Top 5 Acting Audition Tips for Hollywood Actors
“What am I doing wrong!?!?!” you might ask yourself the next day after your 3rd audition that week. It’s frustrating – you rarely get any feedback after you put yourself out there. And your reward for your efforts? Constant doubt about your abilities, the way you look, and your age, height, hair color, and the list goes on. After enough auditions where you come close, or fall flat on your face, you might be thinking of quitting, or a different career – maybe dental hygienist? Or, maybe you are desperately searching for the latest “trick” to add to your “bag of tricks”. But sooner or later, another audition will come up, and you’ll find yourself thinking “I’m perfect for this part” and wondering “what can I do to book this %*#@ing job”?
The truth is, there are so many elements that are out of your hands in an audition. Too many to list, you have to know that by now! All you can do is deliver the goods in the room – in front of the casting director, on tape, or in front of directors and producers, and then you have to “let it go” and get on with your life as it is. I know you’ve heard that before.
So how can you “deliver the goods” in the room? What are some key tools and techniques that will make your audition different from the 20 other Barbies and Kens waiting to go in after you? Why would anyone give a shit about your performance anyway? We have 5 tips for you that will perk up ears, and make even the most jaded casting agents look up from their iPhones and take notice.
#1 The Moment Before: Every scene has an opening, a setup, a first line. What is your character thinking and doing? Ask yourself, what were you doing? Thinking about? Establishing what the moment just before that first line comes will help give you that extra “something something”, that added bit of interest, and yours will be different from anyone elses.
#2 Backstory: With each audition you’ll get sides and a character breakdown. Usually the breakdown is short and kind of a brass tacks description, maybe just 2-3 lines. Frankly, this is usually not a lot to go on. Your character is a person with ah history, a unique history with all of the other characters in the scenes you’ve been given. Start thinking about your characters possible past. What events have transpired to shape this person? What prior interactions might they have had with the other characters? By creating a backstory, you will add depth and dimension to your performance.
#3 Listen: Sounds obvious right? Not so my friend. Listening is a skill, maybe one of the hardest to acquire and perfect. Listen to the person reading with you. How are they delivering the lines? How does it make you feel? Perhaps the intonation implied something? If you have your mind completely made up before you go into the audition, you won’t be able to react appropriately to the person reading with you. LISTEN!
#4 Strong Choices: Each line in a script has a purpose. Think about that for a second. Literally each line of dialogue has a specific purpose. That’s profound. And, it means you have your work cut out for you. As you go through the sides, make notes about what your “thoughts” are for each given line. For example, the line might be “Billy, not tonight I have a headache”, but really the thought might be “I’m mad at you from earlier, or, lately I fee like you’ve been taking me for granted”. See how different the outcome can be when the thought is changed? Now, make a strong choice. Which way do you want to go with it? Commit to your choice. Right or wrong, you will be taking your character to a place that many won’t even think of.
#5 Let it go: Probably the most important one on the list is this one right here. Please, for your friends, for your family, for yourself, don’t torture yourself. Just let it go. Do your homework, go into the room and lay it out, and then drop it. Chances are you won’t get any feedback, and there won’t be any constructive criticism coming your way afterwards. So, Let it go. You’ve done your best, and maybe you royally %$&*ed up. Maybe you aced it. You learn either way.
Auditioning is just part of the job, and it’s a skill. Auditioning is kind of like singing in a music video. Your mouth is moving, you are sort of performing, but it’s kind of fake. You want to give an impression of who you are, and what your abilities are. With so many factors out of your control even just in the room, you have to just treat it as “practice” for the real thing.
We hope you found something useful in our Top 5 Acting Audition Tips for Actors in Hollywood. Now, go break something and enjoy the process!