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Backstage Experts

5 Non-Acting Things You Should Do in Every Audition

5 Non-Acting Things You Should Do in Every Audition
Photo Source: Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

I’m here to let you in on a secret to booking better auditions...stop trying to book the job. The goal should never be to the book job. 

I know it sounds crazy, but the goal should be to start building relationships. The people you meet in the audition room matter more than the show for which you’re auditioning.  

Now, before you start asking yourself, “What? I don’t care about them, I want the job,” remember, you are in this for the long haul. These people will be casting more jobs in the future, so yes, you should prepare and do a good job but you should do it so that the people in the room learn to trust you.

One of the tools I have found very helpful for my clients is an audition checklist of actions to perform in every audition regardless of the production. This audition checklist helps to keep your audition goal oriented while taking the pressure off booking the job. 

When creating your own personalized version, I suggest limiting the list to five things. Don’t type your list into your phone—it’s a portable distraction. Instead, go old school and write it down on a piece of paper that you keep wherever you track your auditions like a planner, wall calendar, headshot/resume folder, or music book. You want something tangible and accessible.  

Here’s a sample audition checklist to get you started:

  1. Remember the color of the director’s shirt.
  2. Make them laugh at least once.
  3. Look everyone in the eye at least once.
  4. Remember the pianist’s name.
  5. Take a deep breath before speaking/singing. 

Before you go into the room to audition, review your list to make sure you remember the five things you want to accomplish while you’re in there. This trick will help center your awareness in the room, keep you focused, and make the experience you create one that the other people will enjoy. Once you’ve checked off the boxes after the audition, you can reward yourself for a successful audition, and let it go. 

What would your five things be in order to help ground you in your audition? 

Bret Shuford is a NYC-based actor, the Broadway Life Coach, and a Backstage Expert. Download his FREE Broadway Survival Kit. For more information, check out Shuford’s full bio 

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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