You think you’re talented, you think you’re hard working, you think you fit the part. The only thing that stands between you now and you as the next movie star is that one successful audition for an independent film that will go to win awards at Sundance; and you have to nail this audition.
I believe that the constantly working actors are different from those not being able to get anything thanks to one thing, and that’s focus. They know how to prepare well for the audition, for the shoot and how to deliver what needs to be delivered. Experienced actors know how to take control, and they own the audition room as soon as they walk in there.
Here’s a list of things you might want to work on if you want to be one of those working actors.
6 Tips for a Successful Audition
1. Have confidence. It’s probably one of the most important “skills” you need to have when auditioning. Show them that you trust in yourself, in your material and the way you deliver it. Make the casting people believe that your character choice is what’s going to make this production work. Work on this. Don’t be shy, don’t be nervous (I know, easier said than done), or at least don’t show them if you are. You’re character isn’t, most likely, so why should you?
2. Make a connection. You have to, as soon as you’re in the room and you know who you’re going to be reading with — connect with them, maintain eye contact; make the casting people believe that you know them. This will make the listening part become easier for you, and the scene will look livelier and more natural.
3. Know your character. Yes, get to know him/her. If you have the whole play or script, read it all to know where you’re coming from, scan for clues that will help you to recreate this character. If not, use your own best judgement. Connect with your character and don’t judge, ever.
4. Learn the objective. Whoever you’re portraying, they have an objective within that film or play. Know this objective, and learn it well. It can, and probably will, be split into many parts — character’s overall goal, character’s objective for doing this and that, why is she in this relationship, what does he want from this person, what is the character’s purpose?
5. Do not act. While some might say otherwise, remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably doesn’t look right either. Don’t force any action, but don’t be stiff — let you character overtake you and then see where you’re going to end up. Be natural, react like you would react. Don’t yell for the sake of yelling and don’t cry just to cry.
6. Bring yourself. Your personality is what’s going to win you the audition, so make sure to always be yourself and let the casting office know that there is something unique and new about this character; something that only YOU can bring into the role. If they like it — you’re hired, and if not — that means you’re just not the right person for the part. Always make sure your personality shines through, because only you and your qualities can make the character look more interesting than it already is.
Here, we got a whole six of those for a successful audition. The key is to remember at least one of them when you’re in that huge, weird smelling, cold and dark room with casting people (I assume that’s how it might seem for a lot of fresh actors new to the auditioning process). By the way, if you’re applying to a drama school, you might find these drama school auditions tips useful.
As long as you bring in at least one of these six things, you already have a much bigger chance of getting the part. Having all of them will mean that there’s nothing standing in the way of you becoming part of that project if you’re right for it. Now go and fish out yourself an audition or maybe five for next week!