My First Professional Audition and How I Prepared for It
On Tuesday this past week, I submitted for a small role in a feature film. I have been submitting like crazy for any and all background roles I find, but I usually get too nervous to submit for featured roles. I received the casting call in my email, read over the character descriptions, and almost on a whim decided to try for the one that I was best suited for. The next day I got an email congratulating me on being selected to audition for that role. I couldn’t believe it!
I immediately went to YouTube for advice on how to prepare and what to expect (well, after texting my mom, of course). Then I:
- Downloaded the sides and memorized my (two) lines.
- Practiced my lines/performance (but not too much).
- Picked out what I would wear (a teal dress and black flats; my closest outfit that matched the character description).
- Ordered head shots (if you order online from Walgreen’s, you can pick them up the same day, thank God).
- Printed my resume and stapled the copies to the back of my head shots.
- Gathered everything I needed for the audition and put it in one place so I wouldn’t forget something (this included my shoes, dress, head shots, makeup, hairspray, snacks, bottled water, and toll money).
- Wrote affirmations and found a couple great actor meditations on YouTube to listen to before bed (this one and this one).
Like I’ve mentioned before, writing and saying affirmations have made such a huge difference in my creative life. Here are some of the ones I wrote before this audition (the night before and immediately before I went in the audition room):
- I am a good actor.
- I belong here.
- I was given this chance because they see something in me that would be great for this role.
- I have prepared well for this audition.
- I have everything I need to succeed in this role.
- I am always improving as an actor.
- I am okay. (Surprisingly, this is a very calming affirmation for me. I use it any time I’m feeling nervous or anxious.)
And finally, if you’ve never done an audition and are curious about how it goes, mine went a little something like this:
- I arrived 45 minutes before my scheduled audition time. I spent 15 minutes in my car checking my hair and makeup, making sure I had what I would need, reading/saying my lines, and writing affirmations. Then I went inside.
- I was greeted and asked to sign in on a sheet of paper and on their computer. On the computer, I had to create a profile with my contact information and measurements (height, weight, clothes sizes, bust/waist/hip measurements, and glove and hat size). Luckily, I had recently submitted for an extra role that required all that stuff, so I had my measurements on my phone.
- Then I sat on a couch and waited. There were three people ahead of me. I read my sides one more time and wrote a few more affirmations.
- Once the guy in front of my went in, I was told to stand on deck (in front of the door to the audition room). I was able to hear his audition, which was great because it gave me an idea of what to expect. A few moments after he left the room, one of the assistants opened the door and asked if I was ready.
- (This is where things get fuzzy. It all happened so fast and the following is what I think and hope I did, lol). I smiled and said hello to the room in general. I started to hand out my head shots but another assistant said they wouldn’t need them today. So I set them on an empty table and went to the mark I was told to go to.
- The same assistant took a picture of me, told me she would be reading with me, and said to let her know when I was ready. I took a second to breathe and gather my thoughts, then smiled and nodded at her.
- (This is where I blacked out and delivered my lines, like I always do during an audition. I have no idea if this part went well or not.)
- After the scene, she asked me to say my name and height.
- I smiled and thanked everyone. I grabbed my head shots and the casting director asked me if he could have one since “we don’t know each other.” I thanked them again, signed out, and left. I was in and out in less than 30 minutes.
- I treated myself to a trip to Barnes and Noble (which may have been just as exciting as the audition itself).
Everyone there was so nice and friendly and told me exactly what to do and when to do it, which is what I had been hoping for.
I was so surprised and excited about the chance to audition, I honestly will not even be upset if I don’t get the part (I mean, obviously I would love to get it, but if not, that’s okay too). The night before the audition, I felt like no matter the outcome, this is still a great opportunity and that this is just the beginning of many auditions and roles to come. I’ve never felt so positive about an audition before. I felt just as great afterwards as I did when I first received the email saying I had gotten one.
Just a couple months ago I was way too nervous to even submit for these small featured roles because I was afraid of the audition. Thank God I keep ignoring those fears because I would be missing out on so much if I were still letting them dictate my life.