Auditions for Acting: How To Prepare For Your Theater TV and Film Auditions

Really preparing your auditions for acting will make a world of difference when it comes to how well you perform and how professional you come across to industry people casting film, TV or theater auditions. Good preparation will also help you at auditions for acting schools.

How to schedule theater and film auditions

You should come really prepared whether you are attending open casting calls or scheduled acting auditions, but with scheduled auditions, you’ll have a chance to ask questions at the time of scheduling the audition.

You’ll get information about your upcoming acting audition from either your agent or manager or directly from the casting director’s office.

audition tipDon’t pick up the phone unless you’re prepared to write down all the information you’re given and have a calendar of your schedule handy. Better to let your answering service pick up then to rely on your memory for all the information you’ll need to prepare for your audition.

Here’s a list of the questions you should have the answer to by the time you hang up the phone:

  • When and where you’ll be auditioning. Make sure you write down any special directions and parking instructions if you’re driving.
  • What is required for the audition (audition monologue, cold reading, etc.) If it’s an audition monologue, find out how long it should be. If you’ll be auditioning with a scene from the script, find out how you can get the sides. You will often be able to access the audition scenes online through a special website like Showfax. If not, make sure the casting director has your e-mail and fax number so they can send you your audition sides. Also find out if you can stop by to read the entire script and better prepare for your audition. For auditions for acting schools, find out specifically what kind of monologue they require.
  • Who you’ll be auditioning for. Will this be a pre-read with just the casting director (or an assistant casting director) or will the director and producer be present? Try to get the name of everyone who will be in the room.
  • Anything else you should know about. If you’re talking to your agent, get any information he has on the project, casting director, producers and director. Also discuss with your agent things like how to approach the role and wardrobe choices. For auditions for acting schools, try to get information on what they’re looking for in a monologue and in an aspiring actor. If you’re auditioning for graduate school, also find out if their theater season is planned.

A word about pre-reads. Sometimes when you submit to an acting audition you will get a call for apre-read. That’s when a casting director who doesn’t know you wants to see you audition for them alone first to make sure you’re a good actor and right for the part. This happens mostly when casting film and TV. If they are happy with your audition monologues or scene, they will ask you to come back to the acting auditions in front of the producers and director.

How to prepare auditions for acting

Now you’ve scheduled your audition for acting, it’s time to get to work:

1) Get as much information about the acting role and project as you can. Casting websites keep track of your submissions for you, so you can review all the information in the original casting notice. But don’t stop there. If you’re auditioning for a published play, get a hold of the play and read it. For new plays, TV and film auditions, see if you can stop by the casting director’s office to read a draft. Read up on the subject the plot centers around.

2) Also research the names of the director(s), producer(s), writer(s) and anyone else who will be at the audition. If you get a chance, watch their work. Also get familiar with the casting director you’re auditioning for. If you ever took a workshop with this casting director, review your notes. (Audition for acting tip: See if you can dig up an interview they gave to a trade publication. Knowing their pet peeves and how they like to run a casting will be tremendously helpful come your audition day.)

3) Work on your audition material. Make sure your audition monologues are timed right (keeping your monologues short is particularly important for open casting calls) and appropriate for the acting role you’re auditioning for. If you have audition sides, try to work on them with a partner and memorize all audition scenes. Consider working on your acting audition pieces with an acting coach. This can be expensive, but it’ worth it for important acting auditions, plus you’ll be able to apply what you learn the next time around.

4) Decide ahead of time what you”ll be wearing for the audition, and how you’ll do your hair and makeup. When possible, the idea is to suggest the part without going full out into wearing a costume.

audition class stopWhether you go to acting school or not, making a stop at a good audition technique and cold reading class is one of the best things you can do for your acting career. A skilled auditioner will often get the part over a more talented actor who has skipped this essential step in his acting training.

Now you know how to prepare for auditions for acting, ready for the next step?

Click here for acting tips on how to nail the audition.

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