An actor or actress must audition for a job before they can land a job in film, television or a commercial. Their talent agent or manager will submit them for the audition first, this is usually done by sending in a headshot and resume into the casting director based on your ability and look. If the director thinks you will be a match, they will get a hold of your agent and set the audition up. You must have a talent agent and a manager to be successful in this field.
Auditions is your primary job and focus as an actor; hopefully you will see several auditions a week. That being said, it is imperative that you master auditions. Making a good impression at an audition can make or break your career. Your goal may not always be to book a job. However, if you leave a good impression; the casting director may remember you and call you for future auditions that may actually fit your look and talent set. Even the more popular actors don’t get booked every audition and practice professionalism and are more prepared to promote themselves as a professional.
Typically for the purpose of an audition the actor is required to memorize some lines from the script; usually referred to as sides. While you have your pick from the script, these lines must be memorized. The first audition you will find that you get to work with the casting director. He will be seated the whole time and will read lines with you, typically reads the other characters lines off in a monotone. While intimidating, you will still need to convey the expected emotions and expressions best suited to the side. Diligence in your acting classes will best prepare you for auditions.
You may find that preforming a monologue may be necessary for an audition. This monologue will typically be a one-sided speech aimed at another character. Having a monologue on hand for that very situation is really important, almost like having a business card. You never know when you may need to recite one so it’s a great idea to have one prepared. Have at least one comedic and one dramatic monologue prepared and well-rehearsed depending on the audition. The best way to know how to choose a great monologue is to get in an acting class!
In theater auditions, the actors will usually have a monologue and song to recite. Even if your singing voice isn’t the strongest; this is where working with a speech coach or singing instructor would be beneficial. There aren’t close ups in theater, your voice is your best tool; you must be able to convey emotion all the way to the back row.
While an actor’s talent is an important factor in an audition, there are many important factors. Another factor is the actor’s type, this is a combo of their look, personality and the impression they leave on the casting director. Ultimately, it all comes down to what is right for the role and the Director’s view. Directors hire people, not actors. They want you to walk to the room as the person they see for the role. As a good reminder they audition hundreds of people, so the biggest thing to remember is that the casting director wants an easy job and hopes that whoever walks in is perfect for the part.
An actor needs an agent to land an audition. Look at the Talent Agents section for more information on how to find an agent to fit your needs, so you can find auditions for TV, film or commercials. Approach the entertainment industry with professionalism, after all this is business. It’s time to start a rewarding career in acting!