Forget Acting, Teach Me How To Audition!
I’ve only been taking Audition Technique for a little over a month, but I can already tell that this surprisingly specific training is truly going to make the difference between getting the job and not getting the job. Many young actors don’t realize that the actor’s real work is the audition; I’ve been told that quite possibly 80% of my time and effort will be spent either trying to get auditions (or an agent and manager who can get them for me), preparing for said auditions and then, of course, going and coming from auditions.Â I might get to spend about 5% of my time on an actual set, if my cards/the stars are played right/aligned.Â Then, of course, my remaining 15% ofÂ time should be spent on more training and networking…but will probably be spent either watching entire seasons of HBO shows and/or playing Frontierville. (At least I’ll have control over something, am I right? Ha, ha…sigh.)
Although many things go into a great audition, I compiled a few fail-safe gems of knowledge that all actors need to know before entering that audition room- and all of them have absolutely nothing to do with acting. Auditioning is a craft of it own; and when you can couple that with openness, availability and good acting technique, well then, gee, you’re halfway there!
1. Say hello when you enter the room like a normal human being. Be friendly and confident. Avoid awkward and creepy.
2. Even though your mother raised you well, don’t shake the casting director’s hand.Â Whether you’ve had to shake 100 hands, or you’re the 100th hand to be shaken, it’s gross and should be avoided at all costs.
3. Play to the Reader or your scene partner, not the camera. This isn’t QVC.
4. Keep your eyes up and off of the page. Get the lines you need, then deliver them in a focused and connected manner.Â You won’t be hired because you’re a good READER, you’ll be hired because you are a good ACTOR.
5. Learn to become comfortable with the script. Refrain from holding it in front of your face. Hold it at chest level at a comfortable arms length and make it an extention of yourself.
6. Always be you. It’s just easier.
You’d be surprised at how many actors take these for granted, or don’t even know to do them at all. They really do make a world of difference, and free you up to be even more expressive and honest to the story of the scene.