How to Prepare for an Audition

Article Image
Photo Source: Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

You know what to do between auditions while you’re waiting for that exciting confirmation, but what do you do when you finally get the audition? It’s time to prepare, so get ready to audition by following these steps: 

1. Confirm the details

From the moment you receive the audition email, read it carefully. If you have any questions regarding character or project, ask your agent to contact the casting office. If you know you won’t have enough time to prepare properly because of another commitment, ask your agent to change your appointment. Casting assistants usually do their best to change appointments knowing actors have other auditions or jobs. However, casting may only have one designated day to see you, so be as prepared and flexible as possible. Find the best techniques to learn your lines in a short amount of time. Times in the audition room are often tightly scheduled and casting directors may not have time to work with you in the room.

2. Do your research

Research who you’re meeting at the audition, the members of the creative team, and the production company. Be aware of their previous credits and projects that you’ve seen. Often there is no time to chat in the room, but having some knowledge about who is present will put you more at ease. If they do chat with you, your research will show your enthusiasm for the project and your strong work ethic. If you’re only meeting or reading with the casting director, this preparation will give a good impression and they’re likely to put in a good word for you to the director or producer.

You should also always give yourself time to research a character and the circumstances within the script, including the time period. That way you’ll be ready to step into a character and know the world they come from.

3. Make sure you know how to get there

Google your journey to the meeting location in advance so you have five minutes to relax before you go into the room. Many film and TV casting directors work from home, so there may not be a waiting area for you to sit in. In these circumstances, casting usually issues very specific instructions regarding appointment arrival times, so make sure you note that.

4. Practice your lines

You must always learn your lines for an audition unless otherwise instructed. If you find memorizing lines difficult, seek out a learning method that works with your specific needs. Take time to practice saying the lines out loud with a friend or fellow actor so it can start to feel natural and give you the opportunity to pace the dialogue and find the rhythm with another person prior to reading with the CD.

Truth comes when you live in the moment when acting before the camera. A scene needs to feel fresh and alive, so don’t overwork it. As an exercise, you could get a partner to shout out different directions or emotions to you as you do your scene, which should prevent you from becoming set in one way to play the scene or feeling over-rehearsed.

Try improvising to help develop your character, too. Do as much research as you can with the information available, then make it yours and take risks until you find character traits that work for you. Every individual across the world moves to a different beat, has funny habits, and has insecurities and motives. Find your unique character and stand out.

5. Make sure you’re comfortable with the opportunity

Make sure you feel comfortable with the quality of the project, the script and its requirements, the director, and the production team before taking a meeting.  Good agents will usually filter the projects so awkward or inappropriate meetings are avoided.

Follow these steps and you’ll be ready when it’s time to walk into the audition room!

Looking to get cast? Apply to casting calls on Backstage!

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.

Author Headshot
Louise Collins
Louise Collins is a casting director for TV, film, commercials, and promos. She began her career assisting Jina Jay for “Rogue One,” “The Night Manager,” and “Pan.” In 2016, she launched Collins Casting. Credits include LFF winner “Fighter,” IFF winner “Okay Mum,” Netflix’s “Murder Maps,” and “Everything You Didn’t Say” starring Olga Kurylenko. She has cast commercials for Nike, Ikea, and Unicef, and promos for The Weeknd, Jorja Smith, and Shy FX featuring Cara Delevingne.
See full bio and articles here!