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Tips for a Successful Acting Audition

Auditions Will No Longer Intimidate You!

Auditions have been my enemy for the past 12 years and finally, I found a way to feel comfortable when I go into acting auditions and actually have a great time.  Even if I don’t get the acting jobs I walk in there with confidence and I walk out of there with confidence. 

So I’m going to share with you that secret here in a little bit.  But first I wanted to give you a few basic quick tips to a successful audition.

If you are reading this blog you probably have an acting audition coming up and you were Googling to help you and you landed on my blog.  So congratulations on your upcoming audition! It’s exciting! 

Acting Auditions Tips: 

1. Be Friendly and Professional

Go into the audition as a professional actor, be friendly, flexible and let them direct you. Show the casting director that you are prepared and easy to work with.

Hot Tip:  Improvisation classes are great for preparing an actor to take direction during an acting audition.

2. Be Prepared

If you are given sides before your audition, print them out, read over them and start scoring.  The lucky actor will have at least 24 hours from the time they are given the side to the time of their audition.  Read "Acting That Matters" by Barry Pineo to help you score your sides.

3. Take an Audition Workshop

When you take actual audition classes you'll go over more details.  You'll learn the technical way to understand your sides and make strong and bold choices for your character with the limited information you are given.

If you are auditioning for a big studio like ABC or NBC or for any other big studios or a feature-length studio movie, go ahead and invest in a coach. Some of them charge $50 an hour but it is just you and them, you don’t have to share them with anyone else in a classroom setting.  You want to have the best chance of getting this part.

4.  Learn Your Lines

If possible, learn your lines.  The way that works best for me is to repeat my lines over and over until I remember them. Some actors prefer to pre-record the other character's lines then playback the audio to react to them.  Find a way that works best for you, which you'll find after you try on every way.

Even if you are off book and know your lines and you are prepared, don’t let go of your sides.  Keep those sides on your hand and follow along with your thumb, that way if you get stuck or nervous you can just look down at it and it will prompt you.  

Casting directors don’t expect you to be 100% off book. Even if you get lost and forget to follow along on your sides you, by now you should know how to get from point A to point B.  Try your best and they will appreciate that you can stay with the story. 

Hot Tip: Casting directors are not looking for someone that is great at memorizing lines.  They are looking for someone that will bring the character to life.

5. Plant Yourself

Usually when we are nervous, especially at auditions, we tend to sway back and forth. Or, we rock to comfort ourselves by trying to put that nervous energy into something.  

We subconsciously sway but be mindful and direct your energy into something else. Don’t move around too much unless the casting director specifies that they want you to move around or it feels natural for your character.

Hot Tip:  Plant yourself during your acting audition.  Stand shoulder-width apart and mindfully ground yourself to the floor and stay there.  

6. Where Do I Look?

Ask the casting director who you will be reading with. Ask them where they want you to look.  Also, if they are recording your audition ask them what your frame is so you know how much room you have and still stay in frame.

7. Find Your Beat

A big mistake actors make when they get nervous is to rush through the audition especially if there is a lot of dialogue.  You feel like you have to rush through your lines.  Don’t rush and don’t go too slow.

Avoid taking too many pauses in between words or lines.  Taking a lot of pauses is not entertaining and it’s boring. Don’t do this unless your character actually has this trait. 

Choose a nice tempo/beat, think of one of your favorite songs in the mid-tempo range and go through the audition with that tempo in mind. Find a cadence.

Hot Tip: Don’t rush dialogue with excitement, fear or anger.  Don’t confuse these emotions with rushing your speech.  

8. Make Strong Choices

Don’t be afraid to make strong choices.  You can choose for your character to feel an emotion a certain way, you don’t always want to go with the most obvious way. 

Maybe they are happy for someone but they are also jealous.  Maybe they hate someone but they need their help so they have to pretend to be friendly.  Try to make it entertaining. 

If you haven’t taken any acting lessons for auditions or commercial or improv, you can hire a coach.  

9. Understand and Deal with Rejection

This isn’t a tip but you have to know this. Don’t worry if you aren’t called back.  In this industry, you must have a thick skin.  There are many factors that casting directors have to consider that goes into their actor casting decision. 

If other roles have been assigned, they may be looking for a specific match or they are looking for something very specific.  If they are looking for a pro basketball player, are you believable as a pro basketball player?

If you feel like you were prepared, had confidence, did a great job and were friendly and entertaining and you still didn’t’ get the call, don’t take it personally.   A casting director hangs on to headshots and resumes and makes notes, "this person was late", or "personable", or "rude", or "this person was amazing with a capital A and next time if I have something for them” they will call you. 

Don’t ever. ever. ever. write them back or stop by to follow up on the audition or to see if they made a decision.  Even if you are being extra super nice you are wasting their time and may be construed as rude, pushy and desperate.  If you did not get hired, don’t take it personally simply move on to the next audition.    

If you didn’t feel like you did your best, go back to your coach or discuss this with someone in the industry and try to learn from that experience. 

Hot Tip:  Every audition is a chance to learn from your experience.

Secret To Having Fun @ Acting Auditions

Here is the secret that I found after 12 years for auditioning and hope it helps you.  It may take you some time to get here too, but my secret is that when I go into an audition I change my mindset and instead of feeling like I'm going to be judged, I feel like I’m doing a one-(wo)man show. 

I’m auditioning and yes, I am playing for important people in a room but if I feel like this is my little talent show then I feel comfortable because I feel like I am more in control knowing I have the reigns.

Go into your audition and be entertaining. You are an actor and an entertainer. If they ask you to do something different, don’t get defensive of your initial choices, be flexible, you aren’t the director.  

We already talked about what the director wants to see, they want to test you out.  Can you follow directions? Do you have a good temper? Are you a diva? Nobody wants to work with a diva.

Exercise earlier that day to get that energy up and after the audition when everything is great and you are on cloud 9 go exercise again. Your energy has to go somewhere.

"When I go into an audition I change my mindset and instead of feeling like I'm going to be judged,
I feel like I’m doing a one-man show."

I’m so happy for your upcoming audition.  If you found this blog and don’t have an audition coming up don’t sweat it, keep submitting yourself, keep looking for casting notices, below are some links where you can go to find some casting notices. 

Keep going because when you do get called for an audition you will already have these tips and have something to keep working with.  I hope these acting audition tips help you.

Please let me know by leaving a comment or by sending me a message if there is something you need help with specifically, if you have any questions, or if you have any input.  

Do you have any tips you can add to this list?  Let me know.  If you get an audition after reading this, let me know did you get the part? Did you have fun?  Did you learn something from the experience?

Thanks for reading!


Got questions? Comments? Leave a message below. 

If you want more resources or more detailed information on how to work as an extra and how to get gigs, check out my e-book.

Thank you so much for reading and break a leg!

 

P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my e-mail list.  I don't spam you and only email you when a new blog is published, which is roughly 3 to 4 times per month 🙂

nancy valdez

To learn more about starting your acting career and getting your very own agent, check out my book on sale now!

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