7 Audition Tips from The Audition Technique Founder Greg Apps
1. Be spontaneous
When you’re in an audition, it’s not always going to go according to plan. You may be distracted by something. This can be referred to as a spontaneous moment. You may view this moment as a mistake but it’s not. That spontaneity is memorable for a casting agent and it’s what makes you unique.
Think about actors like Jim Carrey and Will Smith. In film auditions, these actors succeed with spontaneity and don’t dwell on a mistake. The concept of spontaneity in your auditions is something we explore a lot of in our self-taping courses. Because it’s the thing that’s going to help you stand out and ace your audition.
2. Express your individuality
Something you’ll need to consider is what your strengths are as an actor and what your brand is. Different casting directors will be looking for different things. Casting directors who are casting for independent or feature films will be looking for individuality. If a casting director is casting for daytime TV then they may not be looking for such a unique character.
When you’re pitching to a casting director, your pitch should be tailored to their work. If it’s a movie audition, then you need to keep that in mind.
You need not just to be a better actor but a smarter actor.
Stage acting and screen acting require very different skills, which you may have learned during acting courses. On stage, you have to show the audience how you feel. Your responses and reactions, all have to show how you feel.
This is starkly different for screen acting. The camera will see all of your emotions, so you actually need to feel the emotions you’re trying to present.
3. Be emotional
When you look at a photograph, what happens? Often you won’t remember exactly what happened at that moment when the photo was taken, but you’ll remember how you felt.
You’ll remember the emotional response. The feeling. You’ll remember the people who were around you and how that made you feel.
In an audition you want to be preparing your character’s emotional responses. The way to do that isn’t by simply looking at your script or some text; it’s also helpful to look at pictures. Looking for images on Google and sourcing photos can be a useful tool when preparing for auditions. We discuss this more at length in our self-taping boot camp.
4. Be prepared to practise in front of the camera
When do you usually get in front of a camera? Usually, if you’re an actor, it’s usually at an audition or a workshop.
It’s common for actors to actually, very rarely put themselves in front of a camera to explore or experiment with their abilities. But that exploration is crucial to your development as an actor. If you were a violinist you would spend time with your violin playing new songs, practising variations and improving their compositions. They experiment to get better.
When was the last time you got behind a camera to explore your craft? As actors you’re usually in front of the camera to achieve something tangible. A call-back or a job. Try getting in front of a camera and experimenting.
5. Be proactive, not reactive
As an actor, you’re bound to have most, if not all, of the following: a great photo, a resume, an agent. You might even go to workshops to get better. These practices are important, but they’re also reactive.
Most actors are waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for a callback. Waiting to hear from their agent. Waiting for a job. Waiting for something to happen. These are all reactive practices, and they’re holding you back.
If you’re proactive, you want to be placing yourself in front of the people who are making the important decisions. You should be trying to put the right content in front of them which makes them think about you and remember you. At our self taping boot camps, we teach you how to be a proactive actor rather than a reactive actor. At the moment, your agent is likely dictating your direction and your opportunities. We want to give the power to you.
6. Be aware of what the casting director wants
When you’re waiting for your audition, you’re feeling nervous. You want to do your best, of course.
So what does a casting director want?
The casting director wants you to be great. They’re actually on your side because the better you do, the better they look. You are there to work with the casting director, as a team.
Of course, some casting directors have different ways of doing things, but there’s one important thing to remember. The better you look, the better they look. So they should always be on your side at the audition stage.
7. Don’t be afraid of mistakes
Of course, you’re going to want to get everything right when you’re auditioning. You want to nail the character. The lines. The responses. But there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Every actor who’s booked high-profile jobs has made them. That’s how they learn.
You need to celebrate your mistakes because little flaws in things like your rhythm actually make you memorable.
If you’re seeking perfection, you’re like the person who just left the room or the one who’s just about to walk in. Your mistakes or nuances might just set you apart and get you a call-back or book you a job.