AUDITION ADVICE FOR ACTORS

So many people find it hard to audition well. Here’s a selection of Do’s and Don’t for auditions that I believe are important....there are many more but this is a start.

 

DO:

 

  • Do….Remember that the audition panel want you to be fabulous – we don’t want to audition 100 people in a day and then not have anyone to recall at the end of it.

  • Do….Be respectful to everyone you meet at the audition from the person who greets you at the audition, the pianist , the reader, and of course the panel. You never know who may have a say in the final decision.

  • Do….Keep focused and alert from the minute you arrive at your audition

  • Do….Prepare your audition material thoroughly, but keep the script with you if you want to. An audition is not a test of your memory. Although in truth, it is always better to  have learnt your material.

  • Do….If you must use your text, make sure your music or script is in the right page order before you go into the room

  • Do….Know some background about the piece you are auditioning for, and if possible about the panel you are auditioning for. It’s very flattering for you to compliment the director on their recent Olivier award. But don’t over do it!

  • Do….Make it your mission to find interesting audition material, but remember that we’d rather hear a standard, well known piece done brilliantly than a  new piece done badly.

  • Do….Enjoy your audition; if you do it’s likely the panel will too.

  • Do….Be prepared to take direction during your audition – and don’t argue with the director no matter what you think of their choices!

  • Do….If you can, bring a sense of humour to the audition, though in moderation. Humour relaxes everyone in the room, but can go against you if it’s forced.

  • Do….Be yourself.

  • Do….Grab the panels attention in the first 30 seconds.

  • Do…. When you’re singing, keep acting throughout the whole of the song, including the introduction and any instrumental moments.

  • Do….Start again if you fluff your lines, but you only get one chance. If you keep fluffing, change the song to relieve your mental block.

  • Do….Know the shows from which you are singing your favourite songs, and the context within which they appear.

  • Do….always take your original music to a recall, and be sure to have other songs from your repertoire just incase we need to hear something else.

  • Do….Choose your music wisely - it must reflect you, the character you’re auditioning for, the right style of the piece, and display a wide range of your abilities

  • Do….take your favourite songs on tour with you – you never know when you may have an audition.

  • Do…. make sure you know where your audition venue is and be sure you arrive in plenty of time.

  • Do…. Always carry spare copies of your headshot and cv with you.

  • Do…. Try to warm up in advance of your audition.

  • Do…. Be prepared to sing anything in your repertoire book.

  • Do…. Make sure your song is appropriate both for you and for the character you are auditioning for.

  • Do…. Mark up your music in a clear concise way that the pianist can understand.

  • Do… choose songs which individually show a range of your talents.

  • Do…. Always thank the pianist and the panel, but there’s no need to be over friendly and shake everyone’s hand.

  • Do….remember that your audition starts the second you walk through the door, and continues until you leave the room - and make sure you know how to get out of the room - walking into a cupboard is a funny, but embarrassing exit.

  • Do….make use of the audition space but don’t choreograph your song - we have professionals to do that!

  • Do…..continue to study and train in all aspects of your performance skills.

  • Do….see as much theatre as you can afford.

  • Do…..Keep your body is mental and physical peak.

DON’T:

  • Don’t….Ever be late for an audition and if you are, call you’re agent

  • Don’t….Make excuses for a bad audition.

  • Don’t….Wear costume of any sort unless you are specifically asked to. And at a recall, wear what you wore the first time, unless you are asked to wear something different.

  • Don’t….Say you can do something if you can’t

  • Don’t….Experiment at auditions. Prepare your audition material thoroughly, but keep it looking as if its spontanious

  • Don’t….Take an audition if you don’t want the job; it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

  • Don’t….Cover your face with your hair

  • Don’t….Role your eyes at disgust of the pianist if they go wrong

  • Don’t….give up in a dance call if you don’t feel you’re doing very well. If your feet don’t work, give it loads of character.

  • Don’t …….choose an arrangement that is too difficult or too fast for the pianist. If you like the song, get a simpler arrangement done.

  • Don’t ……..cough at the audition panel if no one is looking at you.

  • Don’t…… stare at the audition panel during you’re song – it will freak them out! Choose an eyeline that is about a meter above their heads, but if the song is not directly to another character, then do also reference the panel in your song too.

  • Don’t….. offer the panel a choice of songs – simply offer your one favourite best song. If they don’t want that one, they’ll tell you.

  • Don’t…... take props into your audition unless absolutely essential.

  • Don’t….. over analyse your performance, either when you’re in the room, nor after the audition. Once you’ve left the room, there’s nothing you can do so let it go….retail therapy is useful!

  • Don’t…… rely on the show’s soundtrack as being in either the same key or the same arrangement as the published music or the music you’ve been given. Be sure to check it with someone who understands music first if you’re not sure.

  • Don’t…Take judgement or rejection personally. Rejection is rarely to do with your talent, more about your suitability for the role.

  • Don’t …sing a song from the show you’re auditioning for in the first call, unless you are specifically asked to do so.

  • Don’t….come to an audition overly made up (girls) – plain, day make up is best.

  • Don’t….complain or dish the dirt on other performers, directors, producers or productions.

  • Don’t……. remind any of the panel that they turned you down in the past.

  • Don’t….talk about your boring day job.

  • Don’t….take an audition if you aren’t well enough – try to re arrange for another day. But if you can’t change the day and you are able to attend, then let your agent call in advance to say you aren’t well, or inform who ever greets you when you arrive at the audition.

  • Don’t….accompany yourself.

  • Don’t ….sing a song you have written.

  • Don’t......chat to others waiting for auditions - you should be mentally preparing for your own audition. If you see someone you know, call them later, or take their number, be polite and say you just want to prepare.