Step 7: Preparing for the Audition

Written by | B-Roll

You have an audition! You could find out in any number of ways, but the second you find out, you need to work! This is often where the line is drawn between the trained and committed actor and the “hobbyist” actor, who either doesn’t know how to prepare or just won’t take the time to do so. You may hear about an audition several days before or only a few hours before, but no matter how long you have, use your time wisely by making strong choices and preparing. Here are steps for you to take in order to help you be at the top of your game:

  1. Your sides. Most people need physical copies of their sides — if you are one of those people, print them out. If you don’t need a physical copy, make sure that you can easily access your sides on your phone. READ THE SIDES carefully. If there is something in the sides that is offensive to you — be it language, nudity, or violence — and you would not be comfortable auditioning for the role, don’t. The script will not be rewritten for you, so it is best for you to call your agent and pass on the audition.
  2. Clear the time. If you are fine with the sides, clear the time you need for the audition. Consider the time it will take you to get there, put in a contingency for the casting director running late, etc. Auditions are stressful enough without having to worry about a scheduling conflict.
  3. Research the project. In order to prepare properly, know what you are auditioning for. Is it a film, a TV project, a web series? You will prepare differently if it is a scene from a dramatic indie than you will if it is a scene from a Disney TV show.
  4. Research the director. The director makes the final choice on casting, so check out the director on IMDB and see what projects he has cast in the past and what kind of talent he is drawn to. Knowing a little about the director can give you a springboard for a conversation.
  5. Your choices. This is the most important part of your preparation. In order to make good choices for your audition – your character – you need to ask important questions: Who is your character? What is your relationship to the other people in the scene? Do you like them? How long have you known them? Do you trust them? What does your character want out of the scene? I could write twenty volumes about this topic. I am only touching the tip of the iceberg in this short article, but without doing the work needed, you will not be able to compete against the many other actors coming in for that same role who have thoroughly prepared.
  6. What are you wearing? Every element of your audition is important, including what you wear. There is a delicate balance when it comes to your choice of what to wear. You absolutely do not want to dress “in costume”. If you are auditioning for the role of a surgeon, don’t show up in scrubs with a stethoscope around your neck. The best rule of thumb is to dress the way the character would dress for a job interview. In this particular case, professional attire is what would be called for. Make your wardrobe choices the night before and lay them out, ready to go.
  7. Where are you going? Most of us have GPS on our phones, but know in advance where you are going. How long will it take for you to get there?  How easy will it be to park? If it is metered parking, do you have quarters?
  8. Headshot and resume. The tools that you will most likely always need at an audition are your headshot and resume. Make sure that you have at least two clean, current copies of your headshot and resume in your car, and that they are stapled together back-to-back.
  9. Car good to go? As silly as it sounds, will your car be good to go when it is time to leave? Do you have gas in your car? If not, get it the night before. Will you have to factor in time to clear snow off of your car?

All in all, be prepared, think ahead, and go!

Ready for step eight? Read it here!

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Last modified: August 15, 2017

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