Audition Workshops

"Getting the BEST Out of Them"

An Audition Workshop is much like a general audition because actors make their own choice of scenes from the ones supplied by the Casting Directors.  Just like a general audition it is an opportunity for an actor to meet a Casting Director and demonstrate their current skill level.


So, what did we learn from the Audition Workshop on Saturday 16th March 2013 with Dina Mann. 




“In the past I have left Casting Directors feeling burdened rather than uplifted” said an actor who decided for the first time to create a character who had a positive view on life, despite the difficulty of the circumstances.  THE RESULT: Dina was really impressed with this performance.


‘The Rehearsal Room’ view:  Often actors focus on exploring the drama and the pain rather than exploring the quest for and possibility of, change‘Hope’ is a very marketable product

Casting Director Dina Mann

Melbourne Casting Director DINA MANN

Each Workshop has a briefing at the beginning and the end of

each session


Casting Directors always notice when an actor’s skill has improved.  If your skill level hasn’t changed significantly then endeavour to bring something else new to the session.  Demonstrate that you have a professional understanding of what a Casting Director is looking for in an actor. THE RESULT:  Actors that had a new skill level (6 actors) or had a new workshop, production or play to discuss – stood out (3 actors).


‘The Rehearsal Room’ view: Keeping working in shows and in classes is both productive for you and positive information for the Casting Director.



Six actors in this group played an optimistic, charming, proactive and likeable character.  THEY ALL stood out in the Casting Directors memory.  THE RESULT:  A very high percentage return for such simple choices.


‘The Rehearsal Room’ view:  The audience will be much more interested in watching the journey of a character that they like – and Casting Directors are more likely to hire positive pro-active actors whom they like.


Six actors followed very simple paths through their scenes and one each take stuck to their plan.  It was clear they could change their plans effectively because they were simple.  THE RESULT: They all had successful outcomes and were noticed.


‘The Rehearsal Room’ view:  Conversations are driven by one goal.  One simple path through a scene makes the conversation lifelike and easy for the actor to manage.



One actor chose an interesting and complex scene BUT it was a role that they were unlikely to be cast in.  They were too young to play someone with that amount of life experience.  Because they didn’t have the life experience to clearly understand all the complexities of the situation their choice did diminish some of their connection to the scene.  However, this actor PLAYED BOLDLY and made BIG CHANGES from take to take.  THE RESULT:  Playing boldly and confidently while also being able to make big changes are skills that interest a casting director.

Question and Answer Session

An opportunity for actors to ask questions and seek guidance

‘The Rehearsal Room’ view:  Always pick a scene that you would be cast in.  It takes guts, confidence and a clear understanding to play a scene boldly and make big changes – but it’s sure to be noticed.  (It maybe also takes the ability to ‘worry less and enjoy the ride’.)

An Audition Underway

In the current business climate where budgets and time pressures are tightening on everyone Casting Directors in Melbourne spend less and less time doing general auditions.  Some Casting Directors never do them. 


Audition Workshops are therefore a good way for actors to make contact and demonstrate their skills to Casting Directors.  But actors need to make sure they are getting good value from well organised sessions.  They also need to make sure that their skills are at an appropriate level to present to a casting director – jumping in too early can be a really demoralizing experience for an inexperienced actor.




(Left: Actors watch while LAUREN O’CALLAGHAN performs her audition for Dina Mann in a separate room)


January 2013

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