Tag Archives: Callback

5 Ways To Prepare For Your Audition

The truth is that some people can be great actors but terrible at auditions. There’s the pressure, the nerves, and the last minute notice that can sometimes eat away at a person to the extent that they completely flub their audition. This can happen over and over again to talented actors, who have a hard […]

The truth is that some people can be great actors but terrible at auditions. There’s the pressure, the nerves, and the last minute notice that can sometimes eat away at a person to the extent that they completely flub their audition. This can happen over and over again to talented actors, who have a hard time booking any roles, or even getting callbacks because they were so nervous and uptight on the day of their audition. Some big name actors even used to struggle with their audition process, to the point that they took years before they even started booking gigs regularly. Aaron Eckhart is one of them — he said that it took years before he started getting called back from auditions because he was so bad at them. He said that it took his friend casting him in a short film before he was really able to overcome his nerves and anxieties in the audition room. And he’s gone on to build a hugely successful career in Hollywood, so there’s still hope for you yet!

So how do you overcome this? How do you adequately prepare for your audition in a way that gives you the best chance to succeed once you get in the audition room?

Here are 5 things you should do to make sure that you’re not a nervous-wreck and can begin to get yourself prepared when you find out about an upcoming audition:

Memorize your lines, but don’t over memorize your performance: During an audition, it’s easy for actors to become stiff and calculated because they are so afraid of screwing up that they have the entire performance of the scene mapped out in their head. This leads to a lack of flexibility in the scene, openness to discover new things about the scene and your character, as well as dropping out of the scene because you’re completely in your own head instead of being present in the moment. That’s why you should make sure your lines are memorized, but act out the scene in a variety of different ways so that you can continually keep surprising yourself with your performance. That way the scene is constantly evolving and changing. The scene should never be the same each time. You need to move and speak in a way that feels the most authentic in that particular moment. Also, you want to be adaptable so if the casting director asks you to perform the scene a second time, but this time in a completely different way than before, you’re comfortable and ready for it.

Understand your character and the circumstances they’re in: The lines that you speak are important, but what’s even more important than that is the character you’re supposed to be playing and the particular circumstance they’re in. Once you begin to get a grasp on your character and the obstacles they’re facing (IE. what’s driving the scene and what’s your character’s motive?) then you’ll be much more comfortable playing with the lines once you get into the actual audition. You can start to play with the type of voice they use, the little nuances in which they deliver particular words, and unique mannerisms they may possess. Then the actual lines you’re speaking will take on more layers and be delivered with much more power and authenticity. Also, by having a handle on the deeper issues surrounding your scene, the more relaxed you’ll be, the more you’ll listen to what the person reading with you is saying, and the less focused you’ll be on the actual words that you’re supposed to deliver and the more focused you’ll be on the emotion behind the words.

Choose the appropriate wardrobe: This should go without saying, but don’t dress in a suit if you’re going to read for a role of a college student, or a slacker, or a stoner. On the flip side, don’t wear shrubby clothes if your character is supposed to be a Wall Street trader. If you’re given sides beforehand, there should be a breakdown of the character you’re playing at the top, or on a different page altogether. It’s absolutely essential that you read through that carefully and understand the type of person you’re going to be playing. Also, what you wear to your audition is going to show the casting director how you interpreted that particular character. It will show that you read through all the information you were given, took the time and prepared, as well as brought in your own ideas and interpreted the character in your own way. That’s exactly what they want. They want to see what your interpretation of this character is. They want to see something different than they’ve seen hundreds of times already today.

Don’t over-prepare: What’s interesting is that a lot of actors will tell you that they ended up booking big roles from auditions they thought went terribly. They only got the sides last minute, or didn’t have time to prepare, and so they went into the audition expecting nothing to come from it. And then, boom! They end up booking their biggest role yet. This is because they didn’t over-prepare. They allowed themselves to play around and be loose in the moment. They didn’t put that extra pressure on themselves to book the role because they knew they had a scapegoat to blame: they didn’t have enough time to practice! They were more relaxed than usual, and just allowed the result of the scene to be discovered within that performance. Meryl Streep has a famous quote:

Sometimes under-preparation is very good because it instills fear and fear is galvanizing. It makes you break out of yourself. If you’re prepared, then you think you’re ready, and if you think you’re ready, then you’re not ready.”

We’re by no means advising you to forget about your preparation altogether, because it’s definitely important that you prepare, but there’s something to be said for not being so rehearsed that there’s no room for spontaneity.

Be ready to jump and forget your preparation when the scene starts: You can rehearse and practice all you want, but when that scene starts, you’re going to forget about everything you did to prepare for it. It’s just going to be about being present in that moment. This again, goes back to the point about understanding your character and the circumstances (obstacles) they’re facing. If you know those deeper facets of the scene and the script then you’ll have a better chance of staying in the moment and driving the scene in the direction that you’re expected to. Sure it’s going to be a little nerve-wracking, your heart is going to flutter like a butterfly, and your palms are going to turn into little pools of sweat, but that’s what acting is all about. You want to be excited, a little nervous, and be able to deliver an exciting and enthralling performance. You just have to trust your instincts, go for it, and don’t expect the perfect performance every single time.

