An acting audition is a sample performance by an actor that involves the actor displaying their talent through a scene or a monologue. Acting auditions are essential for industry professionals to select talent for a particular production. An acting audition is like a job interview but auditioners are expected to give a performance rather than just interview for a particular role. In an acting audition the casting directors and others on the production team are testing to see if a performer can take direction and meet the needs of the role. Most acting auditions are not open to the public but once in a while casting directors will hold open auditions. Open auditions are casting calls that are open to the public.
Acting auditions for film, television, Commercials and stage usually follow a standard procedure. There is usually a first call audition which is sometimes called a pre-read. If the talent makes it to the second round there is what is called a callback. Auditions can be nerve-racking but the more prepared the actor is, the better and more relaxed they will perform. It is best to go into acting auditions with a lot of confidence. Auditions for kids and teens are held in much the same way as they are for adults. However, a parent or guardian must accompany a child or teen actor at their audition and on set.
It is also best when going to acting auditions that you arrive early (ten to fifteen minutes). Being late does not look good to casting directors and it will make them nervous about hiring you. They will be concerned that when it comes time for you to get to the set that you will also be late.
You should always bring a headshot and resume to your audition. While we submit digitally (and even at commercial auditions) they will sometimes ask for your headshot. It looks unprofessional if you are without one. It is best to bring extra copies just incase they ask for more than one. If you are being put on tape you might be asked to "slate" your name. This means, saying your name, the role you are auditioning for and your age. Age applies under 18 for legal reasons. If over 18, let your image and performance talk for your age range. If requested, change the slate to what they request, but remember Federal Labor Law protects us from having to give our age except for certain needs (driving on a set may require 25, work hours require 18 or over and so on).
Once you start the scene it is best to keep going even if you feel you should start over. If you must start over you should make sure that you have good reason. No matter how your audition goes you should exit with confidence and make sure to thank the casting director and others on the production team for their time. You never know what they are looking for at an acting audition, you may think the audition went horrible and they may love you. So be sure to be kind and generous when you leave.
You won't be right for every acting audition you go out on so it is best to maintain a level of professionalism. If you feel that you made a misstep or thought you should have done something differently then think of that for the next audition. Try not to hold on to fact that you didn’t get the job. If you did, that’s great, but if not, there is always the next audition.