Castings are stressful situations as far as actors are concerned, but it may surprise you to learn that you are not the only one in the room who’s feeling the pressure. In an audition scenario the hard work of the Casting Director is also under scrutiny. They are the ones who have put their reputations on the line the moment they called you into the room. The Producers and Directors have entrusted them with the responsibility of finding the best possible people to fill each role in the script and they will not be too happy if they waste precious time sifting through actors who are not on-point. If that happens, it’s the Casting Director who gets it in the neck.
With that in mind, here are 12 fundamental audition tips to keep the Casting Director happy.
1. BE PROFESSIONAL.
This is a serious industry with a lot at stake, and the people you are meeting are serious players. They are not looking for a new best friend, they are looking for highly skilled performers. Come to work and mean business.
2. ENTER WITH CONVICTION.
From the moment you walk through that door you are being assessed. If you walk in with confidence and certainty it immediately puts the whole room at ease and makes for a solid platform to work from.
3. NEVER MAKE EXCUSES.
You may be feeling under the weather. you may have been up all night feeding your newborn child. You may have just washed a winning lottery ticket in your jeans pocket. It does not matter. We don’t want to hear it. Bring your ‘A’ game and leave your baggage at home.
4. ONLY ASK QUESTIONS IF THEY’RE NECESSARY.
Very often in an audition you will be asked “Do you have any questions?”. That isn’t your cue to spout off an array of inane theory about the piece. More often than not it’s actually a cue that they’re ready to hear your scene. Of course legitimate questions are always welcome, but don’t feel like you have to force something clever to say.
5. BE PREPARED.
Nearly every TIPS list contains this advice for the simple reason that it’s absolutely crucial. You should do as much homework as humanly possible. You may not always be able to be off-book, but you should at least be familiar enough with the text so that you can engage with the person you’re reading with and connect with the objectives.
6. MAKE CHOICES.
Once you’ve done your preparation you need to figure out what you want to do with the character and delivery. Reading it with a generally believable inflection is not enough. Make clear decisions about how you want to play the role and what the character is trying to achieve in the scene. Overall your performance will be much more truthful and have more clarity.
11. DON’T APOLOGISE.
Sometimes things may go wrong. You may forget your lines, lose concentration, whatever. Do not make a big deal of it. There is rarely a need to start over. Take a quick moment to gather yourself and launch yourself forward as if nothing ever happened. It all comes back to portraying that air of ownership and confidence. Check out the Aaron Paul Breaking Bad audition here where he fluffs a line and recovers with ease: http://theactorspad.com/2016/02/24/breaking-bad-audition-tape-aaron-paul/
12. BE PREPARED TO TAKE DIRECTION.
While we’ve stated the need to be fully prepared, with clear choices in mind, that should not lead you to be stuck in a rut with your performance. Yes do all those things and go in with a clear delivery in mind, but also make sure you’re still malleable and able to switch things up when asked. It’s also very important to note that often a Director will ask you to do something which is totally contrary to how the piece is written. don’t get into a blazing argument with them and storm out of the room saying “my character would never do that!!”, they’re merely testing you to see how well you respond to different direction. Be open hearted and open minded.
RELAX, HAVE CONVICTION, DON’T APOLOGISE and BE PREPARED. And remember, as mentioned in the previous KEVIN SPACEY post; “They want you to be good” http://theactorspad.com/2016/05/10/kevin-spaceys-audition-tip-they-want-you-to-be-good/