Improve Every Audition

by Nicole Arbusto/Casting Director & Acting Coach

Audition written on corkboard

Auditioning can be scary. Be prepared and it will go smoother. Here are five simple ways every actor can improve their next audition.

If you are a new, budding actor, your first few auditions can be very nerve wracking and even downright scary or terrifying. It's okay to be nervous. Being stressed and fearful is natural and it's bound to happen to you. A little (or a lot) of apprehension is perfectly acceptable. But what is absolutely unacceptable is for you to be ill prepared for your audition. Here are five simple ways every actor can improve their next audition.

Seems obvious but I don't mean learning your lines. You don't need to be "off book" ( have it totally memorized ) just be comfortable and familiar with the words so you're not searching for them and you can be present and responsive. Bring water, something to amuse yourself in case you have to wait, quarters for the meter. Look up the credits of who you're going to meet. Every audition is an opportunity to meet someone new or show someone you already know how your work has progressed.

Do your best to read the script, they're often posted and even if you only have 30 minutes you can at least get a quick impression of the tone and setting of the piece. Don't be the person who goes to an audition and asks "Is this a comedy?" What that says is "I haven't given this much thought".

Read thru the sides you've been given as if you're reading a story. There is often so much information about the character even in a two page scene. When you're reading the material feeling anxious and thinking what am I going to do with this, you're not open to what is right there on the page. Just relax and read it thru a few times without acting it out in your head. Open yourself and pick up on the clues. Then use what you've discovered to make it yours.

You are at your audition to work as an actor. Every audition is an opportunity to perform for an audience. No, it is not a "performance" but it is still acting. Forget about who is in the waiting room, the quality of the reader, the response in the room. Focus on what you can control - your work. Do the best job you can with what you have, your material and your work in the moment. Forget about whether or not they shook your hand. That is not important. Focus on this little moment in time and the opportunity to act.

Say thank you and leave. Do keep a record of who you read for and the projects they have you in for - it'll help you next time you're in for them. But don't waste a lot of time wondering when you'll hear, why you didn't get it. Again, that's not in your control. You need to focus on your next audition.
Nicole Arbusto is a casting director and audition coach in Los Angeles, California. Her company has cast seven films that have premiered at Sundance, they have cast pilots at NBC, UPN and Fox, and have worked with regional theaters The Cleveland Playhouse, Seattle Rep and Kansas City Rep. She has a BA in Theatre from Smith College. For more information visit or call 213-739-0556 for a coaching appointment.

Copyright © Nicole Arbusto. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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Reader Comments

Hi my name is Mark osajele I an a Nigerian it has been my dream to join the acting crew I hope you accept me

Posted by Mark (2019-01-25) 13058

Hi! I'm Nathan, a 13-year-old from PA. I'm a huge ran of reading, wrnitig and theater. I am a member of the International Thespian Society, have been in over seven musicals and am attending the PA Thespian State Conference in December. I would be intersted in having my acting featured in an upcoming project.

Posted by Betty (2013-01-04) 6374

Will you do an article that will help you become into character or more into character?

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Posted by Ryoko (2012-06-03) 5913

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