Acting Auditions

The Ultimate Guide for Television and Movie Acting Auditions

Holly Bissonnette| January 20, 2015

Acting auditions are important stepping stones in advancing your career in the entertainment business. Whether you are aiming to get into television or film or both, you have to go through this important stage in the process of becoming an actor. This is where your mettle will be tested through countless of rejections and heartaches along the way, but which will make the successes even sweeter.

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While failing auditions might be part and parcel of the business, you can minimize this from happening by following some, if not all, of the most helpful pieces of advice in the industry. And, if you will read on below, you will find a handful of them that have been collated just for you.

Your Resume and Headshot

Your resume and headshot are very important tools that you should never fail to bring to auditions. They need to be presentable, professional and of the best quality to make a good impression.

General Advice for Making Your Resume

The Perfect Resume
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Length advice: Make your resume concise, so that it is just one page long. It should fit the back of an 8×10 headshot.

Order advice: Divide all information by sections and start with the most important ones. It should read from left to right and top to bottom instead of down and across.

Paper advice: Write your resume on plain paper. This could be pale gray, white or light cream. You could also print it on the backside of your headshot.

Font advice: It is more professional to use standard fonts for your resume’s main text. You can use Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman or Garamond, which you can pair with artsy fonts for the headings of the sections. The minimum size should be point 10 while the maximum is 12. Although you can use italicization, bold, underline and ALL CAPS as designs, it is best if you will stick to black when it comes to color.

Correctness: Ensure that all your information is true and correct and that everything is free from spelling and grammatical errors. It should be updated every time you finish an acting class or get involved in a new project. Other important details should be updated as well like weight loss or gain and change of hair color or length.

Format of Your Resume

Below are the sections that should be included in your resume:

–          Header (should include your name, physical description, contact information and affiliations with any acting unions)

–          Experience

–          Training

–          Skills

According to a PDF handout from Brigham Young University, you should take note that these sections should be place according to the sequence stated above. Each category, except the header, should be clearly labeled. It is even best if you will write them in bold letters.

Advice about Headshots

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–          Never use glossy photo paper. Use matte instead.

–          Be prepared with either colored or black and white photos. Sometimes, unless it is indicated, the color does not really matter as long as you know how to use your eyes in telling a story.

–          As much as possible, try to conceal all blemishes, zits or blotches with concealer and use some powder to take away the sheen from potential oily areas of your face like your forehead, nose or cheeks.

–          While women should put on makeup, it should just be light and natural looking. Children are not supposed to wear any makeup at all.

–          Wear an outfit that will bring color to your cheeks.

–          Do your best to project your unique personality on your headshots, all the while maintaining a calm and relaxed persona.

Just remember that headshots are photos representing you as a person. They should neither be edited nor glamorized so that you will no longer appear like yourself.

The Proper Things You Should Be Doing During Auditions

Perfecting your audition is something that can be done if you just know the right things to do. Here are several of them that you should follow by heart:

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Be on Time. Always make sure that you come in at least 15 minutes before the audition schedule. This will allow you enough time to take care of the forms you need to fill out and to settle yourself before you get called in to the audition room to face the casting directors.

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Wear appropriate clothing. You don’t have to dress up for auditions. You just have to wear age-appropriate clothing that is presentable and in line with your character. Go for smart casual, if you must, but never, ever appear too stiff or too formal, especially if you are auditioning for a general role.

Based on some Industry Tips posted by The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts on their site, you should also stay away from white clothing if you are going to do a screen test. This will make you appear washed out and will not read well onscreen. The best color to wear should be a medium shade of blue or something in this hue.

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Be prepared. Don’t go in to an audition half-cocked. You need to be ready for it by having all your monologues or script memorized.

If you were given a script for a cold reading, then you should already have gone through it and internalized the character you are reading for before you head into the audition room. This way, you will already know which emotions to use even if you have to read some of the lines.

You should also be as informed about your audition as much as possible. You can do this be researching about what the show or movie is all about and its director as well as his past works. It would also be best if you will take time to know about the casting director so you will learn about his ways in working through all possible audition scenarios.

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Deliver a perfect slate. Usually, before you will be asked to read from your script or to perform your monologues, you will be asked to do a slate. This is basically just looking into the camera and saying your name, the name of your talent agent or agency and the character you are auditioning for.

If you feel like you have never delivered a slate that you were satisfied with before, one of the things you can do to make it better is by slating in the persona of the character you are auditioning for. Take in a long breath before you speak and pause for a fraction of a second before you start. Even if you are nervous, try channeling your character’s energy and use this to develop confidence so you can deliver your slate well.

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Never ask to start over with your lines. Even if you stumble over the lines you were supposed to deliver, never ever ask the casting director if you can start over. Just make sure that you maintain your character and improvise a little so you can transition well through your scene or until you get your momentum back.

Relax and breathe. While this might be easier said than done, you have to strive to do this if you wish for your acting auditions to be successful. Keep in mind that if your breathing is not as good as you want it to be, you won’t be able to deliver your lines well. So, just go through your paces in a relaxed manner and breathe.

Getting through Callback Waiting and Audition Slumps

As soon as you are done with an audition, you do not loiter around to wait if you are on the callback list or not. You immediately go home and wait for the call. While you are waiting for a callback or that fateful notice stating you got the part, do not just sit around twiddling your thumbs while waiting. Move on to other auditions.

But, if ever you will experience a sudden drop of auditions or the ones you have been to all ended horribly, do not panic.  You are going through an audition slump and this is bound to happen at one time or another in your career. This is when you will feel that you are not just in your element. You will have a month where you are auditioning like there’s no tomorrow, then everything just slides down to nothing. In times like these, focus on improving yourself by taking on a training process that will let you attack future auditions with renewed vigor and stronger passion.

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Disillusionment about the auditioning process can be one of the reasons for such slumps. So, it is best if you will take some time off to rejuvenate yourself and concentrate on other areas like relaxation or going into health and fitness. You can also use this time to take acting classes that will allow you to hone your skills further. When you get back on the grid, you will feel like brand new and ready to take on new challenges.

There is no cut and dried process when it comes to achieving success in auditions. It will always be different for everyone. But, the advice mentioned on this article will help you get through many of them with flying colors. They are among the most helpful morsels of learning that you should always observe and keep at the back of your mind, so you can be ready for all eventualities. Being prepared and absorbing everything you learn along the way like a sponge are among the best secrets that will lead you to be successful during acting auditions.

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