Auditions are a requirement for every actor and chances are, you’ll have to do lots of them just to get one part. Here’s a long list of tips to make your next audition go as well as possible.

  1. Always bring a headshot and resume. Never be caught without one. You never who you will meet or where.
  2. Always carry business cards with your headshot and contact info on them. Be sure they include a link to your online resume and gallery of headshots.
  3. Never make excuses. For anything.
  4. Be comfortable with yourself. This comfort may come across as a confidence but not cockiness. Just because you might deserve the role, doesn’t mean things always go that way. So, be humble but confident in yourself.
  5. Include your email address on your resume. Some people prefer using email addresses instead of phones, so don’t forget to include this on your resume.
  6. Avoid wearing busy or contrasting patterns. Solid colors are a good choice, but also try to avoid wearing all black or all white. Depending on what camera they use, these extremes can lose value and look like just a blob.
  7. Use the bathroom before you go to the audition. It’s seems obvious but there’s nothing worse than suddenly having to pee or worse during an audition.
  8. Don’t take the last audition time slot. The casting team will be tired at the end of the day and this may affect the way they feel about your performance. Choose an earlier time for a fair chance.
  9. Don’t be late. Yeah, being on time is one of the most important things you can do as an actor. If your’e doing it right, no one will notice.
  10. Give a strong slate. If you are asked to slate, be sure to approach it with confidence. Speak loudly and clearly and look straight into the camera or if there is no camera, at the casting director.
  11. Make bold choices. This is easier said than done, but it’s simple to understand. When given a choice, choose the one that’s bolder, but not the boldest. That’s usually too far.
  12. Don’t be too early. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Showing up 30 minutes before the audition is too much. Really, anything more than 10 minutes is probably too much.
  13. Dress comfortably. I don’t care how you look, if you can’t move around, you look stupid. Wear something that is comfortable and that you can easily move in without tripping or getting bound up in fabric. This includes men. Don’t wear your shorts around your knees. It hinders your movement.
  14. Smile. You’d be surprised how many people get caught up in the pressure of the audition and never smile. Smiles are contagious. Don’t miss your opportunity to exchange one with the casting department.
  15. Own the room. When you enter the casting room for a private audition, or when you step on stage at a group audition, remember, you own the room. Learn to command your space. This does not mean making obnoxious noises or bouncing around like a jumping bean. Instead, it’s about focusing the energy onto you in, I dunno… an energetic way.
  16. Respect the time rule. If the casting department has set a time limit on your performance, such as a 30-second monologue, be respectful of that limit and prepare a piece that is the appropriate length rather than running over and hoping they won’t stop you.
  17. Leave your baggage outside. In fact, leave it at home. No matter what, let it go and enter the room ready to focus on your audition and your audition alone.
  18. Don’t apologize. For anything. Ever.
  19. Don’t look for support. Everyone is there to work. So, don’t expect thank you’s, or pats on the back. You’re there to work. This is also not a time for hugging, even if huggers are present.
  20. Pull back your hair. If you have long hair, don’t let it hang in your face. Make sure the casting panel can always see your eyes. Never, never let them be covered by your hair. Pull back your hair, if it’s long. If you have bangs in your eyes, cut them.
  21. Show your eyes. Never allow anything to cover your eyes. Your eyes are your most powerful communication tool. Never let them be covered by your hair, your hands or anything else. Got a crying scene? Don’t be tempted to put your hands over your face. Find another way, so you can always show your eyes.
  22. Don’t bring props. Props can too easily be used as a crutch and any skilled casting director will spot this immediately. Props can also cause a fumbling incident that can be distracting and can harm your audition. Avoid the potential issues and skip the props in the first place.
  23. Research who is auditioning you. Do as much as you can to find out as much as possible about the people for whom you will be auditioning. Google them, read about them up and ask around. Next time you see a workshop by that casting director, take it, so you can start to build a relationship with that person. Relationships are your most valuable advantage in acting.
  24. Wear the same thing to your callback as you did to the audition. This helps the casting department recognize you from last time and also help you leave a consistent impression.
  25. Have a great day! Too bad. You need to pretend like you’re having a fantastic day. People who are having good days are ridiculously pleasant. And pleasant people are ridiculously attractive. Everyone want to be around them, because they brighten everyone’s day. This is the energy you want the casting team to associate with you.
  26. Read the entire script if you can. Sometimes there is important information about the character revealed elsewhere in the script. This could be the key to mastering the character. This is the norm for theater work, but you can’t always get your hands on those film scripts. Don’t be afraid to ask. Just explain that it will help you better understand the character. You may be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, but it’s worth it to be prepared for the audition.
  27. Don’t act desperate. Don’t try to barter for the role. Don’t beg. Don’t explain how much you think you would be good at the role. Don’t be bitter. Don’t talk about other casting directors or auditions. Don’t act desperate.
  28. Don’t assume you know better than the casting department. Just because you may seem right for the part, don’t presume you know better than the casting department. You have no idea what kinds of challenges they are dealing with that may affect whether or not they cast you.
  29. Spit out the gum. Never go into an audition chewing gum. You should never have gum in an audition and you don’t want to get caught having no place to throw it out. Plus, it’s just gross to watch someone sit out gum. So just be smart and spit it out before you arrive.
  30. Expect the unexpected. You never know what a casting director will ask you to do. Be prepared to think on your feet. And never turn down the opportunity to improv or perform on short notice.
  31. Don’t smoke. If you have to smoke, do it before you ever arrive anywhere near your audition. Points will be deducted for stinking like cigarette smoke. Not to hurt your feelings, but the truth is, non-smokers do not like the smell of even the dearest of their smoker friends.
  32. Take time on cold reads. If someone hands you a script you’ve never seen before, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a few minutes to prepare.
  33. Don’t ask to start over. If you mess up, keep going. Recover quickly. This is more impressive than a clean take. Never break scene. Keep it going. Don’t start over.