How to Audition

So you want to know how to audition, not just where to find them? How to audition is just as important as where to find auditions. So, you’ve discovered some auditions in your neck of the woods, and you just go for it? Wait a second. Put on some breaks. You need to be prepared. It’s a lot of work.

Practice how to audition by acting in front of the mirror

Practice how to audition by acting in front of the mirror

The good news is that the mirror is your best friend. Practice as much as possible. That’s your job! Who else gets paid to look into a mirror and act like someone else?

Auditioning is like an interview

How to audition is like how to interview

Auditioning is like an interview

How to audition is exactly like an interview. They will judge you from the moment you walk in the room. Actually, they will judge you as soon as you turn the door knob, so be on your best behavior.

Stand out

You can try to stand out, but be respectful. Do something a little out of the norm, but not insanely out of the norm. Be remembered. At one of the auditions I held, a guy walks in, introduces himself, and we ask him to begin his monologue whenever he’s ready. He pulls out his phone, and starts talking.

This is not how to audition

Don’t be like William Hung

Politely, we wait for a second as apparently this is a private conversation, we go to turn off the camera. He stops his apparent conversation and asks us “What are you doing?” We say that we don’t want to record his private conversations, to which he replies, “It’s part of the monologue”. Yeah, he got the part.

Don’t be an idiot and scream at the judges / casting directors, calling them names, because they know more than you. They’ve done this for quite some time. And, the worst part is that they do talk among themselves, so you don’t want to shut yourself out of the industry.

Wear nice clothing

Blue shirt for audition

Blue shirt for audition makes your flesh tone stand out more

A v-neck blue shirt is a winner any time. Especially if you have a camera on you while you’re auditioning. For some reason, blue has been shown to produce better results on camera. Could be the contrast with the flesh tones.

How to audition for American Idol

Although the series is over, it’s good to know how others have auditioned and what got them in. You could learn a thing or two to get into other similar shows.

First off, get an honest opinion of your abilities. If you’re not a good singer, in fact, if you suck, you will probably make it… in the gag reel. Be ready for criticism. You might actually not be good at it. Take it with a pinch of salt and make some lemonade.

If you do happen to have some talent, and all of your honest friends say that you’re good, or better, practice your own show. Pretend that you’re standing in front of the table, and because this is your imagination, Simon Cowell can be there too.

You’ve probably watched the show enough to learn how it takes place. You wait in line (your hallway), and after hours and hours of waiting, you walk in. You walk up to your spot, say hi to the judges, say your name, and where you’re from, and pretend to answer what you will be singing.

How to Audition for American Idol

How to Audition for American Idol

If you happen to have a camera handy, record the audition and watch yourself. Learn your nuances, and ticks that you don’t know about and train not to use them. Notice how the most successful singers on the show act very professional, and very modest for the most part.

If you’re not up to par, get ready for school. At the very least, take some voice lessons. Practice singing, then take it out in public and practice singing in public too.

Learn your range and pick a song that complements it. If you have a high pitch voice, you’ll never sound right singing Can’t get enough of your love, babe by Barry White.

And last, and most importantly, practice!

How to audition for The Voice

Although a similar show to American Idol, it’s not the same. Apples and oranges may both produce delicious fruit, but you have to peel one of them before use. So, be careful.

I thought I’d make a note of this, but your audition is not what people watch on TV. Your audition is the step before the TV appearance. At your audition, you will sing a cappella. No music, no backgrounds, no instruments, no accompaniment. No one will be allowed at the audition. Not family, not friends, not anyone else. Just you.

How to audition for The Voice. Wait a lot in lines.

How to audition for The Voice. Wait a lot in lines.

The callback is also not the part that you see on TV. No coaches there either.

How to audition, more technically, head on to their registration page. Create an account. Then, you choose your audition city. Try choosing one that’s close to you. If you can travel, you could technically audition for a couple of different ones. But that’s kind of cheating.

*Printer required.

