Make it Sparkle: Why Talent isn’t Enough in the Audition Room and What to Do About it

shutterstock_1070141246It’s a hard truth of the acting business that talent will only get you so far. Unfortunately, talent is only one of many, many factors that play into the casting decisions. Some of them you can control, some you can’t. But today we’re focusing on that elusive quality that makes you pop once you get in the room. Some call it star-power or charisma. It’s that thing that draws a casting director into the actor, not just the character they’re portraying. 


True, some people seem born with this kind of magic aura. But there are steps all of us can take to be more personable in the room, to connect on a genuine level. Here are some things you can do to add that extra layer of frosting on your in-person auditions.


    1. Enter the Room with Purpose. You are auditioning the second you walk in the building. By the time you get in the actual room, you want to be on your A-game. Remember body language makes a strong first impression. Move with confidence, eyes up and ready to connect, and walk with intention. If you’re letting your nerves take over, walking like you’re being led to the guillotine, it’s going to show. Do some work before you get into the room. Get your head in a space where you’re excited to be there, feel you deserve to be there, and can have fun. That extra sparkle will set you apart and make you look not only more professional, but like someone the auditors might actually want to work with.
    2. Connect with the Table. Don’t dissipate all that good energy by immediately looking for your mark, or figuring out where to put the bag you didn’t want to leave in the lobby, or whatever. Make your first order of business to connect with the people behind the table. Greet them warmly, honestly, and relax into it. Look them in the eyes. Don’t force contact or handshakes unless they initiate, but be open, friendly. Engage in some small talk or banter when it feels right. Really take them in as people. An honest connection will make you more memorable and set you up to be more at ease during your audition. 
    3. Take up Space. A surefire way to kill any star sparkle you’ve established is to rush through like you’re scared of wasting their time. This is your time. Fill the space. Own the time it takes to audition. Apologies have no place here. You have zero time for fear. In the audition room, you must be Beyoncé in a sold-out stadium. You have to see yourself as the star before they will.
    4. Be the Answer. Tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself, make playlists, do jumping jacks in the bathroom, whatever it takes to make yourself believe–just for the day–that you are the answer. This part is yours. You are the only real option. You don’t have to hurry or worry because you’re going to stroll in there like you own the place. (But, like, in a cool, down-to-earth, charismatic way…not an arrogant way). As we’ve all heard so many times before, remember they want you to be the answer. So create that mythology around yourself. Let that become your story. At the very least, it will allow you to relax and be yourself. If you’re lucky, it might translate into that extra bit of panache that sets you apart.


  • Leave a Good Taste in Their Mouths. Your exit is just as important as your entrance. Let the last line of the audition settle gracefully, disengage calmly, and reconnect with your auditors before making any move to leave. Don’t break the spell by hustling out like you’re trying to beat traffic.



So much in this business is subjective and out of your control. You can’t help it if the producers hate your look, or if you’re too tall or short for the person they’re casting opposite, or if the CD is having a bad day and you remind them of their ex. What you can control is your personality in the room, how you package your audition. For these few minutes, you own the room. For these few minutes, let yourself believe you’re the star they’re looking for. A little bit of magic goes a long way.

This entry was posted in Acting Tips, Audition Tips, Career Advice. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at

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