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18 Ways To Stand Out At An Audition

Auditions, Theatre Nerds

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.  

8. Connect

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.

14. Gender-bender

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.

Have another tip for standing out at auditions? Leave a reply below…

Written by Lisa Kay Jennings

Profile photo of Lisa Kay Jennings

Lisa is a voice over actress and writer with her B.F.A in Acting from Wright State University. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and when she's not writing or performing she's usually drinking wine and dressing up her Shih Tzu in funny outfits.

6 Comments

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  1. Make unique song choices I once did Adele’s Rolling in the Deep for an audition and I was so scared they wouldn’t like it but the look on their faces was worth it (no one expects that big voice to come out of me as I don’t look like a belter) plus I got cast. Also add choreography to your song choice it makes your song pop even more (I’m working on transforming myself into leading lady material so I’ve been working really hard at making myself stand out at auditions though my small city doesn’t have too many opportunities for theatre)

  2. End with a tag look of the character’s emotion; hold that look for 3 seconds, then relax and smile. Say “thank you” on your way out of the room; DO NOT make “thank you” the final beat of your monologue.
    Treat yourself after the audition with something special for showing up, preparing, and enjoying the audition process. Then get on with your life. Do not wait for the “phone call, email, text or PM.”

  3. When auditioning, make sure you keep eye-contact. It shows confidence and presence. If you are always looking down at your paper, they will think you are shy or quiet and won’t perform as well.

    Also, try to memorize the script they give you before you go in, trust me they notice it. If you memorize the lines, you won’t have to look at your paper as much (first paragraph), also shows them you are a quick learner.

  4. Hey guys, I am a 15 year old girl. I really looooove to act, but I dont know where to look to find auditions. I use something called DASK, but there are only auditions for 21 or 22 year old girls! can anyone please help me?? <3 <3

    • Where you live, if you have an agent, and connections can all play a role. If you live near New York or LA, there are numerous ways places to audition, just make sure they are legit. I live near Atlanta, which is growing. So I look for theater auditions there. That’s first off, look local. Secondly, if you wanted to, you could try sites like Backstage that require a fee but show audition opportunities. If you have an agent, that’d be helpful. If no agent or connections, build up your resume with local community, theater, school plays, etc. Hope this helps a little. If you have any further questions or clarifications, you can reach me at mjryan1221@gmail.com.

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