Like with anything, often the lead up is the most nerve-wracking part. You build it all up in your head, play out worst-case scenarios and catastrophic results, until you’re exhausted and freaked out. You have to find a way to relax, and put the appropriate work in, but most importantly, understand that it’s not going to go perfectly every time. There’s times you’re not going to feel good about your audition but you can always take pride in the fact that you did your best to prepare your A-Game for audition day. Who knows, the auditions you didn’t think went very well will probably be the ones you end up booking anyways.

5 Key Tips for Actors To Always Remember When Auditioning

So now the day has arrived. It’s the day of your audition. Like is the case with most actors, you’ll wake up with that butterfly feeling fluttering in your stomach. You’ll go through the motions of your day with that tingling anticipation and excitement. Today it’s your time to shine! Today could be the day […]


So now the day has arrived. It’s the day of your audition. Like is the case with most actors, you’ll wake up with that butterfly feeling fluttering in your stomach. You’ll go through the motions of your day with that tingling anticipation and excitement. Today it’s your time to shine! Today could be the day it all changes. But only if you come through, maintain your composure, and stick with the game plan.

Off to the audition you go, making the walk, or the drive, with that old familiar theme running through your head: “Is this going to be my moment?” Everything seems to be moving in slow motion and the world grows quiet, as if it senses that today is extra important to you. Hopefully you’ve done everything in your power to prepare, and it’s now up to the acting gods to guide you, to lead you through a brilliant audition, and hopefully onto that role you’ve been waiting for.

So what are some of the most important things to have in mind when you’re in the audition room? It can be a scary place, so to make sure everything goes well, we’ve outlined five things for you to always remember when auditioning!

You’re the one driving the story: One of the basic differences between a performance in an audition and a performance on an actual set is you’re the number one story driver during an audition. All the focus is on you. The casting directors are less focused on the complete story, and are more so focused on how you can drive their story. On a set you’re a small piece in a greater story, but when it’s your time to audition, you’re up there showing them why they should cast you. So during auditions the performances are a little bigger than on a set, because you really want to make an impact. Show them that they can base a story around you, and that they should base a story around you.

Who/What/When/Where/Why: Always remember your five W’s. Even if you get your sides ten minutes before you’re due to audition. Always know who you are in the scene with, what you’re doing in the scene, when the scene is happening, where the scene is happening, and why this circumstance or situation is happening. It’s essential so that even if you don’t have the lines completely memorized, you’ll at least be able to ground yourself in the scene.

The Golden Frame: During an audition, you have your mark and you have very little leeway to move from that mark. This makes it essential that you’re as still as possible when you’re doing your audition. If you plan on performing an action or stepping out of frame at all, make sure you tell them beforehand so they’re prepared for it. If you tell them a particular action you’re going to perform at a certain moment in the scene, it shows that you’re confident, have done your homework, and know what you want to do with the scene. Just always be weary of that frame in which your audition is being captured.

If you screw up, just keep going: The absolute worst thing you can do during your audition is mess up a line and start to lose your cool and drop out of the scene. If you mess a line up, just forget about it and keep going. Even better, you can use your own mistake and use it to add something to the scene. By doing that, you’ll impress them on your ability to improvise and redeem yourself. It could be a simple moment like that, which helps you book the role. Messing up is a scary thought, but what’s worse than screwing up is acknowledging yourself that you screwed up. Just move on and pretend like that was what you intended to do all along.

Be polite, be yourself and show off your personality: Those first few minutes when you walk into the room, before you begin your audition as you’re running through your slate, is your time. By this we mean, it is your time to show off who you are as a person. So make sure you’re enthusiastic, friendly, polite, confident, and the type of person they would want to work with. You can be funny, charming and endearing, which is only going to bode well for you when it comes time to choosing callbacks, and eventually casting. Also be sure to thank them for seeing you when your audition is finished, and then exit the room promptly and be on your way.

It goes without saying, but it’s important to be off book whenever possible. Of course there are situations where you get your sides minutes beforehand or the sides are very lengthy and it can’t be expected. But if you’ve been given adequate time to prepare the material, make sure you’re off book and ready to rock. Actors can bring the sides into the audition but it is important that the actors stay focused on the person opposite them in the scene not buried with their head in the script. Most importantly always listen to your instincts. If you have an idea in audition, let yourself be free to go with it.

The audition room can be a scary place to many actors who aren’t used to it. But that antagonizing fear of auditioning can be overcome with practice, practice, and more practice. The only way you’re going to overcome the nerves and the fear of failing in a miserable fashion is by doing it a lot. Going out there, making mistakes, learning from them and overcoming it and redeeming yourself. So start right now and improve your auditions. This list we put together is a pretty good guideline to start with. Eventually, you’ll get so comfortable with auditioning that you’ll start booking things regularly with a completely carefree Sunday walk-in-the-park attitude.

Now go off, step into that audition room, hit your mark and book it!