Audition Advice for Actors

Posted May 13th, 2024 by Jim Read

Auditions, castings, call backs, screen tests… It’s fantastic to get an opportunity to audition for a gig, but pre-audition jitters can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips from Shooting People on how to best prepare for when opportunity knocks. 

Actors are always told to ‘read the whole script’ before an audition, but sometimes the whole script isn’t shared… In this instance, ask your agent (or whoever it is that you’re speaking to regarding the casting) whether they can give you the full script or, at the very least, more information on the story like a synopsis or a film treatment. It’s extremely important to have context for the role you are auditioning for. Read all of the material you are given, and if time permits, read through it more than once. Ideally, you want to know the story well enough to enable improvisation in the casting room if needed.

Character character character…

There really are no ‘small parts’, so always do your character research. Understand your character as much as possible, every little morsel of information helps. Consider what your character’s worldview is. How are they perceived by other characters in the script?

What to wear?

Wear comfortable clothes. Obviously, don’t rock up to an audition dressed in your PJs, but wear clothes that you feel comfortable performing in and that also lightly nod to the role you’re auditioning for. Please do not go ‘all out’, for example, if you’re auditioning for a period drama do not dress in a costume from the period. However, if your character in said period drama is an extremely neat person, dress neatly as a subtle nod to the character.

Your Voice, Your Ideas

Come to an audition with ideas! Be confident in your choices and showcase your interpretation of the role. Of course, be ready for notes and direction, but make sure you enter the room having decided on your interpretation. Be prepared to talk about your interpretation of the role.

Collaboration in the Casting

Show that you can listen to notes and take them on. Auditions are often quick and it might feel like there isn’t time to ask questions. However, if you are not sure that you understand a note from a director, please ask for clarification. A good director will be curious to hear your questions on their ideas and work. Welcome feedback on your interpretation of the role and be flexible – it is important to show that you enjoy collaboration and that you are easy to work with.

Treat Yourself

Show your enthusiasm and please say THANKS to those in the room for being invited to audition. After the audition, TREAT YOURSELF. Even if the audition was an absolute dud, do something for yourself to celebrate your work and your commitment to your craft.

Keep Track

You might find it helpful to keep an audition diary. For example, you might like to note:

How you felt the morning of an audition.

How you felt directly after an audition.

Anything that happened while preparing for the audition or on the way to your audition that impacted your performance.

Who did you meet in the audition room?

Who were the producers, director and casting director?

Have you auditioned for them before?

Keeping track might help you to notice patterns in your auditions. For example, it might help you notice what type of characters you get called up for the most, which might inform how you prepare for your casting type. Keeping track of your work with an audition diary is a reflective practice that costs nothing.

Why do people say “break a leg” before an audition?
It’s so that they’ll end up in a cast.

Bad audition joke aside, let Shooters know your audition tips in Ask and Discuss.

We know how gruelling auditions can be, so we’ve made entering the New Shoots: Actors Awards as simple as possible – you don’t even have to audition! You just have to share your love of performing with SP 💛

Not a Shooting People member yet? 
To celebrate New Shoots Actors, SP has reduced membership to 50% OFF until May 14th.

Shooters also get 20% off annual Spotlight performer membership with the discount code SLSPACT20, as well as 90 days FREE Mubi subscription.

💛

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