Acting Tips for First Audition

by Mily
(New York)

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 being very intimidating, no matter how many times I had performed in school. Of course, it's different for everybody. Your level of self-confidence and training have a lot to do with how well you'll get through this first rite of passage, but here are a few acting tips I hope will put things in perspective and help make your first audition a little more fun:

First, like I just mentioned, make it fun. Of course, you want the job, but if you think of acting as something you love to do just for fun, you'll put much less pressure on yourself.

Second, remember that the people auditioning you are on your side. This can be easy to forget, especially if you face casting people who don't appear to be very friendly, but the truth is except for some equity required calls, they wouldn't be holding auditions if they weren't looking for good actors to cast in their play, film, etc… so they want you to do well. If you ace the audition and are right for the role, their job is done!

Which brings me to the next point… if you don't get a callback, that doesn't necessarily mean you did a bad job at the audition. There are a hundred reasons why actors don't get cast from an audition. How well they performed their monologue or scene is just one element. You also have to fit with the idea the director has for the character and with the rest of the cast. If you gave a good audition, you may be called back for another project months down the road. Casting people have amazing memories. If you don't get a callback or get cut off before you finished your monologue, don't take it personally. Actually, sometimes actors get cut off because the casting director saw exactly what he/she wanted to see and already decided to give them a callback.


Finally and most importantly, don't take things personally. If you can make auditions fun, great, but they are job interviews. Actors face a lot of rejection, no matter how good they are. The more you can develop other interests and not base your sense of self-confidence on your professional life (ie. your acting career), the better you'll do at auditions. Plus, if you act professionally at the audition (by having your headshot and resume in hand when you walk in the room, by not apologizing for your performance, etc.), the more likely you are to have a positive experience. If you need help, read these audition tips.

Here's one final tip to survive your first acting audition. If you feel nervous walking in the room, imagine the people auditioning you in a silly situation or doing something mundane. It'll will remind you there's really nothing to be afraid of… and it may even bring an earnest smile to your face when you introduce yourself.

Break a leg! And please use the comment section below to let us know how your first audition went!

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