General Audition Tips

  • Don’t cause yourself unnecessary stress – arrive early
  • Be prepared to wait
  • Don’t have expectations about whether it will be a long or short audition - it could be either
  • Be prepared to chat or just get on with it
  • Be prepared to deal with some personal questions
  • Understand the story
  • Be open to any suggestions
  • Relax


Audition Tips (for Film & Television)

  • Always learn the lines
  • If possible and appropriate read the whole script
  • Try to just learn the lines and not the performance
  • Be ready to adapt to different readings of the story and/or any new information which may emerge
  • Relax
  • Listen – then find the impulse to respond
  • Unless asked to play “to the camera” always play to the person who is reading/performing the other character or characters
  • Ask questions to eliminate any uncertainty. No-one minds answering clear and simple questions
  • Don’t have too high expectations
  • Take bottled water into the audition room to relieve any drying of the mouth from nerves. (If you don't have your own water it is OK to ask for some if you feel you need it.)


Audition Tips (for Stage)

  • Learn - lines and not thoughts; - words and not inflections
  • Understand the impulses that drive your character
  • Respond to the impulses and then … Do the thinking
  • Understand the impulses of the character to whom you are playing (even in a monologue)
  • If the characters to whom you are playing are imaginary you must still allow them to confirm or surprise your expectations
  • Understand the nature of the space your character is in
  • Be aware that your audience is always listening and watching from the auditorium
  • Relax – it’s only an audition
  • Remember that (because of the adrenalin in your system) what seems a long time to you will be a short time for your audience
  • Slow down
  • Allow time to think
  • Experience and enjoy

Remember, even if you are brilliant and perfect for the part there are many many factors determining the final choice. Don’t despair. Auditioning is part of the actor’s world. Work at enjoying the experience.


Audition Tips (General Auditions for Screen)

Casting Agents and Directors hold General Auditions to expand their contact files. They are looking to identify the actor's:

  • type,
  • skill levels,
  • experience
  • and versatility.

They want to do this as quickly and efficiently as possible - the more good actors they have on their computer files, the better equipped they will be to find the right actor for the next job they have to cast.

So remember, the casting agent wants you to:

  • be comfortable and enjoy the experience (so you give a good performance)
  • be good (they want good actors on their books)
  • to be well organized (so the process doesn't take too long)

Your preparation and the skill level you have developed to this point will determine the quality of your performance. Neither of these factors will change during the time that you are performing the audition - SO RELAX and allow those factors to work for you.


Selecting a Script for Screen General Auditions

Choose a contemporary two handed scene about one minute in duration (definitely not longer than a minute and a half). You may have to edit an existing scene to do this. A two handed scene is preferable for the casting director will be better able to observe your capacity to listen and interact than with a monologue. These qualities are more important than your ability to learn lines or display emotion.

Understand, what the casting agent/director is looking for so you can deliver those requirements. (Check the list above.)

Often casting directors cast 'to type'. The only thing that is likely to change this is the versatility of your acting skills. Many factors will determine how you are typed, most of which are beyond your control. The script you select and the way you play the character you have chosen will either re-enforce your obvious 'character type' or broaden those perspectives. If you are dark and intense and play an aggressively dominant character you are likely to be 'typed as a baddy'. If you are dark and intense and you choose to play a character who is charming and witty then you may succeed in creating a character that is different to obvious expectations. Whichever choice you make CHOOSE A SCENE IN WHICH YOU ARE A LIKELY CANDIDATE TO BE CAST. DON'T MAKE OUTLANDISH CHOICES OF CHARACTER TYPE as the opportunity to play those sorts of characters is very rare.

Skill Levels:
A scene in which your character deals with some unexpected elements is useful as this demonstrates your ability to listen and think. If the listening and thinking you do in the scene produces different performance 'colours' then this will reveal one of your skill levels - it will also bring an energy to the story. These changes in colour are created by the interruptions to 'expectation' that your character experiences (surprises). Don't select a scene that is highly dramatic. This is a general audition. It provides a guide for the casting director as to your capabilities. If they want to assess you for a specific, dramatic purpose/role they will call you back to do a specific audition with a specific scene.

Your experience is mostly displayed by your CV. The rest will be revealed by the comfortable, practical level of your performance skills. Being inexperienced is not a major issue - everyone has to start somewhere. Choosing a scene that does the job satisfactorily will demonstrate a functional level of practical skills.

If the scene you select has a turning point in it then this will enable your character to experience a new set of circumstances and show your versatility in playing these circumstances. If your scene is short you may be asked to try it again with some different ingredients. This will demonstrate your ability to process direction and cope with change. So be prepared to change.

Good luck.





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