There’s a ton of ways to stand out at an audition: acting like a diva, wearing a crazy costume, or being just plain crazy. Stand out you will, but for all the wrong reasons. Here are some positive ways to be more memorable at your next audition.
1. Be Prepared
Being prepared in every possible way is sure to make you stand out as a true professional. i.e.: Be warmed up, physically and vocally, have your headshot and résumé (plus extra copies), carry your sides, know the character, understand the project and the tone of the script, and be aware of who’s in the room. As the saying goes, “Success happens when preparedness meets opportunity.”
2. Be On time
Being on time is super important. Perhaps you won’t stand out for being on time, but you’ll definitely stand out for being late- and not in a good way. Being on time shows that you are a professional and you value both your time and the casting director’s time.
3. Slate Professionally
Having proper audition technique is a must. Slate accordingly and don’t do any ‘green’ actor ticks that make you look like a newbie or a hack. No last minute tongue twisters in front of casting or strange turns into character. Say your name, take a beat, and begin.
4. Dress Appropriately
No matter what the character, dress in a way that shows a hint of them. If you’re auditioning for a Queen don’t wear a ballgown, but simply something that shows you have class and poise. Most importantly, always dress with respect for yourself.
5. Be confident
Go in and do the best you can do and be happy with that. Don’t seek validation, it’s needy and casts doubt over your entire performance.
6. Be Kind
Be kind to the other actors in the waiting room, to the monitor, to the receptionist, to the security guard- to everyone. First of all, you never know who’s watching, and secondly, you should be kind regardless because it generates positive energy, which is good for everyone.
7. Take Direction
Be pliable. Even if you disagree with the direction given just go with the flow.
When you go in front of casting, try to connect with them on a human level instead of putting them on a pedestal. Ask them how they are doing and try to strike up a quick convo on something you can both connect on. Be aware of time and your surroundings; don’t be overly chatty if you sense they are rushed.
9. Discover Something Different
This is one of the most important things you can do. A hundred other actors just read the same copy as you did with basically the same instincts. Find a moment in the script where you can add something surprising and unexpected, while remaining true to the scene. This is your chance to let your creativity shine.
10. Reinvigorate Your Material
If you’ve been doing the same tired monologue over and over again- mix it up. Try something that scares you. Taking a risk is always noticeable.
11. Show You Care
If you connected with the script or the character let the casting director know. It never hurts to mention that you really loved the story, or that you found the character eerily similar to you.
12. Be Uniquely You
Find a way to allow what makes you unique, shine through the copy.
13. Do Something Unexpected
If an opportunity to mix up the material arises- take it. If they aren’t specific that your monologue/scene comes from a play, take one from a lesser known movie or television series. As long as it fits the needs of what they may be looking for and it’s okay to do so- it’s a great chance to do something they’ve probably never seen before instead of the same tired Heidi Chronicle monologue.
Try doing a scene or a monologue written for the opposite sex. It adds a fun twist and when done correctly it can really turn heads.
15. Do your Research
It’s impressive when an actor knows how to properly pronounce the strange word in the script, or understands the odd historic reference. It also makes you look super smart- which never hurts.
16. Ask Genuine Questions
If you have a genuine question about the script or character, ask it. But don’t waste time by asking arbitrary questions just to stand in front of casting for a few moments longer.
17. Find the Button
Whether it’s commercial copy or a comedic scene look for a button. Find it, then end strong with it. When actors don’t hit the button it’s equivalent to never receiving the sweet satisfaction of hearing the other shoe drop.
18. Make a Strong Choice
The most important thing above all else is to make a choice, a strong choice, and then stick with it. Don’t change your mind in the middle of the scene- for better or for worse, ride that choice to the end.