Common Audition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

4 Common Audition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Regardless of your experience level, auditions can be nerve-wracking. Everyone makes mistakes, but knowing what to expect and what is expected of you are the keys to making a stellar first impression. Newer actors may struggle with anxiety as they prepare for their first audition and need to be reminded of how to keep their cool and rely on their skills.

Approaching an interview as a complex, necessary step to furthering your acting career will help you better prepare and position yourself in the right frame of mind to do your best. Because many auditions require you to do different things, there is no one way to ensure you will get the role to try out for. But there are some behaviors that will never do you any favors. Here are four of audition mistakes and tips to avoid them:

Don’t let nerves get the best of you. Especially if you don’t have too much acting experience under your belt, it can be easy to feel anxious at each new audition. Far too many new actors become overwhelmed by their nerves, and it sabotages their performance. We all have an ounce of stage fright from time to time, but being too nervous will hurt your memory and cause you to seem unnatural or stiff to casting directors. To combat anxiety, try breathing exercises and spending some time on warm-ups before an audition.

Don’t come unprepared. Not knowing your monologue, lines, or other assigned material flawlessly will be an immediate red flag to casting directors. If you can’t demonstrate that you can meet the most basic expectations, it is unlikely a casting director will see you as a reliable choice for the role. There is more to nailing an audition than acting, and proving that you can follow instructions is the first of many tasks you will need to be able to perform to win over the decision-makers.

Don’t over-prepare either. Yes, it is possible to be too prepared for an audition. This can result in you acting stiff, sounding robotic, or appearing bland because you are focusing on your lines and nothing but your lines. Having a personality is also key to having a great audition. Actress Tovah Feldshuh put it this way: “You don’t have to be memorized for an audition, just masterful.” Have a personality and be able to roll with the punches and react to any suggestions the casting director may provide. Coming to an audition too prepared and in your own head will make it difficult to relate to you. Your ability to connect with an audience is what your audition depends on, so keep your demeanor as natural as possible.

Don’t make a bad first impression. Though auditions and interviews are not exactly the same, they involve many similar practices. An audition is often the first time a casting director will meet and interact with you. Be sure to be friendly, listen closely, and ask questions. In the same way that questions are encouraged during interviews to show your interest, the same is true for auditions. So, don’t approach auditions as just another hurdle, but exciting opportunities to show your skills and learn from other professionals.

The next time you begin to stress over your next audition, remember these tips. If you study up and let your personality shine through, you are more likely to make your best impression and stand out from the crowd, regardless of whether you’re a novice or veteran.