Common Audition Mistakes That Are Costing You Gigs

Holly Bissonnette| February 10, 2020

In the acting world, competition is tough and fierce. Committing these common audition mistakes could cost you your next acting gig. Ignorance is no excuse! Know your responsibilities and etiquette as an auditionee because nobody’s going to do that for you after you disappoint the panel. Here are common audition mistakes that casting directors hate.

Audition Mistakes That You Don’t Want to Commit

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Procrastinating.

Being prepared is definitely one of the most essential keys to impress casting directors. As casting professionals, the panel would know whether you have familiarized the sides, practiced, and clearly understood the character you auditioned for or not.

Don’t worry about not memorizing the lines they have provided ahead or during the audition. Impress casting directors in your delivery of the role and your authentic understanding of the character’s personality. You will only be able to do this effectively if you prepared well.

Choosing a bad monologue.

By selecting the right monologue, you could be well on your way to securing the role of your dreams. An effective monologue should be around one minute to ninety seconds tops, should show your skill and range, and should fit the type you’re representing. If you fit into the younger girl-next-door archetype, then don’t try being a femme fatale. The monologue should also be free from graphic content and vulgar language. Monologues that are too famous and overperformed should also be avoided.

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Engaging in small talk.

Bring headphones with you! There are actors who think the waiting room is a place to brag or network. Others project their anxiety through unnecessary chatter or toxic banter. Listen closely and you’ll soon be riddled with insecurities and fears that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Worse, due to unforeseen circumstances, you may find yourself stuck in the audition waiting room for a very long time. Do not allow your energy to dissipate or your focus to stray because of the distracting atmosphere in the audition waiting room. You may remove yourself from the tension and go down the hall to enjoy some peace. However, don’t wander too far away or you may not hear your name being called. 

Getting distracted in the middle of a scene.

A common audition mistake is stopping in the middle of your scene or trying to restart the performance. It conveys to the casting director that you are not prepared and that you’re trying to find something. It also puts unnecessary pressure on you, the actor, to follow up with something absolutely superb.

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Ignoring direction

Actors like you are part of a bigger picture—a picture the director understands best. So occasionally you may need a few adjustments in your portrayal of a character to better suit a scene. Early on, show that you’re open to taking direction if you are given direction or feedback from your coach or actor friends. Trainability and adaptability are important to your success in drama school, so don’t just ignore direction if it’s offered. This skill will demonstrate to the panel during the audition day that you’re willing to take advice and/or criticism and adjust accordingly. The panel may ask you to repeat a section of your monologue in a different way. Even if you don’t nail their directions, showing that you are willing to give it a try is vital.

Good luck!

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