As an actor, it may be hard to assess what the casting directors, producers and directors are looking for. Talent is definitely a huge part of what lands you a role, but personality and charisma are definitely included into the equation.
In addition to your talent, casting directors want to cast someone who stands out from the rest of the actors and leaves a lasting impression.
Here are some tips to help you stand out so that you can shine at your next audition:
- Make a positive first impression
Come in prepared for your audition. Know what the project you are auditioning for is about. Have your research completed.If you are auditioning for an episodic show, watch the show and become familiar with the characters and story lines.If it is a pilot for television or a feature film, research who the producers, director and casting directors are. Watch some of the previous projects they have worked on so you get an idea of their style as filmmakers.Get the script if it is available. If it isn’t, make sure to get the sides which are the scenes you are going to read at the auditions. It is also a good idea to get the sides for the other roles if they are available on-line because it gives you knowledge about the other characters in the project.
- Make specific choices about your character:
Prior to arriving for the audition, determine the specifics about the character.These specifics are up to you. When you are deciding about these choices, it is your time to use your creative imagination.Many times I ask actors what choice did you make about the character. This way, I can help them to take that choice and go further with it. Sometimes I take the actor’s choice in a completely different direction, but you have to be prepared enough with the lines to be able to roll with it when given direction.
- Be polite and positive to everyone.
Not only should you respect the casting directors, but you should be courteous with the assistants or interns assisting with auditions. You are making an impression on how you treat people and what you would be like to work with for several days, weeks or months on a production.No one wants to work with someone who has a reputation for being unpleasant and believe me whenever someone’s bad reputation precedes them, we always hear about it.
- Proper Wardrobe Choices:
Make outfit choices that reflect what the character might wear. While you do not need to go over the top with a full-blown costume, getting the essence of the character will show the us that you familiarized yourself with the role.Suggesting a “hint” of the wardrobe also helps you get into character. For example, if you are playing a lawyer in a scene, then it is a good idea to come into the audition wearing a suit or looking professional.
When your come into audition, and a casting director or director asks a question, don’t reply with one word answers. We ask, “How are you doing today?” Actor says: “Fine.” Be a person and engage in conversation if the casting director, director, producer is willing to do so. Part of us asking questions and chatting a bit is how we see your personality. Also, you can ask the casting director, “How are you?” It’s funny, but in my experience, not a ton of actors ask how we are doing or how our day is going.
Now, I am not saying that every time you come in for an audition that you will have an opportunity to have a conversation. Sometimes we get behind in the auditions, and there are other pressures, so we don’t always get to chat. But when we do, be a person and have a conversation just like you would with a friend.
As a casting director, I want you to do the best you can in an audition. Your natural talent along with these 5 tips, can help you stand out in your audition. Even if you do not land this particular role, we will always keep you in mind for future projects if you do a good job, so always do your best!