - not just the lines
Genre, genre, genre! Is this a situational comedy or a mockumentary? A teen drama, a soap or an ABC dramedy? If it’s a TVC; What are they selling? What have their previous TVCs looked like? What are their brand colours? Where possible, make sure you understand as much as you can about the project and its themes. We recommend developing a list of prompts and questions to ask yourself each time you get an audition request and discuss your thoughts and ideas with another actor or coach so you have a clear picture of what the creators are hoping to achieve with the text.
3. Read the room by researching the room
If you’re trying to get off on the right foot for your hinge date or your job interview, you’d likely do a little recon to find out who they are and what their vibe is. This is important in an audition as well! If you’re going in front of a casting agent or sending through a tape, talk to fellow actors, get on the socials and see what they have recently cast. Find out who the director is and what kind of work they do. Have they done any interviews about their work? Understanding who will be viewing your audition can not only give you an edge when it comes to likability but it will also give you some confidence by humanising the industry professionals you’re in front of.
Photo by Highway Casting
4. Workshop your scene with an experienced actor
Hands up if you’ve rehearsed with mum/dad/sibling/partner - same! It’s far from ideal, especially when it comes to text analysis, character work and constructive feedback (“I think you’re great” is not super helpful, mum!) Get in touch with an experienced actor or coach to share ideas and make discoveries so by the time you get to the audition you can feel confident in your choices as well as your ability to play and adapt to feedback.
5. Watch yourself!
Playback is like leg day; The pain is necessary and the more you do it the easier it gets! Lots of times actors think they’ve done a rubbish take but after watching it back objectively they see there is actually so much that worked. It’s a really insightful practice that lots of actors miss but you are your own tool so take the time to observe your craft before going into another take or sending off that tape.
6. Time management
There’s so many moving parts that go into casting a role meaning the turnaround is often very quick. Effectively managing your time without compromising the result takes practice. A great change you can make to exercise this muscle is ensuring your training has a finite start and finish time. Pick up a script, give yourself a couple of hours to workshop it then put it down on tape. Practicing this consistently over time will stimulate the motor cortex and basal ganglia areas of your brain so when you pick up an audition script, your muscle memory will kick in and you’ll be able to confidently execute a great audition in little time.
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