Being a great actor is all well and good but unless you can nail the audition you won’t get far. Here are my top 6 tips to improve your audition technique and get that job.
1) Dress the part but also feel comfortable. Obviously don’t go too far with this, but at least look like you have made an effort. If successful and you get a recall always wear the same or similar for the next meeting; in particular keep the style and colour. Why fix something that isn’t broken? A change of colour or style can make you look completely different.
2) If you can learn the lines, and it fits your way of working, do it. This is a personal choice but for younger clients and those with dyslexia or learning difficulties it’s imperative. However do not learn it parrot fashion and be prepared to take direction and make changes for the casting director. It doesn’t mean you are rubbish if they ask you to make changes; they need to know you can listen and ‘take the note’. I always know I haven’t got the job when they don’t ask me to change anything.
3) If you haven’t learnt the lines use your thumb to scroll down the script after you have said your line. This way you can look UP and react to what the other character is saying and NOT read along with them. The script should also be held in a comfortable position to glance at your line without taking your eyes and head out of the frame. You should always be familiar with the script but if that’s not possible, because you only get it 2 minutes before, try and find somewhere to say it out loud, roll the words around your mouth. It always sounds different out loud than it does in your head.
4) Reactions Reactions Reactions!! So many actors do not react to what the other character is saying!? It’s a basic human function, reacting. If you get it right it should also help lead you into your next line. Quite often there will be a reaction at the end of the scene as well, or the beginning. Don’t miss it.
5) Why has the casting director asked to see these particular scenes? What emotions are you supposed to be showing? What is the scene about? Make notes about your character’s objective and the range of emotions they use to get what they want. There is no such thing as a small part either. Even if it’s just a couple of lines do not throw them away. Bring them to life and make that part yours.
6) Finally be positive! When they ask you what you have been up to give them something to remember, to endear yourself. They know you like acting so unless you have just been cast as the next ‘Spiderman’ it’s unlikely they are gonna get excited about your achievements, however important they are to you. Instead tell them a funny story, be charming.
Having said all that sometimes you can do all this and it’s just not your time. But at least if they can see your eyes, face, reactions, range of emotions and you endear yourself they’ll bring you in again for something else.