How To Prepare For An Audition: Tips and Tricks.

Simran Kapoor
simontherun

Mumbai is the city of dreams (very cliche line to begin with) and every day people migrate to this city with the hopes to make it big as an actor. But the reality is that, getting the right break can be very difficult and frustrating. As an outsider trying to make your way into this industry, you can feel very clueless, not knowing where to begin your journey and how to go about giving auditions in the right manner. Today, I am sharing some tips and tricks on how to prepare for auditions from my own experiences. I hope this is helpful and informative for all the aspiring actors.  Let’s get started!

  1. ASK: The audition messages that you receive via sms are very vague in content. A typical message would say we are looking  for an “upmarket, bubbly girl between 16 years to 24 years for lead and parallel lead , dress code : indian. brief: like Kareena from Jab we Met.” You cannot really gauge what look they are actually testing for from this little information you have. So, make it a point to always call the concerned person and find out what is the look and the brief of the role they are auditioning you for. Once you have a clear picture in your head about your character, you can use that as an advantage to dress up and do your make up and hair in a similar fashion to the character.So even if they have only mentioned your dress code as indian,now you can select an outfit in particular. For example, if it’s the role of a simple, middle class girl, you can wear a plain salwar suit as opposed to a rich, spoilt daughter who would dress up in a royal anarkali and look like a princess at all times. Also, to be on the safe side, carry some western changes as well. You may look different in pictures as you do in reality, so after the casting director meets you in person he/she may decide to test you for another role which fits your personality better than the one you came to audition for.
  2. BE PATIENT: The entire process of giving an audition can be draining and exhausting. There might be hundred people auditioning for the same project as you are and you might have to wait long hours for your chance to come. At this point, you have keep yourself occupied and patiently wait for your turn. Do not loose your cool and give up easily.It takes a lot of time to get your first break. Sometimes you might have to give 100 auditions before you get selected for one role. This phase comes in every actor’s life and you might question your ability to perform. You might lose hope and think it’s time to give up on your dreams and go home. But, I would suggest you to be patient and stick around. Keep giving auditions consistently and something would surely work out.
  3. DON’T OVER REHEARSE: We have a lot of hours on our hands to practice the script before we give the audition. I believe that you should not over rehearse anything because you might reach a point of saturation and blank out during the actual rehearsal. Also, you might look too mechanical while acting out the script rather than acting naturally or spontaneously. But, if you are a method actor, then rehearsing might help you but for me it doesn’t work. If you practice it a lot of times in a certain way and the casting director asks you to variate, you may get stuck and not be able to break out of the way you have rehearsed the script already.
  4. DON’T BE NERVOUS: I know you have been told this a million times and this is the first tip that I should have given. The only way you can get rid of your nervousness is by giving lots and lots of auditions. No acting school in the world can give you that confidence. You can only be a veteran at giving auditions by “giving auditions”. There is no short cut to getting rid of your inhibitions of facing the camera unless you face the camera so many times that you start looking at it as just a machine. You can close your eyes and do some breathing exercises to space out, so that you quiet your mind and become the character you are testing for.
  5. GIVE VARIATION: Mostly for auditions, we get monologues instead of dialougues to prepare and a monolouge could seem very monotonous if done in one tone. It is very important to change moods and give variations in order to build a graph in your performance. You could start in a subtle manner and build up the pitch by the end or play with different moods. This will keep the viewer interested in watching your audition. Also try to giving different variations as options to the casting director, so that he/she can choose the most suitable one to send the channel.
  6. BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR INTRODUCTION: Always be confident in your introduction. You are not playing a character when you are introducing yourself. The viewer wants to see your own personality, so keep a smile on your face and speak loudly and clearly. Always know what you are going to say in your introduction. Keep it short and crisp ! I will be uploading a separate blog on how to give an introduction.
  7. KEEP IN TOUCH: Keeping in touch with people from the industry is also important. If you are out of sight for too long, you will be out of mind. You should make it a point to consistently show up for auditions so that people know you are available and looking for work. Be cordial and warm when you meet your casting directors and respect them because they are the ones who will get you work. Be friendly but not over friendly with anyone in the industry. Don’t throw tantrums at the shoot or sulk for small small things. Be professional and humble with everyone around you.
  8. LEARN AND IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS: While giving auditions, simultaneously learn new skills and also improve your acquired skills. This will give you an upper hand over other actors. You will be known for your skill and whenever there is a requirement for the same, you will be called. There are a number of skills you can choose from: learn a new language, go for a dance class, voice modulation sessions, horse riding classes, martial arts and the list goes on. Learning a new skill, will keep you busy when you are out of work and you won’t feel that frustrated any longer.

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