Auditions should be easy considering the training we have undergone to improve our craft and ourselves, yet so many actors struggle with them. Why? Because auditions are a whole different kettle of fish, and are very often not about the craft of acting but about the business of acting. When I first graduated from drama school I thought auditions were going to be a breeze, that couldn’t have been further from the truth and I ended up giving some horrendous auditions that make me CrInGe when I think about them. I soon realised the art of auditions (and it really is an art) is very different to the art of the rehearsal process or the art of the production.
What is the issue with auditions?
In my experience as an actress, from listening to the actors I train and my actor friends, there seems to be a common theme with why actor’s struggle with them.
- Auditions can take place in teeny tiny rooms that a Caterpilllar would struggle to get creative in
- We are often reading with someone on the panel who gives us nothing to work with
- We are in and out of the room quicker than Tim Peake got into space (if we’re at the cattle call auditions)
- It can be very difficult to read what the casting director is looking for and we only hope we are right
- We’ve been sat outside the room waiting for an eternity having to listen to other actors brag about where they trained and reeling off their CV. It can (if we let it), either get the mind monkey’s going or drive us crazy.
- We seem to get stuck with that one actor who has done no training yet seems to be constantly working, and it pisses us off how unfair the industry can be.
- Everything our training has taught us goes against the audition process
- The one BIG thing for me was the lack of action. It took me a long time to get my head around the fact that in a (TV/FILM) audition I would be either sitting or standing on a mark
I’m sure there are many other issues you can think of, but if I were to honestly advise you, you need to let them go. If you don’t (and I speak from experience), you take them into the room causing them to affect your audition.
The art of auditions
Mastering these four areas will help you achieve greater success at auditions.
1, MINDSET – you have to get into the right head space for an audition and work hard to banish the mind money’s (the things we worry about). You have to get in your zone, which means filtering out all of the “stuff” you hear other actors talking about outside the room and being in the mindset to give it your everything, your absolute EVERYTHING!
2. PREPARATION – you must, must, must prepare 1000% for an audition, the same way you would for a role in a production. An audition is not the rehearsal process, it is the finished piece (which goes against our creative training). The casting director/panel are looking for a connection between you and the character. Do you have the spirit of the character in your reading?
3. AUTHENTICITY – you must be authentic with the reading and an authentic version of yourself. There’s no time to try and impress with your overly friendly personality or by chatting away for too long about the character and the choices you’ve made (big mistake I once made), the choices should shine through (authentically) in the reading. Being yourself with all your quirks is good enough, so don’t allow yourself to be too extroverted or introverted (that was my problem).
4. PRACTISE – practise makes perfect. The more auditions you can get out to the more familiar you will become with the format of them, meaning the easier they will become for you. Getting yourself out to more will also help take the fear out of them and help you build confidence in yourself.
I’d love to connect with you and find out your thoughts on auditioning. Share them in the comments below.
Here’s to your success at future auditions!
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