Your talent, your look, what the casting director/producer is looking for etc. can all go a long way in scoring you a part, but so can you as a person, and I don’t mean the fact that you and the panel are as thick as thieves within the first few minutes of your audition. That might all be dashed if you don’t display the one thing that you must hold incredibly dear in this business – your sense of professionalism. People are more likely to look at you and take you seriously as an actor if you look like you take your career seriously. Nobody wants to employ someone who seems like they ‘just thought I’d give acting a crack’.
In any profession you are in, you expected to know your stuff. If you were going for a job at a company, you’d have a quick look online, see how well they’re doing and what they specialise in, the kind of thing you will be expected to know. No different in the acting world. What has the director done before? What is the company into? Any names attached? Is the project on IMDB? The more research you do, the better prepared you will be going into that audition room.
At my most recent audition I turned up fifteen minutes early. The audition was a group talk followed by a group improvisation session and then our monologues. At the end, I was complimented on my professionalism. The director said: “We got a thousand emails and only a few had showreels, so we knew what we were getting beforehand. And you’ve obviously practiced your camera technique because we got the best benefit of your face throughout your monologue.”
They seem like little things that I had done to ensure I was in a good standing before I even walked in the room, but these were the little things that eventually paid off and got me the job.
I knew my stuff and stood out. As an example to the opposite, there was an actor who didn’t arrive on time and therefore had not been privy to the little talk the director had given us before the audition, missing out on some information that may have proved vital to him..
Nobody wants to employ a rookie. So don’t act like one. Accept your acting as a business – even and especially auditions, as if they are work - and treat them as such. Arrive on time. Do the research on the company you’re auditioning for. Make sure that the piece you have chosen, if you’ve been chosen to do one, reflects the part you are in the running for. Know enough about the camera to know where best to look so it gets the best of your face. Feel free to ask questions and fact find so that it shows you are thinking about it seriously. Have everything on your Spotlight page or website up to date. And for goodness sake, get yourself a showreel. You have no idea how much further in the running it puts you. And if that is a problem, do some student stuff just so you have something of you on camera and build it up the better work you get.
- Do your research, no excuses.
- Get yourself a showreel – see last week’s article
- Work on your acting technique for that vital moment
Article by Lexi Wolfe for The Actors' Cafe