When you are starting, you won’t get prominent roles. You will be called for one-liner roles.
What are these one-liner roles?
If you see the character’s name is bank clerk 1, police officer 2, nurse 1, the guy on the train, etc. means you are playing co-actor for one scene.
As an actor, you should not undermine these auditions. These are stepping stones for your career.
So how do you audition for one line?
What is the One Line Audition?
Understanding what one line audition is and what is expected of you is essential.
As the term one line suggests, you get only one line for the character.
You will be playing support for the starring role for a scene.
So such a role casting agent wants a professional actor who can do the job efficiently and quickly.
You must convincingly deliver your line and look the part as one line actor. That’s it.
How Do You Prepare For One Line Audition?
There is a huge difference between auditioning for prominent roles and a one-line audition.
Many actors approach them in the same way and try to do too much.
When you are doing too much for one line audition, you will likely have several takes, which is what the casting agents want to avoid.
Casting agents don’t like to send actors who take too many takes for one-line roles.
They like to send actors who can do the job in a simple one-take.
So how do you prepare for one liner?
Here are the three things that you should consider:
1. Look The Part
For one-line roles, the casting agents always look for actors who look at the part naturally.
If you have the required look, you will have a high chance of being shortlisted.
So the first thing you have to do is read the character description clearly.
You have to identify two things: the character’s job and the scene’s location.
Most of the time, one line parts are related are job related.
Let’s say in the story, the main character is visiting a bar, where he or she might interact with the bartender or fellow customer.
If it’s a hospital, the scene might require the main character to interact with a nurse, doctor, etc.
So most of the time, you can easily identify the look if you know the job and the location.
So for an audition, get the right costume and prepare your hair which makes you look the part.
2. Learn The Activity
As I mentioned above, most of the one-liner parts will be job-related, you will have to learn the related activity.
If you are playing the bartender, you must learn the related activity.
Playing nurse means you have to learn how to handle medical equipment.
If you are playing a driver, you must learn how to drive, etc.
Whatever may be the role, just learn the activity related to it.
You won’t get any props during the audition, so learn to do simple mime. It is more than enough.
Once you get the part, you can work with actual props.
3. Learn The Lines
Most of the time, actors try to do too much with the lines. They might do substitutions or create elaborate backstories.
I suggest for one liners just avoid the method you know.
Rather pick one emotion and say the line without any improvisation.
The reason behind doing it is sometimes as one line actor, even if the camera is not on you.
For a few seconds, they might show you when you start speaking your lines and then cut back to the star actor listening to you.
Also, the more things you add to the lines, the more difficult it is to deliver it in one take.
Forget about the shooting. You might goof up simple these one-liners during auditions.
So pick one emotion and say the line as it is without putting too much thought into it.
Is One Liner Auditions Worth?
Many actors believe that doing one-line roles is not worth it. It won’t get you noticed.
Yes, it might be true. No one remembers who played the bartender in the movie.
But I feel it can help you get many prominent roles in the future.
You have to think this way. If you are prominently booking one-liners, it improves your impression of the casting agent.
So it is quite possible that a casting agent might fetch you much bigger roles in the future because you are one of the actors who regularly book co-star roles.
Also, when you are on set, you get to meet people. This could be a great opportunity to market yourself as an actor.
If you are new to acting, prepare all gigs from inside to outside. Create a habit of making a fully alive character, even if it’s a one-line part. However, for one liner auditions, don’t overdo it. Do what is asked and take only one take while shooting.