How to Stand Out in an Audition

Auditioning for an acting job is stressful and competitive. You know it’s critical to provide the best performance that you can do for acting auditions you attend. But, it can feel daunting when you see all the other actors also vying for the role. What can you do to stand out and give yourself the best chance for landing the part?

Here are six strategies that can help you be memorable (in a good way) when auditioning.

1. Always Be Professional

Acting is your career. It’s imperative to be professional in all your exchanges whether it’s a phone call before the audition, during the audition, or afterward. Casting directors and other industry professionals want to work with actors who are responsible and treat their job seriously. Be polite, upbeat, and courteous when talking with people, including other actors.

Show up on time (or ideally early) for your audition. You don’t want to be remembered as the actor that kept everyone waiting or caused the schedule to go awry!

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2. Dress Appropriately

If you’re auditioning for an Elizabethan era role, don’t arrive in full costume complete with wig and lots of makeup. However, dressing similarly to the role you’re auditioning for if appropriate can help casting directors to visualize you for the part. If the character is a waitress, wear clothes that a waitress might wear. Remember, the goal is to give a hint of the character.

Show up in clothes that are clean and wrinkle-free. Avoid wearing logos or clothing that has brands or special messages. Women should avoid wearing super high heels or lots of makeup. Keep your look simple, clean, and professional.

3. Show How You Envision the Part

When auditioning, interpret the character the way you feel and see the role. Show your unique voice as you bring the script alive. Don’t try to be what you think the casting director wants to see.

4. Don’t Request or Expect Feedback

Everyone at the audition is there to work. Casting directors aren’t there to coax you or direct you. They’re looking for the actor they feel is right for the part. Be confident in yourself and your performance. If you’re given direction, use it and respond professionally. But don’t ask for feedback.

You’re at an audition for a job, not a workshop or acting class.

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5. Show Up Prepared

Do your homework on the part. Have a plan for how you want to act the role and practice. Preparing and knowing what you want to do will help boost your confidence and enable you to give your best performance during acting auditions.

6. Have Some Strategies Ready to Use in Case Nerves Strike

Auditioning is nerve-wracking. While you know it isn’t personal, you are giving your all and showing a part of yourself as you perform. Having an attack of nerves at an audition can happen to anyone. So be prepared. As a part of your preparation for the audition, practice a few strategies that help you relax, calm, and focus.

Keep them subtle—ideally something you can do without others knowing you are doing it. For instance, show up early and do a quiet meditation session to help yourself focus and calm. Take several deep breaths before you’re called to audition.

Slowly alternate between making a fist and straightening out your fingers unobtrusively as you wait. Do whatever techniques help you. Remember, the more you practice auditioning, the easier it gets.

Show up prepared, be yourself, and give the best performance you can at that time. Your professionalism and confidence will show.

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