How to Prepare for an Audition
With the right preparation, you can excel at your audition and get the part of your dreams. Be sure to research the part, the character, and the director. Practice as much as possible for your audition. Before your audition, sleep well, eat breakfast, and dress comfortably yet neutrally. Break a leg!
Researching the Part
Familiarize yourself with the overview of the event.Research the event to learn more about the history or nature of the performance. Knowing all of the players or parts and understanding the tone and style of the play will help you get into the role and excel during the audition. Read everything you can find regarding the part and the audition.
- If you can't find much information on the part itself, try to research the director to understand their other works. This will still give you an inside understanding at what they may expect.
- Go to the library and find books on the play or event.
- Read the entire play multiple times to familiarize yourself with the content.
- Search Google for similar music or dance performances.
Research the role so you understand the character’s arc.Research the particular character or role as much as you can. This will help you get into character even before you start practicing lines. Understanding the character or role will help you nail the scene you’re assigned because you deeply understand the character or role.
- For music auditions, you can look into your instrument or member's significance. For example, if you are trying out for an indie rock band, what was their last drummer like? Where does the band find their musical inspiration?
- For dance auditions, You can research your part in relation to the performance. Are you the dance lead, or a supporting dancer? For example, If you are auditioning for the lead part in Swan Lake, look up who has played this part before and what qualities the part embody (such as graceful).
- For theater auditions, if you are trying out for Ophelia’s role inHamlet, look up who she was, what she did in the play, and the historical significance of her character.
Learn about the director and the casting agent.Research who they are, their background, and other gigs worked on. You will feel more comfortable putting a face to a name and having a sense of familiarity with who you are auditioning for.
- Type the director or name of the play into Google and see what you can find. Ask other actors or casting directors if they are familiar with the character or the director.
- For dance auditions, contact the rehearsal director.
- For music auditions, you can learn about the conductor and composer.
Practicing for the Audition
Memorize your lines, songs, or music.Start memorizing your part as far in advance as you can. Memorize your lines or music exactly as you will be performing them in the audition. Practice your lines or your music over and over until you know it by heart.
- If you are unfamiliar with a word, look it up and familiarize yourself.
- If a part is particularly tricky, give yourself extra time to perfect it.
- If you are asked to "cold read" either lines or music, don't sweat it! Stay focused on the lines or the music and get into the part.
Rehearse with friends or in front of a mirror.Saying your lines, playing the music, or practicing your dance routine in advance will help you confidently deliver your part during the audition. Find friends to rehearse lines with, reading off of the script. You can also recite your part or practice your choreography in front of a mirror.
- Also practice improvising your lines and going off book.
Get into character by altering your accent, body language, or clothing if necessary.The audition is based around how well you can get into your role, whether it be a dance, character, or musical performance. Embody your role by using an accent, altering your body language, or using props.
- If you are auditioning for a guitar part, be the guitarist. Be confident and bold, and don’t worry if all eyes are on you during a solo.
- If you are auditioning for a play, ask yourself what the character would say or do. Infer as much as you can as if you were the character.
Practice sight reading so you are prepared for anything.Sight reading, or “cold reading,” is reading material with little or no time to prepare in advance. In some auditions, you will perform music or recite lines without reviewing them before. Practice auditioning with unfamiliar work to become comfortable with sight reading during your audition.
- Find an unfamiliar play and practice acting out lines.
- Grab a piece of sheet music and start playing without looking at the entire piece.
Getting Physically Ready for the Audition
Get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before.Try to sleep for at least 8 hours so you are well rested and wake up refreshed. Sleeping well will ensure you perform as best as you can during your audition.
- If you are nervous for your big day, try going to bed early, meditating before bed, and keeping your room dark.
Eat a large, balanced meal with protein before your audition.Try to eat something with protein for energy, though don’t overstuff yourself. Some auditions last a long time, so eating high-energy food will help you keep your energy up throughout the audition process.
- Eggs and fruit are good choices for breakfast.
- For lunch, try a large salad with nuts or fish.
Avoid consuming dairy, coffee, or spicy foods before singing auditions.Foods with dairy produce mucous which can alter the sound of your voice. Coffee and spicy foods are harsh on the throat and not conducive to singing.
Dress comfortably yet professionally in neutral, flattering clothing.Wear something you will feel comfortable and confident in but that doesn’t grab too much attention. Avoid dressing in costume; you will be styled to fit the part later. You want to look professional and neutral so you can fit any role.
- Avoid wearing bulky jewelry, or choosing loose clothing.
- Wear shoes that are closed-toed, lightweight, and comfortable, like flats or sneakers. Do not wear flip flops
- If you are auditioning for a music role, tailor your outfit to fit the genre while still looking professional. For example, if you are trying out for a rock band, wear a black button-down shirt.
Style your hair to flatter your face.With whatever hairstyle, make sure it flatters your face rather than hiding your features. Comb your hair out of your face or tie up your hair in a ponytail.
- You can also use small clips or bobby pins to help hold hair off your face if need be.
Trying out for the Part
Come early and know what to expect.Arrive to your audition at least 15 minutes early to show your initiative and time management. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your schedule. Review the audition notice to make sure you know the audition guidelines.
