The difference between booking the job and getting lost in the shuffle isn’t talent. It’s preparation and execution. Master the audition process with these ten helpful tips to improve your skills from professional casting directors.
1. Play on a level playing field. We’re all figuring it out. We are in this process together. Always remember that the casting director, production company or client want you to do well. We are all players on a team, so focus on your part, but check your nerves by remembering that we are all just doing our job and we need each other to succeed.
2. Do your homework on the project. Prepare for an audition like you would a job interview. Whether you are auditioning in person or self-submitting from home, it helps to know what they are looking for. Read the breakdown. Pay attention to the role description and wardrobe direction. Google the company and look at past ads or commercials. What is the style they go for? What does the company stand for? The internet and social media is your friend, try and learn as much as you can.
3. Confidence. It sounds simple but it takes practice. You don’t get sympathy points if you’re nervous, not feeling well, or having a bad day so leave it outside the door. You are being examined the minute you walk in or start filming, so practice good posture and body language. And remember to smile! Also, be confident with the choices you make- whether it’s wardrobe, hairstyle or answers to questions. They make you stand out, so own it.
4. Make your first 15 seconds count. When you meet someone for the first time, don’t you make a lot of assumptions about who they are and if you like them? We do too. So make the most of the time you have- especially the first impression. Sometimes all you get is 15 seconds, so make the most of it by being the 3 C’s. Be comfortable, charismatic and confident. Be someone that we want to get to know.
5. Follow Instructions. Casting directors and production companies spend a lot of time crafting the roles they are trying to cast. The wardrobe notes aren’t there just for laughs. Treat all the information they give you like gold, it’s the key to booking the job! Get to know the type that you are auditioning for and look and act the part. Even if you are just submitting a photo to book a job, make the effort to dress and look the part. Help the casting director picture you as their character. Also, if they ask for a specific photo or action in a casting video – do it! Don’t make assumptions or improvise, simply follow instructions (you would be surprised how many don’t, and it will set you apart).
6. Personality. Let it shine through! There might be a handful of talent that look or act like the part, but how many would be a positive, fun addition to set? A shoot is just a bunch of people hanging out for a day (or days) with a common goal to produce an awesome show. Be yourself and show your personality, be someone they want to work with.
7. Know your type, but show your range. Play to your strengths and pick auditions that you feel are right for you. Get creative and show your uniqueness within the character direction. Everyone has a type and you can and should play that up. That doesn’t mean you always have to audition for similar roles, but don’t waste your time (or the casting professionals) by submitting for a role you aren’t right for.
8. Just go for it. Don’t hold back. Don’t be tentative. If you think you look silly, you probably will. But if you take the direction and commit fully to the action or look (ego aside), you will be believable, not awkward. The only people that look silly on audition tapes are the ones not fully committed to doing something. No matter if it’s dancing, laughing, pretending to wave to a friend, or taking a photo in a Santa costume, just own it.
9. Always audition. The best way to master auditioning is just like everything else. Do it over and over. Your nerves will settle. You will get comfortable being yourself. And you’ll get free practice!
10. Have fun. Why do you want to be an actor or model if you aren’t having fun pursuing it? You will spend more time trying to get work as an actor than actually working, so learn to love it! Everyone experiences rejection and embarrassing auditions now and then, so learn to go with the flow. The casting director can always pick up who is forcing it and who truly wants to be there, so smile and enjoy the process.
Remember, we want you to be great. We’re pulling for you more than you can ever imagine. A great audition means a great cast, which means we’re one step closer to a great project.
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