How to Ace Auditions and Readings for The Young Professional Actors


Auditions and readings are part of the working actor’s life. Only very celebrated and sought-after actors don’t have to go over this regular hurdle. Two general rules spring to mind. Be prepared; be yourself. An actor should have a variety of very well prepared and well thought out audition pieces up his sleeve for general auditions. He should have at least half a dozen, preferably more, with contrast and variety: a serious piece by Shakespeare, if you can do it well, a funny piece by Shakespeare; a modern speech that suits you down to the ground; and a piece that is in contrast to what you look like. It’s most refreshing to see a handsome actor or actress pull a rich, ripe character part out of the bag and equally delightful when an ugly or perhaps nondescript actor plays a suave or romantic charmer with great elegance and style. (For this latter trick, the actor must be sure of the musicality and persuasiveness of his/her speech, and show effortless control and aplomb.) Next, you need a speech for a character of your age, like you. Aim to strike a balance between pieces which are largely narrative and description, and those which are more subjective and emotional, and perhaps favor comedy and narrative. Profound and strongly expressed emotion is very hard to create at 10 a.m. on a wet Thursday in a studio in Soho. Above all, choose what you’re good at, and what good material is. Avoid the overworked pieces, but don’t bother to hunt out audition pieces for rarity value alone; it’s probably a rare speech because it’s a lousy play. Directors and casting directors will scratch their heads and mutter ‘What the Hell was that? Didn’t understand a word of it’. Be prepared to be asked to move to music, to sing and to improvise on suggested ideas.

Young Professional Actors

Wear simple clothes that suit you, and in which you can move easily. You may at times cheat slightly in favor of the type of person they’re looking for. It’s probably counterproductive to audition for Grease wearing a three-piece suit and a necktie, or La Dame aux Camellias wearing jeans and a T-shirt The actor Tom Baker, of Dr Who fame, hearing that a Hollywood director was interviewing actors for the key role of the sinister and dissipated monk Rasputin in the movie Nicholas and Alexandra jumped into a taxi in full costume between shows at the National Theatre, and saw the director at his hotel. Baker was playing a very similar sort of part in an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot He not only looked perfect for the part, but no doubt conveyed the impression that he was a very busy actor working in exalted circles. Perhaps only an actor of Baker’s presence and personality could get away with it, but it does make the point: look right.

Be natural and behave normally. Save the histrionics for the acting, and not too much of those. A director tends to think ‘Can this person act? Are they vaguely/very right for the role?’ ‘Could I work with them?’ Be polite, friendly and relaxed, but modestly so. Directors recoil in horror from actors who leer and ogle or who give the impression that their suicide will follow immediately if they don’t get the part.

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  3. How to Audition
  4. How to Engage in Blocking or Plotting During Acting Rehearsals
  5. How to Earn By Being an Actor or an Actress

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About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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