As an aspiring actor, it is important to have a routine that helps you prepare for an acting audition. With a routine in place, you will be able to repeat the process will help you create a performance from start to finish. If you don’t have one, this article will be useful for you. I will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you prepare for an acting audition. And this process is for all kinds of roles.
Preparing for an acting audition includes steps like choosing the script, getting into the character, choosing the right costume, preparing the performance, and preparing an introduction.
Make sure you follow these steps in order otherwise it won’t be as effective as you would like. So let’s get into it:
Step 1: Choosing The script
The first thing that comes to your mind when you are called for an audition is what’s the script? The script not only provides you with dialogues but will also provide you with the details that are needed in upcoming steps.
So, how do you choose the script?
Well, most of the time when you are called for an audition, the casting agency does provide the script for the audition or tell what kind of performance they would like you to perform for them.
If you are given the script, there is no choice but to prepare for that script.
However, if you are told to perform something you like then we advise you to look at the part or character for which you have been called.
Also, you must look at what kind of project it is. Specifically, look at the genre.
If it is a comedy, you need to find the comedy script and if it is something classical, prepare something classical.
Also here I want you to connect with your casting agent or talent agent, and ask them what is the role. Try to find as many things about the character.
I personally try to find the following things if there is no script given:
- Age and ethnicity
- Where the character lives and works?
- The time period of the storyline
- What does the character want in the story?
Remember these points because they will be useful in upcoming steps too when you have the script with you.
If you want to learn more about choosing a script go to this post: How To Choose The Script For The Audition
Step 2: Get Into The Character
After you have the script or you have chosen the script, this should be your next step.
One thing I need to clarify here is that getting into character and learning the lines are two different things.
I believe even before you utter a single word from the script you should be the character physically, psychologically, and socially.
And for that, you should be able to dissect the script and try to find everything about your character.
I suggest using my character development worksheet which has 100 questions. These questions focus on building a character’s physicality, psychology, and sociology.
- You will even learn whom your character loves in the story.
- You will even learn whom your character hates in the story.
- You will even learn what the character wants to achieve in the story.
However, one aspect of the acting audition is that you never get a complete script. Especially, when you are auditioning for the 1st time for that character.
You only have a scene or just a monologue.
Even then you don’t have to worry about getting it wrong because if it’s not given, just assume it.
Be creative, and try to answer all the questions in the character development worksheet.
However, if you are not using my worksheet, even then you should try to find the physicality, psychological, and sociology.
When you find it, the next step is to practice it. Adapting these three things would take time. So make sure you practice it as much as possible.
For the audition, it is important to at least get the physicality right. The reason is, that casting people are looking for the character in you.
To get the physicality right, you should try standing as the character. Look for the right posture for the character.
Once you know how the character stands, try moving around as a character. Also, try standing and sitting. Even eating a character will help you a lot when you prepare for an acting audition.
If you want to learn more about getting into the character read our post: How To Get Into Character For Audition?
Step 3: Get The Costume
Now you have found the body, it’s time to get him or her dressed for the scene.
Most of the time you will get a brief from the acting agency about what to wear for the acting audition. If not try to judge what costume will fit your character.
Also knowing the location and time of the scene will help you in finding the right costume or character.
If it’s day and the location is an office, your character might be wearing his or her work clothes.
If it’s evening and the location is the bedroom, your character might be in pajamas.
Also, try to add one more dimension to the costume that shows the mental state of your character.
For instance, if you are character is frustrated and tired, the clothes might be slobby. The shirt might not be tucked properly, or may socks are loose, etc.
Even play with your hair. Depending on the time and location of the scene you can make your hair.
The hair can be nicely done if it is morning or the character is on a date.
Make it messy if the character is exhausted, or heartbroken.
Try to judge what kind of hair your character might have in the scene.
When it comes to makeup it is not all about looking good. You can use it to show certain emotions.
For example, you can have numb eyes if your character has been crying or make your cheeks red if he or she is angry.
However, I would suggest talking to your agent or casting agency before using makeup. Some strictly ask actors to not use makeup.
You can learn more about the costume and makeup in this post: What to wear to an audition?
Step 4: Learn The Lines
So we now have the body and look of the character, it’s time to get into the performance.
So how do you prepare the perfect and moving performance?
If you have worked sincerely on the physicality and the mentality of the character creating a moving performance wouldn’t be that difficult.
The first step in preparing for the performance is reading the script.
Until now you might have read the script several times while getting into the character. You might also be well aware of the objective of the character in the scene.
Once you are aware of the objectives read the dialogue several times. I advise you to read the dialogue plainly and without putting any emotion into it.
The reason is, that when speaking something over and over again, we tend to develop a fixed pattern of that speech or the dialogue. But with acting, you want to be as natural as possible.
Also, try to remember the lines plainly. You can do so by writing the dialogue several times. This way you won’t develop a fixed pattern of speaking.
This happens for both one line parts and full fledged scenes.
If you want to learn more about learning lines follow this post: How to memorize monologues?
Step 5: Establish the Relationship With Other Characters
Before you make a full-fledged performance, establish a relationship with another character in the scene.
The best way to find out the nature of the relationship with the other characters is to ask what do you “want” from him. It can be love, approval, to let go, forgiveness, etc.
So whenever you are doing the scene, you are working for that “want”.
So through your dialogues and action, you should try to achieve that want. There won’t be any right “want”. You will have to study the script closely and find the most suitable want for your character.
Make sure to find out the relation with all the characters in the scenes.
Step 6: Performing The Scene
Once you have learned the dialogue properly and established the relation you can start performing the scene. The best way to start is to find the starting point of the scene.
This can be found by asking “ where are you coming from”.
You have to find where was your character just before the scene and what was his or her emotion. Start from that emotion and walk into the scene. After that, it is all about reacting to the scene with your dialogues and trying to achieve the want with complete conviction.
And the good thing is during the acting audition there is only one other character in the scene which makes it easy for you to perform. Just keep reacting to the scene.
However, in acting, reacting is an art!
You have to listen not only through your ears but through your senses. If there is someone to read with you, make sure you listen carefully and react to it.
If you prepared well before the performance, this will come naturally, you don’t have to plan much.
Make sure you do all the steps in order and prepare for an acting audition. If you do these steps well, I ensure you will have the most natural-looking audition because these processes give you a lot of room for improvisation. It doesn’t restrict you in any way. All your actor instincts guide you through the scene.