Tips to Increase Your Chances to Work as an Actor
by Amy Lyndon
An actor must approach an audition like an athlete, the more you practice the more jobs you will book.
Understand The Principles Of Hard Work
The most important thing to remember when auditioning for any role is that only one person will get it. That one person could be you. If you are lazy and don't understand the principles of competition and hard work, don't expect miracles. You can never wing an audition. If you do you will most certainly end up in the 99% of actors who don't book. The Actor must approach acting like an Olympic Athlete, the more you practice the necessary skills the more you will book. When a high level of discipline and concentration on the work is achieved, you will see incredible results.
Research All Projects
It's important to research the credits of the creator, producer and director. If you understand the genre, tone and style of the show or film, your chances of booking will greatly increase.
Know The Location Of The Audition
Know exactly where you are going? Map it out the night before. You can also drive to it and scope out the parking situation. I'm sure you know that Los Angeles traffic and parking is a bear. Start out at least an hour earlier than you think is necessary.
Do Not Judge The Material
If you negatively judge your script, cancel the audition. You're never going to get inside or understand the material because you're too busy in your head making comments on it. You will never book that way. You need to accept that you are simply a clean vessel of pure emotion lending yourself to the material to channel the character from the writer's intent. If you want to be more than that, think about directing or writing. I would rather you look at the material from the writer's perspective rather than a directors. At least, then you'll understand why the writer wrote the character the way they did.
Read the material at least 10 times as if it were a novel. Understand the points of view of each character in the scene. You'll never understand the story or be in the scene if you make-up choices that are not suggested in the script about where the characters are coming from. The writer's intention always comes first. Read it exactly as written. What you read is the truth. If the character says that they hate the other person, then they hate the other person in that moment. Unless there's a parenthetical suggesting otherwise, don't make anything up just to impress them or to make it comfortable for you. Believe me, making "choices" is the biggest mistake an actor can make. The writer makes the choices for you. You want the writer in the room to say: "That actor read it exactly as I wrote it. That's the character!"
Know Your Role
Understand why your part is in the script then you'll know who you are and your place in the story. A lot of actors want so much to be remembered that they overshoot the audition by making their part too important. Unless you are the series lead or a major film star, you're simply there to move the story along. Don't try to be more important than the material in an attempt to impress. I.e., if you're serving drinks in the scene, then you're just a cocktail waitress. That's it.
Waiting To Audition
In the office before going into the audition is when the actors "psych out" usually happens. Protect your audition by knowing how to handle yourself in the waiting area.
Stay focused and don't look at anyone in the outer office. The moment that you catch someone's eye, they will talk to you. Once you engage with another actor you lose focus on what you need to be doing for your own audition. Stay off the phone. Find out who is signed up to audition before you. Once that person goes into the casting office, wait outside the door.
Never compare yourself to the other actors auditioning for the same role. If you're the one that looks out of place, that could be a great sign. You might be the one who is "the other way to go." Casting directors wouldn't be doing their job if they brought in all the same types of people. They need to bring a range of actors to present to their producers, directors, writers and sometimes the stars.
Don't look around the outer office and cast someone else in your part. Don't give them the part because you think they're dressed or look better than you for the role. This is a massive psyche out. They could have called in hundreds of other actors for your role. You have been asked to audition for a reason. The casting director must have seen something in your picture and resume that was right for that part. Know that you have just as great a shot at booking it as anyone. Do a little cheer for yourself, psyche yourself up and go in there and get the job.
Go For It
Commit to your homework and go for it! If you don't, someone else will. Which would you prefer, hitting a 10+ read in the room or knocking it out of the ballpark in your car on the way home?
After The Audition
If you're thinking about the audition for days afterwards and asking for feedback from your representatives, then you didn't do enough preparation. You know when you've hit it. You know when you've given your best. You don't need approval or feedback from anyone else about how you did. You know. Be honest with yourself. If you realize you didn't hit it this time, make sure you do the work and preparation to hit it the next time and every time.