Audition Scene Tips
Here are some audition scene tips to help you nail the acting auditions
where you are asked to prepare acting scenes. A prepared scene
is often required when you audition for movies and for theater callbacks, so it's
good to know what to expect and come prepared.
Here are a few audition tips to help you nail these acting auditions:
The more you prepare your audition scenes,
the better you will do. Most acting schools will let you bring your audition material
into scene study class, so take advantage of the
opportunity to work on your acting scenes with a partner and acting coach.
As much as possible,
your audition sides should be memorized. This is what is expected of a
professional actor, plus you want to concentrate on your
acting during your audition, not on finding your place in the audition script.
...but hold on to your sides
Even if you never look down at your audition script once,
holding it reminds the auditioners that this is just what you
can do with a first read. Acting without your audition scenes
in hand will make them feel they're watching a fully rehearsed performance
and they'll be less impressed as a result.
Don't make too much of a small role
If you're a beginning actor, you'll often be
called in to audition for a TV co-star or a small role in a film or
play where the audition sides will consist of one word to a few lines.
Most of these roles are there to further the plot and making too much
of them is a common mistake of beginning actors. Those actors who can
say those lines simply and naturally without acting up a storm can easily
get these small acting parts and quickly build their actor resumes.
Make sure you're seen.
You want the people in charge of hiring to be able to see
your face and the expression in your eyes as much as possible
as you perform your audition scene. If the audition is taped,
being seen by the camera should be your priority because
it will most likely be viewed before the cut is made for
acting callbacks. Most professional auditions will already
be set up with the reader standing next to or a little
behind the camera, but sometimes you will find that your
reading partner is upstaging you or forcing the camera
to only pick up your profile when you speak.
If you're being fully upstaged (i.e. you have
to turn your back to your audience to talk
to the other actor), consider stopping the
scene and asking your audition partner if
he or she can remain on the same plane as you.
If you have to deliver a lot of your lines
profile to connect with the other actor, use pauses
to turn to the camera allowing for a good close-up.
This doesn't mean breaking the 4th wall
Use your acting and auditioning technique skills.
For example, if you're doing a scene where you're having a fight, look away
(and therefore to the audience/camera) as you search for your next argument.
Let the camera pick up a silent beat where the character's wheels are turning.
These moments can be gold and get you an acting callback!
Working with a reader
One of the hardest aspects of audition scenes, whether you're at an audition
for a movie or at a theater casting call,
is adapting to the person you're reading with. You may be reading with the casting director,
a reader hired for acting auditions, or in some cases, another actor.
Weather you have to do your audition scene reading opposite
another actor, a reader or the casting director himself,
you could have a fantastic partner who listens, responds and
plays off you, or a terrible one who reads in a monotonous
tone and never looks up once.
Here's a few audition tips to not make your acting audition dependent on your partner:
- Practice and prepare.
Ask your rehearsal partner when you prepare for the audition to do the acting scenes many
different ways. Also be ready in your mind to have a
bad audition scene partner so that you won't be thrown
off if it happens. The worst thing that can happen
is to let frustration ruin your acting.
- Forget what you learned...
If you went to acting school, you probably want to be in the moment
as much as possible. Sometimes, moment-to-moment acting will
still work with a non-responsive actor (for example,
if your character is frustrated in the scene or failing
to get through to someone in a conflict). A lot of the time,
though, feeding off the other actor will not work for the
audition scene you have. In that case, concentrate on the words.
Listen carefully and respond to what is being said,
not the way it is being said. This acting tip will
prevent a bad reader from taking your audition in the wrong direction.
- ...but keep what you can.
Even if you decide to concentrate on the lines and not respond
to a bad acting partner, you should still create a relationship
by really talking to them (rather then at them)
and waiting for a response each time.
Need more help with your audition scenes for acting auditions or even entrance into acting schools?
You can view more audition tips here.
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