Here at The Forge Initiative, we believe that there are going to be times when you have a good feeling about an acting audition, a workshop or a course. Perhaps it is going to be for someone you know, maybe they have heard you audition before or it could be that they have expressly asked to see you as they think you are well suited to the role they are auditioning. However, that is going to be only a very small percentage of the time. Mostly you are going to be auditioning for a panel of people who you have never met before and who only know you through a headshot photo.

You have no idea what they are looking for and they have no idea if you are going to be suitable. So, without being defeatist or apologetic, you must always bear in mind that as soon as you walk in that room, there is a chance you may not fill the criteria of the panel.

Having said that, we at The Forge Initiative, encourage all auditionees to always face an audition with a positive attitude. Someone is going to get a place in the programme that you are auditioning for and so why shouldn’t it be you?

Give your best

It’s very easy to get too wrapped up in the desire to please the panellists at an audition or a workshop: trying to get inside their heads and figure out exactly what they are looking for – this is a complete waste of time. Some panellists have no idea what they are looking for but are waiting to see a spark from an auditionee to give them ideas and advice. Here are some auditions tips from us:

  1. Never change anything about your audition at the last minute simply because you think it is going to be something the panel want;
  2. Perform exactly as you have practiced, that way you are going to be giving your best;
  3. If, after giving your audition, you get the dreaded ‘no thanks’ then at least you can come away from the audition knowing you have done your best and not compromised with some hastily unrehearsed version.

Auditions can be nerve-wracking. Even the most seasoned of performers will tell you they get panicked at the thought of them. And, although the ultimate goal of your audition is to get accepted, you should look upon each audition as building on your confidence.

Making sure every breath is in the right place, you are giving out assurance that you are capable of turning in a good performance, you can be focused and assured. That way, no matter what the outcome of the audition, you will feel you have at least accomplished what you set out to do – a great audition, may it be for acting, directing, writing, music, voice or movement.

Dealing with the outcome

It is important to remember that sometimes a rejection is not the end of the story. Many times the audition panel may be looking for people for future projects and, if this is the case, they may well make notes to get you back sometime to re-audition for them. So, if you feel the audition went well, even though you got a ‘No thanks’, then leave the audition with dignity and a friendly ‘thank you’ to the panel.

Remember, the panel want you to succeed. They are not there to see you fail. You may not be what they are looking for at that particular moment in time but, if they see something unique, authentic and special about your audition or workshop, they will remember you. That is why you must be true to yourself in your audition. Give the best performance you are capable of at that time and don’t compromise by given them what you think they would like to see.

Ultimately, a successful audition is one in which you are prepared and focused, and perform to the best of your ability. KEEP PRACTICING, and keep the passion alive!

At The Forge Initiative, we are looking for motivated, driven applicants who want to take control of their acting career in one year, leaving at the end with shows they have created themselves to take on tour. To find out more about our programme and to apply for our next audition, please visit our website: tfi.london/apply.

Paul Taylor is the Executive Director at The Forge Initiative and  has been working in the arts for over 26 years in a variety of roles.