- Check in when you arrive and be ready to audition at any time. You never know the schedule the casting director is working with.
- Introduce yourself and the part you are auditioning for.
- Expect to audition with the casting director, a cameraman, and a reader. There may be directors, producers, and associates in the room with you. Be prepared to audition in front of any number of people.
- Be ready to alter your prepared material and to "cold read."
Clear your schedule so you aren’t worried about timing.Eliminate any stress or worry during the day of your audition. If you can, don’t schedule other arrangements into your day. Have time to arrive early and stay late.
- Expect delays in the audition process. Some auditions run over their time, and some applicants will show up late.
Improvise if you forget your lines.If you forget a line of the monologue, fake it. It is better to improvise than to freeze. This will show the casting director that you are flexible and can roll with the punches. Most won't even notice and the ones who do will appreciate your creativity and ability to keep your performance going under duress.
- You can do this for music and dance auditions, as well as theater. If you forget your music, try to improvise something similar on the spot. If you are dancing and go out of your sequence, improvise your moves until you get back on track. This will at least show your creativity and ability to adapt.
Act and speak with confidence in yourself.You’ve practiced the part, you’ve done the research, now it is time to show them what you can do! Act confidently as you arrive to the audition, and know that you will do the best you can.
Be patient when waiting for a decision.You never know what schedule the directors are working on. You could receive a call back that same day, or weeks or years later. Be patient and don't worry if you don't get a call back immediately!
- It is not common to contact the director or casting agent about the status of your audition. They live very busy lives.
- Though, you can request feedback on your audition. After the cast list is posted, you should submit a request within 1 week. You will typically receive feedback within 1 month, though this varies. You can get feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and ways to improve.
QuestionI'm going to be auditioning for a play and I'm not feeling confident. Four of my friends with amazing voices are also auditioning, and I really want the main role. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's hard, but just focus on you. Don't worry about what your friends are doing. You never know what the director will be looking for, maybe you have that special something. Practice your singing and acting, be as prepared as possible for the audition, and go in and do your best. If you don't get the lead, accept it and move on. There will be plenty of other performances.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell if I did a good job on an audition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome directors or casting agents are really easy to read. Check to see if they're smiling or if it's a comedy, laughing. My director will usually talk about a scene giving her goosebumps, which is a very good thing! But the most important thing is how you feel. If you think you did good on your audition, you probably did!Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get more tips on an audition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake the media/song/whatever you are using to audition with be something you can emotionally relate to. It makes it easier to portray emotion, and will impress the judges more.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if my friend brags about the part he/she got that I wanted to get?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell him/her it's making you feel bad; if the person is your friend, the bragging will stop.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I am auditioning for the first time and I'm only given the script when I get there?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhat you are describing is called a "cold reading." Many casting directors will give these to you to see how well you can deal with new things and adapt easily. If you ever get nervous while you are reading, pinpoint a spot either above the casting director or beside them, and look there. This can help you seem confident by appearing to maintain eye contact.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get the script before auditions?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSometimes you can find it online, or if it is an older play a library may have a copy. New plays are often under extremely strict licensing policies and scripts are only available online. Try visiting the publisher's website and seeing if you can order an individual copy without purchasing performance rights.Thanks!
QuestionSo I am auditioning for a Shakespeare play, and there are a few words I don't quite know how to pronounce. Amy ideas on how to learn how to pronounce them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you know the director of the play, try asking them how to pronounce the words a few days before your audition. You can also look up the words; there are many great websites that help with Shakespeare's pronunciations. Try your best and remember that no one's perfect. Many others are probably struggling with the same problem.Thanks!
QuestionHow should I prepare for acting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, focus on what you are going to act, then learn more about it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if it's a very large crowd?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBe brave! I remember going out for a very, very large crowd! I was extremely nervous, having stage fright, but always remember that, no one's opinion will matter, because the people you audition for are people you probably won't see again.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I drink before my audition?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWater. It's best to play it safe and go with a natural voice preparation drink.Thanks!
Can I audition for more than one person?
To prepare for an audition, start by practicing your lines or music as early as you can so that you know them by heart. Additionally, spend time getting into character by changing your accent, clothing, or body language if necessary. You should also rehearse in front of friends if you can, or with a mirror, which will help you perform more confidently. Then, get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before the audition, and eat a balanced meal with some extra protein for energy before you go.
- Remember, there will always be more auditions. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying until you do.
- Stay calm before and during your audition. Try to channel your excitement into your performance to make it vibrant and exciting for the panel or audience. But of course, be yourself!
- Don't compare yourself to others. Worrying about how other people performed will only make you doubt yourself. Just remember that if you put a lot of effort into your preparations, you should be confident in your abilities.
- Bring extra water and some snacks. Auditions can take all day.
- Speak clearly and confidently. Be sure to smile!
- Do not trash talk other performers who are at the audition. Not only will the directors find out, this will result in others not wanting to work with you, which damages your reputation and prevents you from enjoying future opportunities.
- Do not attempt to use bribes to get a part. It doesn't work and can ruin your reputation, as well as undermine your value and talent as a performer.
Video: How to Prepare for Acting Auditions!
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