I decided to date this post in the subject, because I am constantly learning and challenging myself to become a better auditioner. Thus, in a month or so, with more practice, experience, and training, I will want to post on this topic again and share any wisdom that seems valuable to pass along.
As I have stated before, the “auditioning bible” still seems to be Audition by Michael Shurtleff. The book, however, does have a heavy bias towards auditions aimed at theatre casting.
Since I am not a book, merely an actor sharing his experiences and wisdom, I cannot provide you with as much information as a comprehensive text. I will, however, give you insights into what seems to be working for me and how I prep for an audition.
Here are a few quick tips (some of which will be easier to accomplish than others):
- Read the material. And read it as often as possible. Is your tongue tripping over anything? If so, work on those sections.
- Mark up your script with thoughts, beat markings, highlighting, and anything else that helps!
- Determine the context of the material (commercial, industrial video, TV, film, comedy, drama, farce, slapstick, verse, etc.). You are going to want to prepare a bit differently depending on the style of the material.
- Do your text detective work – make choices and choose playable actions (to plead, to threaten, to beguile, etc.), break the scene to beats, and determine a beginning, middle, and end.
- Create a moment before, so your scene has immediate life.
- Find the emotional headspace of your character (especially important for more “emotional” pieces).
- Practice with a partner, record the scene so you can practice alone, put yourself in front of a camera and review (if applicable).
- Relax. Relax. Relax.
- Stretch, breath, and warm up.
- Get your head out of the script during your read! The camera wants your eyes!
- Be nice in the room. Openness helps. Be ready to receive information, as adjustment may be coming.
- Say, Thank You.