8 Things never to do at an Audition

We’ve all put our foot in our mouth at least a few times but somehow, during auditions, actors do it more often than they or we would like. Nerves, insecurity, neediness, and self-doubt set in and there’s no stopping you. You say things you’re not aware of, do things you aren’t conscious of, looking for connection and reassurance, but sometimes those few little words can bring your audition to a screeching halt. So, here are some things you don’t want to say or do in an audition, no matter what impulse arises:

1. “I haven’t practiced this.” Don’t tell us this!  You have now told us that you didn’t take this audition seriously.  At Homestead we give you plenty of time to come prepared, so you really should know your stuff.  Alternatively, in the real world it is very common to get audition material a day before auditions and they make it work.  Don’t let the people casting you know that you didn’t prepare, just do your best and smile.

2. “I’m sorry, I’m sick” We understand you might be sick, but don’t actually tell the directors.  After you audition they might ask, that is when you can say, “Yes, a bit.”  But don’t start your audition with an excuse, smile and show us what you are made of!

3. Not Reading the signs.  We put up signs so that you won’t have to ask  questions and so that you can be in and out as soon as possible.  Not being present or ignoring obvious cues/info as to what you should be doing are strong indicators that you are not paying attention or don’t care which is not a quality that we want to cast in shows.

4. “If I’m bad just tell me and I’ll do it again.” This is setting yourself up to fail and for us to expect you to do just that.

5. “So many words.” What a gift! Find ways to learn your lines; it’s part of your craft. Different methods work but they all require commitment, certainty, and connection to what you’re actually talking about. Nobody didn’t get a job because they got every line right, but you have to decide you know it, and be fully engaged. The words will come.

6. “How do you pronounce_____?” (a word you can easily look up) Seriously, look it up.

7. You don’t actually say anything, but when you finish the scene you make a face like you’ve just smelled feces. Are you waiting for us to take care of you? We can’t. We don’t have the time. Nor is it our job, as much as we often suffer from being enablers. Do the work for the work, for you, but not so that we will tell you that you did it right.

8. “Well that sucked.” And we’re done.

We don’t want to sound harsh. But we need you to walk into the room ready to work, with conviction and sureness, happy to be there. Then we can do our work together. Then we can create something that is in service of the script. Then we can take your unique interpretation to the next level. Help us do that!

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