How To Prepare For An Acting Audition

Prepare Acting Audition

Prepare audition in a mirror

Prepare audition in a mirror

The audition. Few things can be as nerve-wracking and stressful for an aspiring actor. And the bigger the part, the more nervous you’ll likely be. It’s only natural – your career’s evolution often depends upon nailing an audition and it’s always important that you land the part you’re trying for.

So how can you improve your odds? There are a lot of different tips that you should keep in mind whenever you head to an audition which can help you land the part more effectively. Let’s look at some of the keys to remember.

Start With Your Expectations

Let’s get this in first – you need to be realistic. Absolutely, you should approach any audition with confidence or else you’ll struggle to ace it. But at the same time, you need to be willing to admit that there is a chance you won’t be chosen. The key here is to know this, remain confident in your abilities, and be gracious if you are passed up.

The reason is simple – people who fully expect and know that they’re going to ace the audition and land the part are easily derailed from their career when they don’t get a call back. It can ruin motivation and often make it harder to keep trying. If you’re passionate about your craft you’ll continue to press on, but managing your expectations and being realistic is important nonetheless.

Be confident, but be realistic too.

Preparing For Your Big Moment

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get into the meat of the process. It all starts with how you prepare for your audition. Here are several steps worth keeping in mind when you start preparing for your audition.

  • Have extra headshots and resumes. Odds are that you’ll submit or have already submitted this info, but having a few extras with you in case they’re needed isn’t a bad idea. Just don’t try to force them on the people handling the audition.
  • If possible, know the part. Some casting calls are done blind, where you have little info on the part, but usually you’ll have time to learn your lines and understand the character.
  • Do some research into the project. Try to get a handle on the overall tone and style of the film if possible, and the character. This way you can bring them to life in the way you see fit.
  • Remember that you’re going to the audition to work. You’re not there to constantly seek approval from the casting director – you’re here to perform.
  • Don’t try to change yourself too much. Sure, you need to slip into character to bring them to life. But remember that casting directors often need all sorts of roles filled and often, your unique identity and appearance may be just what they’re looking for.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Get in front of a full length mirror and go over the lines. Perform them with a friend or family member. Film yourself and re-watch the video. The key is getting your performance down perfectly, and practice is the only way to do so.

The Audition

Those steps will help you get into the right position for the audition itself. Once you arrive, you’ll only have a short period of time to provide your best performance so it’s important that you understand the right way to go about doing so. Remembering a few things ahead of time and applying them when you arrive will help make sure that you get the best possible results from your efforts. Here are some of the keys to remember.

  • Go in with confidence. Yes, we talked about realistic expectations, but you need to have confidence that your interpretation of the character is the right one. Without that confidence, you won’t fully commit.
  • That also translates into this tip – don’t apologize, ever. Make your decision about the character, take full responsibility for the choices you make, and never apologize for doing so. Sure, your unique interpretation may seem odd once you finish. The casting director may be silent. But in the end, apologizing means you doubted yourself. Don’t doubt yourself.
  • Don’t have excuses. Casting directors hate hearing an excuse before you even start your performance, and they don’t like hearing them afterwards either. You don’t have to tell them you have a cold or that you were up all night nervously anticipating the moment. They only care about your performance.
  • Make bolder choices. You need to bring your own personal reflections to the character you’re reading for. Just reading in a plain fashion and hoping your looks or voice will carry you forwards won’t really help you stand out. Something as simple as a slight facial tic, a particular way of breathing, or something similar could transform your performance and nail the audition.
  • Make the reader the star. It doesn’t matter who is reading with you or how they’re reading – treat them like they’re Brad Pitt. Fully engage and act as though you’re already in front of the camera.

You probably notice something from these tips – that individuality is the key. It really is. Confidence and personality will take you very far. Don’t try to mimic others or try to do a flat reading. If you commit fully, your performance will go over much better.

Afterthoughts

There’s also something to remember about the audition after you’re done – don’t harass the casting director, agent, or anyone involved. You’ll get a callback if they feel that you’re what they’re looking for. Harassing them will only make it easier for them to say no.

Also remember to keep on going. Your career doesn’t end with one audition – continue taking steps towards whatever goals you’re hoping to achieve. Keep acting, keep auditioning, and keep trying. In doing so you’ll build up more experience and more skills that you can apply to the next audition.

The tips above should help you prepare for your acting audition. It’s a big moment, but be sure you don’t let it get the best of you.