Print your audition pass and make sure you bring it along with your photo ID. Attend only on your selected day and time. There are a lot of people showing up at these things, and you don’t want to create unnecessary congestion.

Show up dressed in proper genre attire for your song. Do not show up in a dinosaur costume. Be professional. They are looking for serious artists.

Prepare at least two songs in your range. Remember, you’re trying to show them who you are as an artist. Be yourself. Choose a song in your style.

Bring your own snacks and water. Be prepared to wait a LONG time.

If you don’t suck, you might be called for a callback. There are also callbacks. Callbacks are NOT what you see during the show. If you happen to get a Red Card at the open call, schedule a time and date for the callback. The coaches will not be there.

Prepare three current/popular songs. The producer may even ask you to sing a song of their choice. No original music. I’m assuming that’s because of copyright issues.  No a cappella at callbacks. Either have a guitar, have a person accompany you, sing to a backing track. If you play an instrument while you sing, you must perform at least one song without instruments.

The coaches will NOT be at the callback auditions.

How to audition for Disney Channel

This is a good one. A lot of younger folks want to know what to do to audition for Disney. After all, they produce the Britneys and Justins (Timberlake) of the world.

One way to do so is to sign up with an agent that has Disney as one of their clients. They will want you to book roles, so they’ll work hard to get you on there. You get paid, they get paid.

Signing up with IMDB Pro can help you out. When you sign up, look for actors who are already signed up with Disney, and look at who their managers are. Take note, and contact them. It would be very helpful if you already have a demo reel, headshots, and some experience. Just so they think you’re more professional than anyone off the streets.

Don’t have any of that? Sign up with Acting Showcase and send them your personalized page when contacting them. So, those agents will at least see who you are and what you can do.

You don’t have to live in LA to find an agent. You will probably want to move out to L.A. once they want you to sign up.

Another way is to go to an open call. Not the open calls where you have to pay them. Not the open call where there are a billion people waiting in line.

There is a website that has a list of all of their upcoming auditions. Their official open call website is here. There will be thousands of other kids trying out for these, so keep in mind. It’s just an open call, not a callback. So, if they’re looking for someone like you, they’ll work with you and train you.

Go to an acting workshop with a Disney Channel casting director (casting director workshop). They are a lot more laid back. It’s a personal level connection, and you will learn a lot more than at any audition. Maybe even learn what you need to do for your next audition. These mostly happen in L.A., so it’s time to pick up and move.

Also, why not be an extra on the Disney Channel? Being an extra can get you in. You get to mingle with the right people. They’re all connected. You get to be on TV. Look for “Central Casting” if you’re over 18, and “Kids Management” for under 18.

How to audition for a movie

Auditioning for a movie will require more than just a pretty face. You need to be ready with monologues and headshots. You will need up to date headshots, even if you’ve gained a little on the sides. There’s nothing a director will hate more than to bring you into a read and you be a totally different person.

How to audition for movies

How to audition for movies. Usually in front of the camera.

Be able to read. I cannot stress this enough. If you can’t read, acting is not for you. You will need to be able to read sides, and scripts. If you stumble through words, the director will need that much more effort to try to get you to read, and no one will focus on the actual character development.

I’ve had actors come in and read the word colonel as colonial. I’ve had stutterers too. Although fun, and great for the internal gag reel, not so good for the actor.

Be prepared for anything. At an audition, I was asked what my favorite toothpaste was. I was ready for it. I was expecting anything and everything. I immediately said “Aquafresh, because Crest has a funny after taste for me”. You should have seen their face light up. Just be ready.

Final Words

Remember that how to audition is just as important as everything else. Be ready. Be prepared. Show that you care. Show that you give a darn. Also, 1 out of 10 auditions will not be yours, so prepare for that as well. Don’t give up, keep trying, and enjoy. Just keep in mind that Harrison Ford started out in radio voice overs. Then, signed on a contract for $150 a week to play bit roles. He was persistent, kept going, and eventually ended up being Indiana Jones and Han Solo in a career that spans over 60 years.