10 Tips to Improve Your Auditions

Posted August 2, 2011

Are you doing your best at every audition?  A good audition goes far beyond your acting skills or your pretty face.  When you are meeting a client, you are not only showing your ability, but also your personality!  And you might be surprised by what an impact that can make on a client’s decision.

Today I am going to list off some of the most powerful things you can do to improve your auditions!

1.  Be on time.  If your audition is at 10am, show up at 9:55am.  Do not show up at 9:40am when a client is not ready for you and has to shuffle you to an area where you can wait.  If you arrive more than a little early, wait in your car or grab a drink from a near by drive thru.  Most importantly, don’t be late!  When you are late you back up the schedule which may make the client miss their lunch break or have to stay after their business hours.  If you are running late, call me so I can let the client know!

2.  Be patient.  There may be a back up when you arrive at your audition.  Maybe someone didn’t read my first tip and has thrown the whole schedule out of whack.  Maybe there is a problem with the equipment.  Regardless of why the audition is late, you can be sure the client is stressed about it.  Don’t make it worse for them by acting irritated.

3.  Smile and be happy!  Odds are good that someone else DID NOT get to audition because you did.  Be glad you have the opportunity.  Don’t answer the question “how are you today” with “ok”, “I’m sick”, “my wife is mad at me”, “my car is broken” or something equally negative.   You are great.  GREAT!  An audition is a job interview and you want to leave the impression that you are an easygoing happy person who will be a joy to have on set.

4.  Don’t judge yourself, that is the client’s job.  The worst thing you can do at an audition is announce “that sucked” the moment you finish your lines.  The client might have loved it.  Don’t tell the client that it sounded better in the car on the way to the audition or that you didn’t have time to practice.  Just do your best, smile, say thank you, and leave it.  Don’t put subconscious hints in the client’s mind (hints that may be inaccurate) that you are not an awesome choice.

5.  Dress correctly.  I know, I know!  We’ve been over this before.  I can’t stress it enough though.  I hate getting calls that someone ruined their shot at gig because they wore the wrong thing.  When in doubt, dress BETTER than you think you should.

6.  Memorize your script.  You will always look more professional and more proficient if you have your lines down.  If you can’t memorize the whole script, memorize the first line and the last line so you can deliver those straight to camera.  Also, make sure that every time you say the client or product name in the script that you do so while looking at the camera.  Just like people enjoy hearing their own names, a client likes hearing the product name said with confidence.

7.  Arrive prepared.  Bring a copy of your script with you and 2 copies of your headshot resume.  Show the client that they don’t have to do extra work for you or ask for things.  Know your sizes and the agency’s contact info in case the client asks for it.  Be efficient.

8.  Be polite to everyone.  If you yell at the woman working the front desk, you can be sure she will tell the client who was in the casting room at the time.  Hold the door for the person walking behind you.  If appropriate, ask the client if they would like you to send the next actor in on your way out.  Treat other actors in the waiting room kindly.  They may be competition, but they may also be future costars.

9.  Don’t shoot the messenger.  A casting director rarely has any input in who is cast for a project, so if you aren’t booking a job, don’t blame them.  However, a casting director does chose who they bring in for auditions and who their client sees, so it’s important to have a good relationship.

10.  Accept constructive criticism.  If a client tells you that you’ve done something wrong at an audition, thank them for the feedback and figure out how to improve on that point.  A client that is willing to offer advice thinks you are worth the time and energy.  If they don’t feel like you have a future in the industry, they wouldn’t bother.  No one likes being critiqued, but try to approach it with an open mind.