The moment you step into The Room you are auditioning. You will not know who is important and who is not. It is wise to practice and remain mindful of project a good, positive attitude before you get out of your car or reach the property.  You never know who might notice you in either a favourable or unsavoury moment.

Rules of the Room When the Audition StartsRound one of auditions typically involves the casting director only. This is called the “pre-read”. We select the best actors from this initial batch of potential to advance to the “callback”.

Agents are difficult to secure at auditions for unknown talent. The agent or manager’s reputation and professional taste is in jeopardy. Should you blow the audition, you get placed into a “too risky” list. It is critical that you be ready to do the scene as soon as your name is called to The Room. There are no warm up opportunities once in The Room. Prepare before you enter.

Bring several headshots and résumés (stapled together) with you into the audition. Hand these and your “sides” (the script pages containing the dialogue you prepared) to the casting director when requested. The time you take to retrieve your purse or briefcase and find the desired items wastes the time of those listening to you.  Be prepared and organized. Casting directors are very impatient people. They have so many actors that must be screened that these little inconveniences can add up to hours if not days if everyone did the same.

After entering the room, do not engage the director in a conversation before the reading begins. Follow their guidance and instructions. Remain as calm as possible so that you actually listen to what someone says to you. You should: Enter your true self. Say “hi/hello” and be ready to sit, stand, and begin as instructed. The directing director has already determined if you are liked or not by the way you walk, stand, and sit. Are your eyes clear and alive? Are they dull, dim, and full of dread and self doubt? Is your body stiff and inflexible?  To advance to the callback and ultimately offered the role, you must instill confidence and faith in you. We  should believe this the instant we see you and not doubt at any moment while you are with us.

Things you should NOT ask:

  • “What are you looking for?”
  • “What are you not finding in the other actors?”
  • “Should I be natural or in character?”
  • “I prepared three versions, which one would you like me to do first?”
  • “What is my relationship to the lead actor?”

The Reading Begins

Actors who attempt the audition from memory make directors very nervous. This is an audition, not a performance. Be comfortable referring to your side during the reading. Keeping the audition moving is absolute. Walking up is far worse than looking down at your side for the note. You lose character focus and sink your chances. First, connect with the reader/casting director in every way possible through the dialogue.

We might look down or away. Make your eyes bore holes through the director’s eyes until they are forced to look up. Don’t drop energy or momentum! Should you make a mistake, don’t acknowledge it! Keep going as naturally as possible in character.

After the reading, the director will thank you and might add on another comment. The comment has no meaning or value. Say thank you and quietly leave the room. After you leave The Room, forget about the audition. Focus on something else and let the chips fall where they may. Do not return to the audition once you leave because you just figured out what suggestion or observation meant. You will waste your time and ours.