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Things Not To Do At An Audition

Until you've been auditioning for a while, it's usually difficult to find your own way and style of conducting yourself at the audition. We all have made mistakes and kick ourselves later when we realize how unprofessional or inappropriate it might have been. Hey, that's the only way we learn what not to do again! I've outlined 3 basic things not to do at an audition. These may seem obvious but I've held and sat in on many auditions and you'd be surprised how many actors continue to do them.

Never walk up to the casting director and initiate a hand-shake. If they already have your headshot and resume simply walk in the room, say hello, and find your mark (the place where you'll be delivering your monologue or side from). If you need to hand the CD your headshot and resume when you enter the room, do so but only extend your hand if he initiates it. Some CDs see a few hundred actors in a day and don't feel the need to shake each actor's hand. It's nothing personal, it's just the way it is.

Never deliver your monologue directly into the casting director's eye (or any other person's eye behind the table, for that matter). Pick a spot slightly above or to either side of the CD and focus your attention to that point, as if it's the character you are talking to. Nothing is more awkward than an actor "making" the CD the character in their monologue. It's just like going to see a play. The CD should feel like an outside audience member who is watching an actor who isn't breaking the fourth wall. He also needs to be able to write notes, review your resume, or discuss things with his associates while you're auditioning. If you make him the other character, how difficult will it be to stay focused when he suddenly sips on a cup of coffee?! You get the point.

Never end your monologue by saying "scene." It's a typical actor stereo-type, but a stereo-type nonetheless. When you reach the end of your monologue, hold the last moment for a few short beats then break character and look at the casting director to indicate you're finished. Sometimes actors will take "dramatic pauses" in the middle of their monologue and continue on. Once you're finished, wait for the CD to speak first. He may ask you to make an adjustment and do a portion again, ask what play the monologue is from, ask a question about your availability or simply say "thanks." In any case, you've done your job, reply with a cordial "thanks for your time," "good luck with the project," or "take care" and leave with a big smile on your face because you did the best you can.

When you leave the audition room, focus on what went well and what didn't go so well. Learn from the parts that didn't go so well but don't beat yourself up over these. And finally, leave the audition behind. Don't wait by the phone for the next month. Go back to the drawing board, get your headshots and resumes out there and prepare for your next audition.




Submitted by DaMond :: If you feel the need to shake the casting directors hand do it. We have to stop behaving as if these people are God or royality. Any CD worth their salt is going to be concerned with the your skill not whether you shook their hand. And If you say scene or take a dramatic pause so what! Lets focus on the craft and getting better as artist and cut all the scared to breathe the wrong way Bull@#%$ out. Work on your craft, be proffesionally and keep it moving.

Submitted by Lori :: I think that there is a certain ettiquette to be followed when auditioning, but a handshake might make a person seem more "real." (For the lack of a better word.) I do agree that we should not hold the CD's and Directors as 'Gods.' My input, hope it helps anybody.

Submitted by Angel :: I think the reason a hand shake is not looked favorably on is simply the spreading of germs. With so many people coming and going, they don't want to risk exposure to sickness. I think the dramatic pause is fine. I don't think the writer was implying that it's not. DaMond does have a point though, don't beat yourself up over doing any of these things, focus on what you are there to do - ACT.

Submitted by Monica :: I agree the casting directors are JUST people like us.... however, they are the people who can make or break or careers! They have feelings too. So just maybe, one day a casting director is in a bad mood, and you paused too long or your handshake was too firm or you got TOO excited to meet the CD and yanked their arm. To you, your handshake implied you were genuine. To them, they could view that as trying to hard or kissing up or just plain irritating. SO it's best not to touch them, nor ware your welcome out. Just go in there, do your thing, and get out and thank them for their time. That's it. And after the interview and audition is over, send a postcard. Suck up that way!

Submitted by Mariana :: In my opinion my advice is do what feels right. Don't worry about what to do and what not to do, feel confident in yourself and your acting. Sure you're looking to them to get the job but that doesn't mean that we should degrade ourselves. They are no better than we are. Just forget your worries and let your love and passion for acting show.