Since so few actors get a chance to sit where producers and directors sit, here are my 10 tips on how to have a better audition experience.
1. Always bring a picture and resume.
I don’t care if you have an agent or a manager, who all promised to send it over. You’re the one that won’t be remembered if you don’t have one.
2. Haven’t memorized the material? Don’t pretend you have.
If you have sides, try to memorize them. But if you can’t, it’s ok. We’d rather hear the material as written with the papers in your hand than hear you make up stuff just to prove that you tried (and failed).
3. Don’t make excuses.
I don’t want to hear that you have a cold, or that you have bedhead, or that your printer is broken. Do your best.
4. If I ask you to make a choice, make one.
I commonly ask the people auditioning for me to choose between two monologues, or I ask them to give me three song choices from their book and then I say, “Which would you like to do?” I want to learn what YOU are attracted to, and I also want to see you make a choice. Don’t say, “It doesn’t matter. What do you want?” Actors have to make strong, clear choices when developing characters. I want to see that side of you in everything you do.
5. Make your first 15 seconds count.
6. Be the 3 Cs.
Be comfortable, charismatic and confident. Actors have to command attention.
7. If you can, be the 1st or the last to audition.
Often everyone in-between is just that unless they are great, and they really stand out. We always remember the 1st and the last.
8. Let us know where to find you.
Even if you have an agent, put an email address where you can be reached directly on your resume.
9. Don’t start over and don’t apologize.
Screw up? Fight through it. And it probably wasn’t as bad as you thought.
10. Always audition.
The best way to master auditioning is just like everything else. Do it over and over. You’ll get numb to the nerves. You’ll be able to be yourself. And you’ll get free practice! I used to go to dance calls, because learning a dance combination at an audition is a free dance class (and I needed them). Actors who get to work on sides with directors at an audition get a free coaching.
If you are interested in learning more, check out my Audition Techniques online class.