Understanding Acting Auditions

Understanding Acting Auditions

Photo by William Ward

Acting is very different from 99% of jobs out there. Understanding acting auditions and mastering the process is an art form in itself.

As aspiring performers, we spend most of our days hitting the pavement on the way from one audition to another (if we’re lucky), and doing very little actual work (if we’re even luckier to get it). Auditions become our job. And with auditions being such an imperative part of an actor’s career, it’s vital to approach it in a right frame of mind.

Many creative thespians often lose themselves in the vast ocean of confusion that is the auditioning process. I know those who have the talent, but lack the skills to nail the audition because they get psyched-out, angry, nervous, frustrated and scared.

If you’re positive that you have what it takes to get the part, then the only reason for most of your auditioning problems is psychological. Therefore, you need to find the ground to stand on before going into that room.

Understanding Acting Auditions


 1. It’s not about BOOKING the job

While technically that’s exactly the reason you are going in for an audition, you must never – and I repeat – never have a goal of “booking the job” when going into the audition room. It’s too much pressure, and it will ruin the experience for everybody.

Don’t believe me? Go through some famous actors’ interviews online where they mention the only reason they got that vital part: neglecting outcome. They either didn’t believe they could get the job, or they simply didn’t want the part in the first place.

What’s it about then? Networking, branding and feedback. Not every actor, no matter how talented he or she is, will fit the part. Your job should be to go there and give the best you have. If casting directors like you, then you’ve just gained your most valuable fans. You can be certain they’ll remember your work and call you in again when the right part comes along.

2. Nothing in the room is PERSONAL

Casting directors in the auditioning room are only doing their job: finding the right actor for the part. They can sometimes look like assholes, but try looking at it from their perspective as well: seeing hundreds of eccentric people in one or two days can certainly be stressful.

Never try to “read” people in the room. Do what you’re supposed to do: perform! Be polite, thank them and then leave. It’s not about you. If you don’t fit the part, then you simply don’t fit and there’s very little you can do about it.

3. Learn to LET IT GO

Good, bad, funny, horrible, the best or worst ever – the outcome doesn’t matter during or after the audition. What matters is performing to your best ability. Whatever happens afterwards is out of your control, so let it go.

Trust me, you’re not the only one. Every-single-actor feels this way: it’s hard not to think about “the call.” But you’re in this for the craft. So enjoy the process and let go of the outcome. The journey should be just as much fun as the destination; don’t over-complicate things for yourself. On to the next one!

Here’s something to think about:

“When I was younger, I would go to auditions to have the opportunity to audition, which would mean another chance to get up there and try out my stuff, or try out what I learned and see how it worked with an audience, because where are you gonna get an audience?” Al Pacino