Auditioning for TV and film roles is a huge deal. A major role in TV or film can make a huge difference in your career. Success in a TV or film audition can catalyst for a long-lasting acting career. Preparation is important for all auditions. As the stakes are high and the chance to win can seem overwhelming, these auditions can be very daunting. You need to keep your head up and do all you can to be confident and relaxed when you walk into an audition room.
When the Audition arrives
Your agent will first email you the casting location and date/time. The sides that you need to learn are also included. Although it is unlikely you will receive the entire episode or the complete film script, they don’t just give them out randomly. You will most likely receive a 1-to-3-page scene with your character and perhaps a brief description.
A quick tip: If your scene is from the project for which you are auditioning, note the page number in the script. The stakes for characters are generally higher the further you go.
Analysis and Research
Once you’ve finished reading the script and gotten as much information as possible, do some research on the writer and director. You can also look at their previous work to get an idea of the style and tone. Research the piece’s history, especially if it is set in a particular historical period.
Learn Your Lines
Now learn your lines and get them down to the ground. My housemates and I used to learn lines together, and then we would work in groups and perform scenes while engaging in challenging physical activities like squats, bridges, or burpees. Although it sounds strange, it was my idea. If you could practice the lines under physical stress and manage them, it might help you prepare for the mental and emotional stress in the casting room.
Prepare, Don’t Plan
Whatever way you do it, as long as you are successful, prepare well. Preparation is key. This means that you don’t need to know everything, every win, or how you’ll get there. Expect to surprise both yourself and the reader. Cameras love spontaneity. You are likely to surprise yourself.
The Waiting Room
Now, you’re ready to start preparing.
You can either walk into a waiting room 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled time, and it’s empty save for one actor dressed in an alarmingly similar fashion to you. Then you hug and give each other a curt wink. It could be crowded with mildly anxious people trying to find their way in life.
The casting director will be your first Audition. A reader may also be available. Although group auditions are uncommon for film, they are not impossible. It would be best if you were friendly and polite but professional. Your goal is to complete the job, not impress anyone.
Please thank everyone, and then get on with your life. After large auditions, I like having something to do right afterwards. It doesn’t matter what activity it is, as long as you don’t have time to reflect on your performance or things that could have been done better.
Callbacks can be unpredictable. Depending on the project, callbacks can take place weeks, months, or days after your first audition. It may be the same script you auditioned for, or it could be something completely different. It is possible that you won’t be called back for the same role you auditioned for. This is where anything could happen. Recall step 1 and go back to preparation.
But what if it’s a self-tape? (At Home Audition).
Very good question!
Self-tape auditions are a popular option, especially at this moment. This has been a good thing for actors because it is convenient and allows them to shoot in their own homes. You can also do as many takes or as they wish. It’s not easy. Self-tapes require a strong home setup and the right mindset to be successful without the assistance of a casting director.
Quick Trick: Most actors have their auditions at the last minute. Casting directors and producers often review actors’ work as it comes in. If you submit your work early, your work will likely be seen and given a positive first impression.
This is a guideline of what you can expect at a TV or film audition. This is a slightly different process from theatre and commercial work, so you must adjust your approach. This guide was a great tool. I wish you all the best for the next time you’re in the room.