How to audition for a movie

How to audition for a movieHaving been involved in this process for over a decade, here are my ten basic tips for actors:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Turn your phone off. You really, really need to lose the phone!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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



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