So, you've got the audition appointment. You've got the sides. NOW what do you do?
Unless you’re Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts (or best friends with the director) you’ve got to give a great audition to get an acting job. And while most actors think that an audition is about THEM, it's not. It's about the SCRIPT. Sure, it’s important to show them that you’re talented, charismatic, and a nice person. But if you want the job you must convince them that you’re the best choice for making their script work.
I've found that many actors have the talent and skills to work steadily in TV and film, yet don't always know how to analyze the text so that they showcase the story the writers and producers are trying to tell.
Actors normally have about a day to prepare for auditions. Sometimes they get a bit more time, more often they get less. How actors use these hours can make the difference between getting the job or getting tossed in the trash (your headshot, that is!).
YOU will have a great chance of booking that acting job!
Before they even begin to see actors, directors and producers have a script they believe in. When they start casting, they want to find actors who will make their script work.
In television, the executive producers are almost always writers. In film, directors very often have also written or co-written the script. Not surprisingly, all these people view the story as being very important. So, it’s in the actor’s best interest to look at his or her character and scenes and figure out how they contribute to the storytelling, the tension, the suspense, the humor, and the believability of the world that goes into making a successful production.
Even a one-line character has an important role in a script. Otherwise, cost-conscious producers wouldn’t be paying money to hire an additional actor!
You can give a terrific “performance” in your audition but if you haven’t made the scene work, chances are you will not get the job.
Work on the script involves:
Work on the script changes with each audition. There are always new questions, new challenges, and new solutions with every script you get.
Once you understand how your character and your scenes fit into the script, you can do your homework to make your character a living, breathing, believable participant in the story.
The ultimate goal is for them not to see any of the work you’ve done on the script. Once you're in the room, trust that the work will stay with you. Throw away the work and just "play". If the scene “works” and they believe you ARE the character without your having to work at it...you’ve got a great shot at getting the role!
In addition to understanding the purpose of the scene and analyzing the text, actors need to present themselves in such a way that producers and directors want to work with them.
Ideally, at an audition an actor will be:
This is a lot to accomplish, considering the high stakes and short time you have at an audition. But if you can have these qualities at an audition, directors and producers figure you’ll have these qualities on the set when it becomes REALLY important.
Work on the self is a continual, ongoing process. Discoveries and progress you make in this area can carry over from one audition to the next.
You can work on specific ways to help you exude the qualities they’re looking for.
By preparing yourself fully and knowing your choices and your lines, you’ll be much more professional and confident at your audition.
By being comfortable with your unique qualities and knowing you’re the best at being who you are, you’ll have that “charisma” they want.
Based on his experience working with clients, Avi Simon shares some auditions tips that have been very helpful in helping clients book jobs.
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