Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

You know casting directors want you to succeed right? Every time you walk into an audition room, the casting team is rooting for you. They’re praying you’re about to give a killer performance. It’s not us versus them. Casting is on your side. 

Most people get into casting because they love actors. A career in casting lends itself to those who like to nurture people and relationships. Casting directors love helping producers and directors bring their visions to life. But one of the best parts of the job is watching actors grow and succeed. 

Casting directors love to brag about the actors they’ve given jobs to. 

“I put her in her first co-star role.”

“I cast him in a commercial that ran for 3 years.”

So how do you become one of those stories? Check out these 7 audition tips every casting director wants you to know so you can give a killer audition. 

You Are a Business

As an actor, you are your business. The key to booking and working consistently is mastering this mindset. Running your career like a business means taking care of your body and minding your finances.

Take Care of the Merchandise

Millions of acting teachers have said, “your body is your instrument.” This cliche rings true. As an actor, you must take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods. Go to the gym. Meditate. Skip the cocktails the night before a big audition. Whatever it takes to make you feel great so you can perform at your best.

Balance the Books

You want to be a working actor, not a struggling one. So that means being able to support yourself. If you’re always worried about how you’re going to pay rent, you can’t focus on building a career. A steady stream of income is necessary to give you the confidence and security to develop your craft. 

Stressed actors give off negative vibes. Casting can tell when you’re desperate and that attitude makes you less bookable. If you’ve got systems in place to manage your body and your bank account — you can walk into each audition firing on all cylinders.  

Research Research Research

Read the script! To bring a character to life, you need to understand their backstory. If you don’t have access to the entire script, piece together what you can from the sides. Sometimes you can find clues about your character in the pages that have been crossed out. 

Slap on your detective hat and put together a character background. The key to compelling storytelling is details. So make something up if you don’t have any info. A bold choice is always better than no choice. 

Be sure to read the character description and any notes from casting. Casting directors are giving you the key to the castle with this info. If you’re not sure about something ask the assistant in the lobby when you arrive. 

Know Who’s in the Room

If your audition is with casting or a camera operator, the atmosphere should be a little more relaxed. You may want to use this opportunity as a way to connect with casting. Although pay attention to how things are going in the waiting room. If the session is running late and there are tons of actors waiting, do your best to help speed things along. 

If you’re attending a producer or director session study your audition notice. Knowing who will be sitting at the table behind the camera can give you an edge. Maybe it’s a director you’ve worked with before and you’ll see a familiar face.

You could also meet that movie star you’ve been obsessed with since high school. Many celebrities produce T.V. and film these days. Reading the audition details can spare you an awkward, starstruck moment and save your audition. 

Don’t Touch Casting

Just like at the zoo — don’t touch the animals. Unless you’re offered a handshake or a hug avoid physical contact. Casting can see hundreds of people in a day.  And all those people bring germs. Ever notice that audition rooms have a giant bottle of hand sanitizer? Yeah, casting doesn’t want to get sick either.

An even bigger note of caution. Don’t engage physically with the reader, unless you’ve discussed it beforehand. Never try to kiss or use stage violence towards the reader. A move like that will have casting saying “thank you, next” before you even know what happened.   

Leave the Weapons at Home

Don’t bring anything to your audition that resembles a gun, sword, knife or any other kind of weapon. Don’t even bring harmless items like squirt guns or plastic knives.  It doesn’t matter if you won the Olympic gold medal in fencing. If you bring a weapon you may be asked to leave. At the very least you will have put the entire audition room on edge and killed your chances of booking the role.

If casting wants you to use a prop they will provide it or specifically ask you to bring one. 

Play It Cool

Everyone wants to work with a calm and cool actor. There are enough crazy, difficult people in show business. If you’re always a pleasure to work with — even just in an audition setting — you’ll develop a great reputation.

Casting Directors Are Your Personal Cheerleaders

When you knock it out of the park, casting directors look great to their production team. If casting can present a bunch of fantastic actors they are more likely to get hired again. 

Every audition is a chance to build a relationship and give a great performance. Even if you don’t book the role, you’re still showing casting that you’re a professional. Don’t forget, most people get into casting because they love actors and want to help them succeed. 

The most important thing you can remember is that casting is silently cheering you on. Walk into the audition room with confidence every time. Each audition is an opportunity to make a good impression and a few more fans along the way. 

Want to get your acting career started? Sign up or login to Casting Frontier and start auditioning today!

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