How to audition

It’ll help you navigate the nerves you’ll feel when your number is called.

When you decide to be a performer, you’re hoping to get to the point when you get to actually, you know, get up on stage. But what you’re really committing to is the unavoidable: auditioning.

There are plenty of actors who work in Hollywood and on Broadway who will admit freely that they hate the auditioning process. It’s like a one-sided first date and a stressful job interview combined, and most people just don’t have the self-esteem to deal with the big sell followed by rejection time and again.

Some say practice practice practice. Others say it never truly gets better. But all we can do is try, right? Check out these tips to get in the right mindset.

Practice

Seems like a no-brainer, right? But not just for yourself, in a mirror. You have to practice for a tough audience, like your mom or your critical roommate. If you’re a little scared of them, even better. It’ll help you navigate the nerves you’ll feel when your number is called.

Audition Weirder

Put your spin on it. Play to the emotion of the scene, but try not to do the predictable thing. This is your small moment to shine, and really impress everyone in the room. The people who want to know if you can bring a special something to the role. And if you can’t, why are you there?

Audition Wiser

Know the story. Know the character. Understand their relationships, and where they are in the moment being presented in the scene. If you aren’t provided with a full script, try to do what research you can. In the case of a cold read or a lack of further information, get creative. Tell your own story the second you walk into that room.

Commit

Choices you make in the room might surprise you, and the best thing to do at that point is follow your instinct. Keep your eyeline, be confident in your stance, and make a connection that will leave a lasting impression long after you have exited. A great way to show range is by slating in a professional way, then switching lanes to become someone else, embody the character, in an obvious switch.

Remember Your Allies

The director, casting director, stage manager, music director and whoever else might be in the room for an audition are hoping you’re the one. They want to see you succeed and be the very best possible version of any given character. Bad audition sequences are popular in movies is because they only work in comedic montage form. Nobody wants to sit through a bunch of bombs, and those people behind the table are rooting for you not to. They are not the enemy, they are your future creative collaborators.