You know that casting directors aren’t our enemies, right? They do want actors to succeed just as much we, as actors, want to get that part. Okay, maybe not as much, but they still don’t want to stand in our way, if we’re good.
Unfortunately, sometimes actors screw opportunity for themselves even before the audition process started. Those actors aren’t necessarily bad, they are just inexperienced. The very similar things happen during casting director workshops.
Casting directors workshops, while still considered as a “short class”, aren’t about learning. If you thought they were, well my friend, you were wrong. Casting directors, while they can tell apart good acting and bad acting, can’t really teach; not well anyway.
Casting workshops are about exposure, and connections, and relationships, and learning the business, and getting to know people and see people, and let them see you. So when you spent money on the workshop to get this short opportunity to show off your skills, don’t waste it with poor choice of monologue. Make it count, damn it!
Same thing goes when you’re preparing your material for casting directors on proper auditions, or agents, or anywhere else. Plus, here’s some more advice…
10 Things You Should Think About Before Your Audition
1. Get a quality material. Not something you got from a blog on the Internet. Don’t try to be overly original when there’s a connection with CD hanging on the line. Just have a good written piece that you know you’ll do the best.
2. Use the material for your type. Don’t play a nerd, if you’re a 200 pound looking bodybuilder. Yes, it will be funny, but you won’t sell the part.
3. Make it reasonably timed. Not too short, not too long. Although consider keeping it on the shorter side — about two pages are usually fine.
4. Don’t pick the first thing you find. Do enough research, find something good, something that speaks to you, something that you instantly see yourself performing when you close your eyes. It can be anything — TV show, play, screenplay — casting directors won’t care. Just make it great, and put in enough thought into your choice.
5. You can provide your own piece. If you’ve searched all over the Internet and there really isn’t anything good out there, or you’re just very eager to perform something of your own, you can write it. However, make sure that you’re really good, otherwise you’re screwing yourself twice. After you wrote it, practice it a lot!
6. Know who you are performing for. Learn the part, and know what’s it for. When you’re in a casting office, you better make sure that you know well enough what part are you auditioning for, and what is the play, or movie, or whatever.
7. Never leave home without a few monologues up your sleeve. In case your main material doesn’t work out, or they ask for you to perform something else just so they can see your range (which happens more often than you think!) you have to be prepared. Learn two favorite pieces by heart, and always have them prepared before any audition.
8. For an acting class, get out of your comfort zone. Now this one contradicts tip number #2, but it’s only for an acting class, when there isn’t a part on the line. Play something that contradicts your type, and this is how you will grow as an actor.
9. Bring your personality in the door. What makes great actors great is not only their acting — it’s their own personality, their gimmicks. So bring part of yourself into this character, and do not be afraid to show it. Be yourself, and let the CDs see this in you.
10. Take everything into your hands. Take the charge, and don’t wait for anybody to keep pushing you into doing this audition. Be the driving force of this audition, show them that you’re confident in yourself to become this character when necessary.
When you get into one of those tiny auditioning rooms, or a bigger one when doing a play — it’s all about you. You’ve already made choices beforehand, now show them. Forget about anybody who’s in the room with you. Take your character, and go onto this short trip of imagination with it.
Be exceptional, be brilliant, show your personality and for the time of those few minutes, ignore everybody in the whole world. Most importantly, have fun doing it! Otherwise, why would you do something that you don’t like doing?
For auditions in drama schools, check out our drama school auditions advice page.