Green Shirt Studio

5 steps to a great audition


As actors, we have to audition. There’s no way around it. Even stars have to read for roles sometimes. It can be a stressful thing if you let it, and it is essential that actors have a process to make auditioning a constructive part of their acting lives. Here are five steps I’ve learned over the years for having a great audition that I find immensely helpful.

  1. Write out your script BY HAND a couple of times the night before your audition
    One of the biggest barriers between actors and a successful audition is not being familiar enough with the audition sides. Writing out your script by hand is an excellent way to deepen your connection to the audition text. Multiple studies have shown that writing by hand is an extremely effective tool in learning new material. Writing by hand also slows you down and lets the text work on you in a subconscious way, effectively making the words you have to say more personal to you. It is also a very helpful tool to aid your memorization. In my personal experience, I have found that writing out my script right before going to sleep amplifies all of these benefits. Having my script be the very last thing I’m thinking about as I fall asleep lets my work sink in. I often wake up more memorized than I thought I was and having the words mean more to me. That is a wonderful thing.
  1. Treat it like a normal day
    It is very easy to psych yourself out on audition days. I personally used to arrange elaborate routines for myself on days I had auditions. I would eat differently, listen to special music, call my friends to talk about my big opportunity. All this did for me was make me feel off, like my audition days weren’t part of my real life. It made me feel more anxious and made it seem as if the stakes of the day were unbearably high. That anxiety and frenetic energy would invariably follow me into the audition room. It just wasn’t helpful for me. Now, instead of treating auditions as exceptions to my routine, I treat them as part of my routine. Sure, I try to eat a healthy breakfast and do a good warm-up before auditions, but I don’t treat those days as make-or-break. Auditioning is just part of my life now and I treat it accordingly. The result is, I find myself more at ease and confident in the audition room.
  1. Take 10 deep breaths when you get to the audition
    This is simple. When you get to the audition, check yourself in and then find a spot where you can take a couple of minutes for yourself. Close your eyes, place your hands on your stomach, let gravity take your jaw towards the floor, part your lips and then BREATHE. Take 10 relaxed, open breaths in and out through your mouth, letting your stomach relax with each. When I get to auditions after the stress of taking public transit or finding parking, mixed with the perfectly natural audition nerves, I usually find myself breathing shallowly and tensing my lips, jaw and belly. All of these get in the way of simple, human connection and communication, which are at the heart of acting. Taking 10 deep breaths as described helps me let go and open up to the experience of auditioning.
  1. Visualize your audition going well
    As you sit waiting to be called in, after you’ve done a little breathing, take a few moments to close your eyes and visualize the audition going beautifully. Imagine yourself walking into the room, connecting with warm people who are running the room, slating your name charmingly, giving a great read, getting a happy nod from the casting director and then leaving the room satisfied with your work. For me, picturing myself having a good audition experience just gives me the confidence and ease to walk in the room and feel at home.
  1. Treat yourself after the audition
    After you’ve done your work and made it through the audition, at the very least, take a couple of moments to give yourself credit for doing it at all. It’s an accomplishment in and of itself. Auditioning is a daunting thing that people in other lines of work never have to do. You have made it through. Now go do something nice for yourself. Grab a really good coffee and go sit in your favorite people-watching spot. Treat yourself. Take a good yoga class. Or eat a cupcake. Maybe go see a mid-day movie. By rewarding yourself after an audition, you’ll start to equate auditioning with pleasure. Believe it or not, it can be done.