How To Get An Acting Audition

How To Get An Acting Audition

More and more people are choosing to become an actor for a career. There are more opportunities than ever before in the acting industry and this article will provide you with some useful tips for getting an acting audition.

Getting an acting audition can be tough

Auditions are one of the most important parts of the industry, and can be make or break time for you as an actor.

“Auditions can be very nerve-wracking. But if you have done your research and prepared in advance then you should make it out alive! Be ready for anything; the unexpected. Nothing is set in an audition; they will never be the same. Go to the audition with a positive outlook, believing you will get that role.” Clare Finley (Starred in a No.1 UK theatre tour).

If you are just starting out it is very important to get as much experience at auditions as possible so when that big role comes up you wont fluff the audition. However no two auditions are the same, but at least you can build your confidence up about auditions.

Casting directors may audition you in several ways:

Improvisation

Casting directors like to know that as an actor you can think on your feet and that you’re ready for anything. Usually it will be related to the piece you are auditioning for, but sometimes it can be very out of the blue and seem strange. For example you may have to pretend you’ve seen someone you fancy and flirt into a camera, or storm into an audition room and tell the people who are auditioning you off, as though you’re a teacher. You will be told about this improvisation minutes before your audition, hence the word improvisation, so you will have to get into character pretty quickly. This is something which a lot of actors find hard to do.

Workshops

Some auditions will be about how you interact with other people, especially your fellow actors, therefore you’ll be put into groups to do a workshop audition. This will usually be used if you’re working closely with other actors, for instance, on a TIE show actors work very closely together therefore a workshop audition is ideal for this.

Monologues

This is used quite frequently in auditions to see how you portray characters and to analyse your speech and acting skills. You will usually be asked to perform a modern piece and also a classical piece, such as Shakespeare. It is always a good idea to be prepared and have two monologues well rehearsed and ready to act. It’s good practice for you as an actor, and you never know who you might meet; you may not have a second chance to impress.

Script reading

A casting director may forward you a script before the audition. If it’s for a specific role they have in mind then this will probably be the case. Make sure you know your character, and the storyline inside out. Put yourself in their shoes, in the story, and when you go into the audition don’t just recite the lines; be the character that they’re auditioning you for.

If you feel as though you don’t have enough experience in auditions then apply to do some acting lessons which concentrate mainly on audition skills. They will usually go through all of the above and help you work on pieces which you can use at several auditions. For acting classes and workshop go to Actors centre where classes are taught by leading practitioners in theatre, film and TV.

Everyone is bound to get nervous before an audition; especially if it’s for a part they really want. Try to deal with them in a way which suits you. Do some yoga before the audition, breathing exercises or possibly meditation. There all forms of stress relieve, and the more auditions you go for the less nervous you’ll become. Just don’t let it ruin your chances; you may be a great actor but no one can see your talent because you get too nervous. Deal with it before it affects your performances. But remember some nerves are good; just try and turn it into positive energy when you get into the audition.

How an audition works

You will be given a set time when the casting director wants to see you. Make sure you arrive early and are presentable. Depending on the type of audition they will usually first ask you for your head shot, and if it’s for TV they will then film your profile and ask you your full name and representation. They might ask you some quick questions about yourself then you will go into the audition process.

Be prepared, you don’t want to look unprofessional. Check with your agent beforehand as to whether there is script to read from; you’re the one who will look silly at the audition not your agent. If you’re being filmed make sure you’re not obstructing the camera with your script; they probably want to remember what you look like.

Keep focused while they’re filming you or your acting. Don’t look into the camera unless you’re told to, don’t look at the casting director for any type of reaction and stay in character until the end of the audition. Be polite, bubbly and positive in an audition. Nobody wants to work with a moody, arrogant or emotional actor who will bring the rest of the team down.

Go into the audition believing you will get the part; confidence is very attractive, as long as it doesn’t come over as cockiness. And remember no casting director is out to get you. They want you to get the part; they want to find the best person for the part, and if you’re that person then they’ll employ you.

Most of all give your best then you won’t be disappointed with yourself.  It’s your job after all and you will be selling yourself to the casting director. But if you believe you have done your best then move on and get on with the next audition.

Call backs

If you’re lucky you may get a call back for an audition. This obviously means that the casting director liked you, you fit the character some how and you have a chance at getting the role. This audition may be a bit more in depth and they may have a chat with you so see how well you would really fit the character. Just remember all the above tips and give it your best. Most people don’t have a second chance to shine; so you’re lucky. Give it all you have and you won’t be disappointed in yourself.

Remember:

  • Be prepared for an audition
  • Learn some monologues and don’t be shocked when they ask you to improvise
  • For more experience attend some acting classes which specialise in auditions
  • Don’t let nerves affect your acting ability
  • Be confident; but not cocky
  • Try to learn to deal with rejection; its all part of being an actor

Scripts

If you’re lucky enough (and famous enough) you may get a choice of scripts to choose from. If this is the case, choose one which you not only like, but will move your career on, and personally satisfy you as an actor.

Most of us however will be lucky that were in work, so we we’ll just have to like or lump our script. However if you have any suggestions to your characters lines; make sure you bring them up in the read through. Just don’t rewrite the whole script, as the writer or director probably won’t be very happy with you.

When you first get a script, whether you’re the main character or just a minor character, try and get a feel for the whole script by reading it all though. This will give you an idea of where you character fits in, and what type of person they are; therefore allowing you to play it better.

Some people find it hard to memorise scripts (especially if you have a lot of lines). If this occurs try and get one of your friends or family members to read through it with you. It will bring a new spark to the script and you’ll feel as though you’re not the only one in it.

Also, don’t just read your script in a room all on your own. Take it to the gym, read it on a train, anywhere where you’re not on your own; you’ll only get side tracked, and it’ll make it harder to learn. Gradually the more scripts you read the better you’ll find yourself at learning and memorising them. Everything comes with time; just try to be a little bit patient.

Casting directors

A casting director is the person you will most need to impress in an audition. They’re the person who is paid to find the right character for a particular production. They will know what character they’re looking for, and they will be analysing you to see if you have the right qualities for their production.

Some casting directors are freelance; therefore not attached to any particular programme, theatre or film company. They will be asked (usually for commercials, films or new TV programmes) to advertise, audition and find actors for a production. Even though they’re freelance they’ll still be professional know what they’re looking for.

Other casting directors will be employed by a particular company. These are called ‘in house’ casting directors. Long running shows such as Eastenders employ these as they know they will always need fresh faces for their viewers.