Acting Auditions - How to Get the Part!
If you are interested in working as an actor then the audition process is one you’ll have to get used to very quickly! Few actors nowadays (even the major stars!) can guarantee that they will get work without an audition first to see if they are right for a role.
Most actors will get an audition through their agents. The agents work kind of like recruitment consultants here - they will find out about available roles, submit their clients’ CV and/or portfolio and then tell them where to go if they get an audition call. Although some auditions are known as ‘open’ (where anyone can turn up) most will work on an invitation basis - this is where your agent will come in useful!
In most cases - before you go to an audition - you will be told what the audition is for and will be given some lines to learn that you will perform at the audition. In some cases you may instead/also be asked to prepare a piece of your choosing at an audition. Try to learn a couple of pieces here as casting directors may ask for more (or decide they don’t like the one you’ve chosen! If given lines from the role then it’s a good tip here to try and find out as much as you can about the character you’re up for so that you can put in as relevant a performance as possible.
Auditions can be scary experiences so try and prepare yourself in advance. Do vocal warm-ups and practice your lines before you go in and take something to do, drink and eat while you’re waiting as this could be a long time. Make sure to turn up on time and to sign in when you arrive so that you get your place in the queue.
The actual format of auditions will vary and you may not know what is expected of you until you get there. Some auditions will be friendlier than others - for example, if there a lot of people to be auditioned for a small role then you may simply be whisked in, expected to perform and then whisked out. Other roles may be filmed as a screen test or the casting people may want to talk to you more to find out about you.
In all cases try to give a confident performance and to be pleasant and courteous to the people you meet - first impressions do count here. Avoid being over-familiar and ‘nice’ to the decision makers - they’d really prefer you to be professional and natural!
In many cases you’ll be left at the end of your audition with no idea of how you’ve done or whether you’ll get a call-back to the next stage. Some casting people will run a day’s audition with call-backs so that they can sort things out in a day. So, here, for example, you may go in and do your stuff and then be told if you are of interest to them or not. If not you leave but if you are called back then you may have to hang around for the next stage and so on.
Bear in mind that the further you progress with an audition the more likely it will be that you’ll meet other people from the production - don’t be put off if the producer, director and leading man turn up in later stages and just try to perform well and be yourself.