Logistical Tips for Better Auditions

Every audition is different.  Different person, different room, different material.  One of the most important things for auditioning is to be CONFIDENT AND FLEXIBLE.

An audition is like any other job interview.  Be professional.  Be on time.  Be polite.  BE PREPARED.  The most common complaint from casting directors about actors is that they are not prepared.  Not really off-book, not really having made powerful specific choices about the scene and about the character, not really nailing the accent, etc . . . BE PREPARED.

The acting should be the same as always:  be specific and “hot” in your “Choices” about the character and the story, have an powerful “Intention” “Need” or reason for being in the scene. Be personal, be relaxed; be alive and available to the “Moment”–the real moment that is happening with your reader.

For the theater, you must “extend” your impulses and “hit the back of the theater” with your voice production, your “Intention”, your feelings.  For film/TV auditions, on the other hand, your performance must be tailored for a medium close-up (chest and shoulders in view, sitting in a chair or standing on a “mark” in an office. You are usually being recorded.  Your face will be 15-50 feet tall when people watch the close-up on the big screen.  Have the deepest emotional connection to what you are doing that you can imagine–and CONTAIN IT so that it burns out through your eyes.  CONNECT WITH YOUR READER.  Really.  With your full humanity.  CONNECT.

If either you or the casting director wants to chit-chat, then sit back in your chair, with confidence and certainty, and chit-chat as much as you feel is appropriate.

If you do not want to chit-chat for any reason, be it the difficult, emotional, or dangerous nature of the part or the scene; or your personal mood–then don’t.  Decline politely and ask if it would be okay if you began.  Do not FORCE chit-chat either.  They are busy.  They are working.  Respect that.  See that.  Take the “temperature of the room”.  Get to work.

I suggest always holding your sides–even if you won’t use them.  It strengthens the perception that this is “a work in progress”, not the best you could do with the part (even if it is).  And on the occasion that you “go up”–you have them.

Do not bring in props.  Keep it simple.  Use your sides whenever you can, your own pen or pencil, your earrings, your cellphone, your watch, or tying your shoes, fixing your make up, applying a lipstick if you feel the scene needs behavior or “business”.  Something small and personal that you have in your pocket or purse is the most that you ever want to use, if anything at all.  If you want to be eating/drinking, use something small (cup of water or coffee or gum) if you must.  If you have a weapon in the scene, just hold your hand the way it would hold the gun or the knife – DO NOT BRING ONE IN.   EVER.  If it is a love scene, DO NOT TOUCH the “reader” unless they specifically tell you to.  “DO IT” WITH YOUR EYES.

Finally–KNOW THE TONE OF THE PIECE!  Is it TV, Film, or a Play?  Is it a “broad comedy” or “farce” or “Serio-Comedy”?  Who is the director?  Do you know his or her work?  That is part of being prepared.  Preparation builds confidence.  Be ready.  GO.

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Adam Lazarre-White Adam Lazarre-White grew up in NYC, graduated from Harvard University with Honors, started at QB for the “Crimson” and played in the Harvard Jazz Band. He is known for roles on Scandal, Heroes, Ocean’s 13, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Temptations, Living Single, The Parkers, and starring on The Young & The Restless. Adam’s writing and directing have become equal pursuit in recent years; and he has owned his acting school in Hollywood, ALW Acting Studios since 2000. For info on Adam's classes, acting, writing & directing visit his website at www.adamlazarre-white.com