An audition is your chance as an artist to show a Casting Director, Director and possibly Producers, what you will bring to the cast for their project. When you are requested, they already have shown interest in who you are from your resume, headshot and reel.
In Person Audition Protocol and Verbiage
In today's world you must be prepared for both zoom call & in person auditions, be ready for when a casting director wants you to showcase your talent.
What to Bring for In Person:
- At least 2 Headshots with resume stapled to the back, and TRIMMED To FIT THE Headshot! (always keep more in your car in case they ask for it!)
- Water, so your mouth doesn't get dry
- Great Attitude!
What to Expect:
1. Professional etiquette:
a) 15 minutes early = on time! DO NOT BE LATE!!! If you are going to be
one minute past your call time, call your agent.
b) Don’t wear perfume/cologne in case of sensitivity or allergies.
c) Always carry multiple headshots/resumes, stapled and trimmed with you at
d) Don’t talk to others at the audition. If they want to talk to you, just tell
them, quietly, you’d love to chat with them outside after you’re both done.
e) Turn cell phones to silent, or off, not vibrate.
a) Get your sides (film) or copy (commercial) (This is your audition script)
b) Find a quiet place, and read flat, no inflection, to get information in your
c) Create background, personalize. DON’T jump to a stereotype, i.e.,
“bad guy”, or “dumb blond”, for example. Create a real person, with specific details; then practice the scene out loud, with your background influencing your read emotionally.
d) Bring in your environment, “shake hands” outside of frame, but not
actually touching the OC reader. Or whatever physical thing is happening in
the scene that is supported by dialogue.
a) Wardrobe, no red, black, white, thin stripes (they moray), no logos or
fluorescent colors. Hair OUT of face!
b) Come in, great energy, being yourself. Do not extend your hand to shake
hands, UNLESS casting director extends hand first, in which case you hand
them your headshot if it is in your hand, and then if the re-extend their
hand, you may shake their hand knowing that is what they are intending
and initiating. (germophobes, and or Covid!)
c) Hit your mark. (tape on floor in front of camera)
d) Determine if you read into camera or to an off camera reader for
commercial; always to an off-camera reader, for film, unless otherwise specified.
e) Determine your eye line on the opposite side of camera from the reader, if
establishing multiple characters to react to. (pick a spot on the wall, or light fixture, etc.)
f) For a film audition, ask if they are cutting after slate and between scenes,
and ask any other questions you may have at this time.
g) Slate your name, & age if under 18, and then if they ask, agency, or
independent if you aren’t represented. They will tell you any additional
information they may want in your slate, such as location or if you are
available for local hire.
h) You can ask if there’s any other way they’d like to see the scene. Thank
them and leave promptly when finished. Don’t get chatty, unless they prompt it.
4. Getting The Job:
a) After “Callback” (wear same clothes, do same thing that got you there! It's
how they remember you),
then comes “Right of First Refusal” -They are narrowing their choices to
2-5; you’re very close!
b) “Booking”- They’ve chosen you. Wardrobe will call to tell you what to
c) Ask wardrobe if you come to the set “camera ready”, meaning hair and
makeup fixed and ready for the camera.
d) Be ‘off book’, meaning MEMORIZED, not kinda memorized.
e) Listen to direction, be quiet, be available, be responsible, don’t disappear,
let the First A.D., (First Assistant Director, know where you are at all times)
-always take multiple head shots with resume attached. Often there are more people in the room at call back than there were at the audition. Be ready to offer each a head shot. As always, the resume should have agent contact on it and not your own. -always wear what you previously wore to audition. -ladies should wear same make up -all should go with same hair style -be ready for possible improvisation and change ups. -be ready to take direction. -be ready to cold read should they change script. -be ready to answer director questions and attend interview. Responses need to be fast! Never make them wait more than three seconds. Answers should be creative, short, interesting. They are more interested in seeing you react, thann find the 'perfect answer'. If asked a question and actor doesn't know the answer, never say "I don't know"...answer anyway with something creative. They are looking for people who are quick on their feet and able to improv on the fly. -this one also applies to ANY audition or call back... always have at least two monologues memorized and prepared and be ready to perform them at a moments notice! This is not always part of the audition but it can be added and its best to be safe than sorry. The above us standard rule unless you are specifically told differently as sometimes the director will give “change up” notes that will need to be applied.
What TO Do
-Arrive 15 minutes early, but leave an extra 45 minutes driving time for Stupid Texas Traffic, or STT. - Have your lines memorized! Be off book! - Always be open to a re-direct if Director gives you another way to do your scene - Audition starts the minute you enter the building! The person at the Casting Desk is paying attention. Go into the room with positive energy and enthusiasm, but not bouncing off the walls - Be confident in the choices you make in your audition - Understand the script and know your character before you begin - Commit to your creative choice, regardless of what the Off Camera Reader does, then be open to the redirect. - Ask SPECIFIC questions to help clarify, but don't just ask questions to ask questions - Look like your headshot!
What NOT To Do
- Do not be late, it shows you will be late to set, and indicates your time is more valuable than theirs. If you ARE late, call and let your agent know so they can adjust accordingly. - Do not shake hands with casting director unless they initiate it, (you will know AFTER you hand them your HS & Resume if they then extend their hand to you). Many people are germaphobes, and now, Covid! - Never chew gum or have something in your mouth - Making excuses for your audition and mistakes you make shows you are not prepared - Do not bring props, except for personal props, such as a phone, (kept on Airplane mode, when the scene calls for it)
What to Wear
- Wear jewel tones and rich autumn colors (except orange, yellow or gold) avoid blues, the backgrounds are usually blue - V necks give good frame to your shoulders - Avoid noisy patterns, logos, very thin stripes, anything fluorescent, shiny, white, black, or red, or nude colors - Minimal jewelry unless told so in character breakdown - Character appropriate shoes - Suggest the character without becoming too costumey - No props, other than a phone if it's in your scene, turned on Airplane mode, not just silent, or things you would naturally have on you, but don't bring lots of props, it shows your newbi-ness. They prefer you to pantomime out of frame if possible.
For more info check out: http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/how-choose-outfit-your-audition/