It’s easy for actors to think they’re ready for an audition after they’ve learned the lines, worked on their character and made creative choices. While this kind of prep is the heart and soul of an actor, there’s plenty more to do to make the most of any audition opportunity. In this video, the founder of Acting Resource Guru, Ajarae Coleman, shares six basic but important executive practices to make audition day run smoothly. “We want to have as much energy available to rock out the performance,” Coleman insists, as opposed to allowing procedural issues to compromise an audition. So, to keep the drama where it belongs—in an actor’s performance and not in their journey to the casting facility—here are six things actors can do the night before an audition.

  1. Have your digital or paper headshot and resume ready-to-go. Depending on the requirements of the casting director, talent needs to ascertain exactly what to bring to the audition. Indeed, most headshots and resumes are shared digitally these days as is the case with Casting Frontier which enables members to simply print out a barcode to share their latest looks and accomplishments with casting professionals. But there might be instances when a paper headshot and resume are specifically requested. Nobody likes the frantic feeling when the printer runs out of ink when they’re in a rush or the last-minute scramble of trying to find something they’ve misplaced. Fortunately, all of this can be avoided by simply taking the time the night before the audition to work out any kinks.
  2. Prepare your wardrobe.  “Make sure it’s clean and pressed and ready to go,” Coleman says. This includes gathering shoes, accessories, and even a set of back-up clothes to keep in your car just in case of a spill or tear. These habits are sure to keep you looking sharp on audition day.
  3. Research the project for which you’re auditioning. “Make sure that you understand the tone of the show, make sure you know how your role fits within the story. You just want to make sure you have all that nailed because if you don’t, that can severely affect your performance,” Coleman warns. As far as commercials are concerned, companies invest a lot in creating a brand, a specific look, and a distinct feel. The company is likely to be searching for an actor who fits well into that established vision. Also, learning about the product at hand is part of the actor’s homework.
  4. Research the casting director, producers, and directors. Casting directors are not all the same; it’s both prudent and respectful to learn something about the professional who’s invited you to audition. “No professional would go into an interview without knowing who [he/she] was going to be meeting with,” Coleman insists. “And we need to treat auditions the same way. Because actors audition so frequently, I feel like we tend to take them for granted and just sort of go, when they are job interviews, and we should be treating them as such.” And should you land the part, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with the projects and personalities of the producers and directors you’ll be working with.
  5. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to the audition. When calculating the amount of time it takes to travel to the location of your audition, remember to anticipate traffic, parking, time to walk to the facility, as well as time to use the restroom. Then add 15 minutes. This buffer will help keep you calm and ready to review all those valuable character insights you’ve already prepped.
  6. Treat yourself well. The way you treat your body the night before an audition can have a huge impact on your performance. So make healthy food choices, get a full night’s sleep, and avoid any substances that can diminish your energy level the following day.

By following these disciplines, actors can enter their auditions feeling like a professional: prepared, centered, able to focus, appreciating people who are potenitally hiring them, and thus really shine in the audition room.