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Step 1: Go on a lot of auditions
Go on as many casting calls as you can. It’s the best way to gain experience and confidence.
Don’t be bashful about re-auditioning for a show that turned you down; people are sometimes hired the second or even third time around.
Step 2: Bring a headshot
Bring a professional headshot that looks like you in daily life, as opposed to a glammed-up version. Directors and producers don’t like it when actors look nothing like their photo.
Step 3: Don’t go in costume
Wear clothes that suggest you have an understanding of the show so the director can envision you in the part. But don’t show up in full costume.
If it’s exclusively a dance audition, just wear your dance clothes.
Step 4: Pick the right song
If you’re auditioning for a musical, pick audition songs that reflect the period or genre of the show – not the show itself. You can prepare a few from the actual show, but only sing them if you’re asked to. Sing just 32 bars of a song unless otherwise specified.
Have your sheet music organized for the pianist: Mark where the music should start and end, and put it in the right key.
Step 5: Rehearse your scene
If you’re auditioning for a drama, rehearse the “sides” – a few pages from the script that you are provided with in advance of the audition. Bring the pages to the auditioning venue; it’s common to hold them while you perform.
Step 6: Jump right in
At the audition, greet the people judging you and then begin your performance; don’t ask them for direction. If you make a mistake, keep going, or ask if you may start again. No one is looking for or expecting perfection.
Step 7: Go with the flow
If the director asks you to try something different, do it without argument, no matter how terrified or ill-equipped you feel. They are checking to see how well you take direction and how easily you go with the flow.
Step 8: Act confident
Exude confidence, or at least fake it. After all, you’re an actor!
Did You Know?
Actor Ben Vereen was so impressive at his audition for the play Pippin that the director changed the age of a character to give him the part.