your dream is to be a working actor. You’ve always been told you “have it,” but the phone doesn’t ring for callbacks.
What separates professionals from wannabe talent show prodigies isn’t inspiration. It’s preparation and execution. Take control of your audition with these 10 helpful tips to improve your skills.
1. Confidence It sounds simple but it takes practice. Walk in the door with your head held high. Be wary of shuffling feet. You don’t get sympathy points if you’re nervous, not feeling well, or having a bad day. Leave it outside the door. You are being sized up the minute you walk in so practice good posture and body language before you arrive. And don’t forget to smile—that’s the lasting impression you want to leave.
2. Personality Let it shine through. Don’t give one-word answers when having a conversation with the Casting Team . Ask questions! The industry is looking for smart, curious actors.
3. Connection Make one with the reader. Memorize the material or be familiar enough with it to maintain eye contact. Knowing the dialogue is important, but making a connection with the reader is what will make the scene natural and believable.
4. Character Know the character. Read the entire script beforehand to pick-up as many clues as possible. We know about a character by the following:
What they say about themselves
What other characters say about them
What the playwright or screenwriter says about them
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5. Objective Go underneath the dialogue. What do they want from the other characters? What is the character’s purpose in the scene and story?
6. Obstacle What’s in the way of the character getting what they want? Acting is what happens to you as you try to get your objective met, in spite of the obstacle.
7. Opposites Yelling isn’t the only way to show hatred or anger. Sometimes being quiet as you make your point is a powerful display of emotion. Playing opposites is a much more interesting choice than the obvious.
8. Love Find the love in the scene; even nasty characters should be likable on some level. Find a moment in the scene where the love can show through.
9. Act Acting means do, not talk. Find your actions and play them!
10. Variety Feel the levels and dynamics in the scene. Don’t play one emotion. If the character is angry or tough, when might they show some vulnerability?
Wannabe? Not you! Interesting, memorable auditions will start to happen for you when you dig into scripts with these thoughts in mind before and during your auditions.
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