Having been involved in this process for over a decade, here are my ten basic tips for actors:
- Turn up. Make sure you turn up to the audition on time, preferably early. If your bus is late, you’ve lost your cat or dropped your keys down a drain, you must call the producer to explain. Producers and directors are busy people – if you’re late, you’re out.
- Be smart and comfortable. You do not need to deck out in Versace or Armani, but don’t turn up like a vagrant and explain it away by being ‘in character’. Wear something in which you feel comfortable and that allows you to move well. Movement is a big part of acting and the panel will be watching out for your ability to move naturally as well as deliver your lines.
- Turn your phone off. You really, really need to lose the phone!
- Don’t lie. Not on your CV/resume, not on your website, not at the audition. Never lie. It is soon obvious to producers and directors if your abilities do not match up to your own hype.
- Control your nerves. Most actors are nervous prior to auditions – this is perfectly normal, but try not to let it dominate you. The panel will understand and give you a chance, so give them a chance by trying to relax beforehand. Listen to music, read, think of your favourite holiday – whatever works for you.
- Be polite. Don’t be loud, obnoxious, or arrogant. The chances are the panel will have many people to see and will have little patience for those with inflated egos.
- Listen. Try to assimilate what is being said. This is important, since it demonstrates your ability to respond to direction. Do not talk over the panel, and never argue or cross-examine.
- Shut up! Yes, please do shut up. If you have verbal diarrhoea, it can be a nightmare for producers and directors in auditions, and certainly on set. Knowing when to speak and when to be quiet is a fine skill to acquire.
- Know your lines. You may stumble occasionally, but you must know your lines. This is part of the discipline of being a professional actor. Learn your lines well so that you can concentrate on your performance.
- Breathe. Controlling your breathing will allow you to relax, and improve your timing and delivery. Your voice will have a richer, more resonant quality and draw the audience into your performance.
Finally, try to enjoy the experience – it will improve your performance!
Copyright © 2017 James Smith