Audition Skills

It may seem like being a good actor should lead to getting good parts but that’s not necessarily the case. Auditioning is a much different skill set than acting and to be successful, you have to be good at both.

You hear about plenty of people who are great workers but are bad in interviews or plenty of students who are incredibly smart but they are bad test-takers. Acting and auditioning is that same relationship.

Being a good actor means that when you show up on the day of the shoot, surrounded by the set and the other actors, having had conversations with the director about who your character is, having already become familiar with the people with whom you’ll be working, you are able to give a great performance. This isn’t easy and you probably know that already, that’s why you go to acting classes and you study and you practice.

Auditioning is an entirely different skill that also has to be studied and practiced before it can be perfected. When you audition, you have to calm your nerves while waiting in a room full of your competitors, hearing the auditions of other people before you. You have to act with a “reader” who most likely isn’t an actor, and isn’t right for the role they are reading. You have to pretend to be in the middle of the scenery, when in reality, you’re in a small room with a blue wall and a small chair. You have to get into character in the few seconds you have from the waiting room to the auditioning room and you have to be charming while doing all of it. On top of all of that, you have to hear a note from the casting director and take it into consideration for maybe a minute before turning it back around into something casting wants to see.

So practice that skill! Work that muscle. Take classes that focus on auditioning techniques. Put yourself in situations similar to an audition, like improv shows or workshops that give you the material ahead of time.

Once you learn how to give your best audition, you can put those acting skills to the test.

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Taylor Reid

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