Guide to Acting Auditions

Acting auditions are the big road blocks that stand between a beginning actor and the roles they want. Here you'll find help on how to find auditions and how to get called in for a casting, plus audition tips on how to nail theater, TV and movie auditions.

First, let's take a look at how the casting process works.

  1. A director or producer of a play or a movie will hire a casting director to find actors for the acting roles in their projects.
  2. Casting directors will then write a breakdown of the acting roles available. This usually includes the size of the role (lead, supporting, etc.), the character's age range, physical and psychological characteristics, plus a short bio and their role in the story. Special skills or special strengths to play the part are also included (like the ability to speak a language or cry on cue, for example).
  3. When an actor fits the role, actor headshots and resumes are submitted to the casting calls. Casting directors review the submissions and pick several actors to audition for each part. Acting auditions are scheduled.
  4. The initial auditions are usually followed by callbacks.

And then... The phone rings!

The actor's has booked the role. The fun part of being an actor begins.

So let's get started...

1st STOP - How to find Acting Auditions

2nd STOP - How to submit to casting calls

3rd STOP - How to nail the audition

OK, so there's no way to guarantee you'll get the part, but these casting audition tips will help you have a successful audition and raise your chances of getting called back. Also read these audition scene tips and help with cold readings to prepare for these different types of auditions.

If you have a film audition coming up, review our movie audition tips.

If it's TV commercials you're interested in, here's some information on how to audition for commercials and how to get commercial auditions.

If you'll be auditioning with a monologue, make sure to also read these audition monologues tips.

Once you get a callback, read these audition callback tips.

4th STOP - What happens after the audition

Whether you feel your audition went well or not, the couple of days or week after an important casting can be nerve-wracking.

You just walked out of the audition room... Take a few moments to go over your acting audition:

  • Note anything that went well and things you need to work on.
  • Write down any notes you got from the casting director, director or producer. These notes will come in handy if you get a callback.
  • Make a note to call your acting agent the next day to get any feedback they received from the casting director.
  • Keep a written record of your audition with information on the project and character you auditioned for, as well as the name of the casting director and anyone else present in the audition room. This is very useful for updates to agents and thank you notes to casting directors. To find out more about keeping an actor logbook, click here.

And now...

stop sign

Stop!

The best thing you can do after an audition is forget all about it. Spending hours or days double-guessing yourself or waiting for the phone to ring is counterproductive and not good for your self-confidence. Go over your acting audition once and start looking for the next casting.

What happens now? One of 3 things:

  1. You book the acting job!
    All you need to do is jump up in the air a few times and work out the details with the casting director. You'll be getting a lot of information (salary, rehearsal schedule, performance or shoot dates for movie auditions, fittings, etc.) so make sure you're ready to jot it all down.

  2. You get a callback.
    This means you made it past the first round of auditions. A lot of things may be different at the acting callback, so make sure you ask all the same questions you asked for your initial audition. If you used audition monologues previously, you may now need to prepare audition scenes from the script. Most of the time, the producer and director will be present. Click here for tips on audition callbacks.

  3. Nothing happens.
    It's frustrating, but most of the time, if you don't book an acting job, you'll never know why. When an auditioner tells you, "We'll let you know by Thursday", it usually means, "If you don't get a call by Thursday, you haven't booked the job." There are so many factors that go into why an actor doesn't get a job. So many are out of your control. It could be something as simple as they decided to go with a brunette and you're a blond, or a name actor is interested in the role, or you're not what the writer envisioned. Whatever the case may be, if you gave a good audition, you will get a call for the next acting role that's right for you, and that's what really matters, building a career.



tip sign

Whether your acting audition lands you a job or not, send an actor postcard to the casting director a few weeks later. This quick thank you note will keep you fresh in their mind and give you an opportunity to update them on any recent jobs you got. Also send follow-up postcards to any casting director you meet through a workshop or acting class.

Do you find it hard to be an actor?

In my efforts to best help you achieve your acting goals, I have written a new e-book called Become an Actor : A Guidebook for Beginning Actors. I welcome you to click here to learn more about how the book can make a difference in your career.

QUESTIONS

Questions about Acting Auditions?
Get answers here!

If you have a question about acting auditions or auditioning technique, this is the place to get an answer. Just fill out the form below to create an actor help page dedicated to your question. You will receive an e-mail as soon as your question is answered. Before filling out the form, check out the questions other visitors have asked at the bottom of this page, along with answers provided.

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What Other Actors Have Asked

Click below to see the questions other actors have asked and the answers to these questions...

Asking for A Second Take at Audition 
QUESTION: Is it ok to ask to do a second take for a commercial or film audition? ANSWER: Sorry it took so long to reply to your question, it's …

Response from casting director 
QUESTION: I auditioned for a feature film last week on Friday. If I do not get the part, does the casting agent contact me with the news, or do I only …

During an audition questions and answers 
Should you... - Shake The Casting Directors hand? Usually, it's not necessary, especially if they are in the back of the room when you walk in. If …

Feedback Information 
QUESTION: What does it mean when the casting director sends feedback to your agent and they say the following: "This girl is so stunning.However,she …

how to locate acting roles 
QUESTION: I would like to know if their is a resource center that will allow me to browse different acting roles. Or is their a search engine that will …

Audition Tips to Stay in Character 
QUESTION: Hi Acting School, You are the only one so far giving me helpful tips I can count on, as I have asked a question in the past and it is really …

Acting Tips for Call backs 
QUESTION: I have been on a few call backs and want to know what are the best ways to land the call back? ANSWER: First of all, I'd like to point …

What questions do they ask? 
QUESTION: What questions do auditioners usually ask at auditions? Full list, please. ANSWER: Before auditions, you will usually be asked very …

Acting Tips for Auditions 
QUESTION: Some good audition tips? I have my first audition for a play in 3 weeks and I'm a little nervous about what to expect and how I should act …

Acting Tips for First Audition 
QUESTION: Is it hard the first day of your first acting audition? ANSWER: Yes, it can be a little nerve-racking… I remember my first audition …

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