Well, I’m back from Sweden, which means back to work. I put myself on tape for auditions when I’m away, but nothing is quite the same as being in the audition room with the proper lighting, casting directors, producers, director, and a reader to do your scene with you…(Although I must admit, Jeremy and my mom have gotten quite good and really get into their characters). But nothing compares to the rush of adrenaline you get from being in ‘the room’.
I realize a lot of you probably aren’t familiar with this process at all, so I thought I’d highlight the audition process for you.
STEP 1– My agent calls or emails me with the audition material, which includes: character name and description, shooting location, shoot dates, time and location of audition, and any special notes that the casting director wants me to know.
STEP 2 – I read over my script and sides (scene(s) they want me to read for the audition) and decide if I connect with the character/project, and if so, I let my agent know I’ll be there
STEP 3 – Prepare! Some people memorize lines quickly, some don’t. I always want to be familiar enough with the material that I don’t blank on my lines in the middle of the scene, but not SO familiar that it becomes rehearsed and I’m no longer having to think about the words that I’m saying. Some people memorize on their own or with a tape recorder, and others rehearse with fellow actors, or family. I like to learn them on my own, sleep on them, and then rehearse the next day with other actor friends or family.
STEP 4 – Know your character – Inside and out. I try and create a life for the character I’m playing and look for situations in the story or lines where I can draw upon personal experience. Next, I consider hair, make-up, and wardrobe. For example, a drunk, party girl is going to look a lot different than an MD preparing for her final exam. Clothing, hair, and make-up choices definitely help you become the character.
STEP 5 – Audition time! Don’t be late. If you haven’t been to the casting studio before, Google directions, and make sure you leave early. No one wants to feel rushed going into an audition. I like to arrive 30 minutes early to have time to park, calm myself, run over my lines, and prepare myself mentally.
STEP 6 – Show time! Always bring your photo and resume with you. The creative team may not need it, as things are becoming more digital, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m not going to lie, I still get nervous, but I’ve realized fear can either swallow you, or you can use it in a positive way, and I try to use fear as adrenaline to pump me up. The director/producers may be very chatty and ask you questions, or they may say noting. Don’t worry about any of this. The important thing is to go with the flow and concentrate on doing the best job you can with the character. Be brave and make strong choices. The director will tell you if you’re way off, but it’s better to choose a distinct path than to ride the fence. They are seeing the same scenes being performed 100 times… Give them something new and exciting.
STEP 7 – LISTEN! The casting director/director/producers will most likely ask to see the scene performed in a different way. This is nothing to say your performance was bad, in fact, it means they like you enough to see what else you can do, and how well you take direction. Listen and ask questions if you are confused as to what they want you to change.
STEP 8 – The waiting game. Some people think you book every audition you go on. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You could go on 30 auditions before you book a job. Rejection isn’t easy but you can’t take things personally in this business. I ask my agent for feedback, as I always want to do better, but sometimes you don’t get the part because your eyes are the wrong colour. No matter what happens, don’t give up!
I’m off to my audition now. Do any of you have experience with auditions? Any questions? Comment below!