Audition Technique

Waiting after an Audition

“How long until I find out if I booked the role?” This is something that can make actors very nervous. I’m sorry that there is not an easy answer. It’s like my lawyer said when I was negotiating a real estate deal, “How long is a piece of string?” It all depends on the time frame of the project, the director’s mood, and the amount of producer and network approvals needed. 

Sometimes the director approves and they're just waiting for some guy sitting in an office somewhere in Burbank to sign off. 

Recently I was casting an HBO pilot and one of our actors was told that she would  hear from HBO with an offer. Well she waited ten long days and gave up other work in the meantime. Finally I called HBO, and the problem was simply that the business affairs office hadn't moved it off their desk yet. 

Remember that priorities are different on the other side of the deal

My advice — once you’ve done your audition, put it out of your mind, and develop a hobby …

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Brain Research and Creativity

Researcher Charles Limb scanned the brains of jazz musicians, learned that the part of the brain that is worried about being "correct" and not making mistakes has to be switched off in order for the creative part of the brain to switch on. 

So the more an worry about mistakes at an audition, the less creative she is likely to be. 

We don't care if you say the lines perfectly, we want to see you soar!

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Managing Nerves Throughout Each Stage of the Audition Process: Part 2

In my last post, I outlined how to identify the sources of nerves at each stage of the audition process. Once you’ve pinpointed what is making you nervous you can then take action to combat it. 

Waiting for the Phone to Ring …

Waiting for auditions can be the most passive and frustrating part of being an actor. Instead of seeing this as dead time, you should use it productively to get yourself ready for castings.

Find a class or coach to sharpen up your skills, including faster line-learning.Try The Actors Centre, find a coach from The Actor’s Yearbook, ask your drama school to set up a graduate class or do something with mates.

Get access to a camera and practise self-taping. Check out Nancy Bishop’s ’Secrets From the Casting Couch' for tips.

Find the right survival job. It needs to be flexible, pay enough and not leave you feeling drained.  In fact, I wrote on this previously, here.

Brush up on your accents by using IDEA , YouTube,  tutoring …

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Learning, Not Just Memorizing Lines

“How do you remember all those lines?” is the questions actors hear most often, and the truth is that they work really hard at it. And it is, perhaps, the most tedious and seemingly least creative task an actor has. It's also one of the very most important.

I've been impressed over and over again by the fact that the more experienced and accomplished the actor, the more time and energy she will put into the mechanical process of learning her lines and learning them perfectly. Actors with less experience sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they've finished learning before they really have. It's not enough to be able to sit in a chair and run through a scene or speech without a script in your hand. Really, an actor should be able to make dinner or ride a bike through traffic or play a game of frisbee and recite her lines at the same time. You need to have at least that much of your attention available to focus on something besides your …

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Auditioning is an art unto itself, and worth separating from the art of acting for a play or musical. People who love auditioning have the qualities of athletes who love to practice, of people who see their work as something to be applied in any circumstance, and of people who value bravery and fearlessness in their approach to life.

A good auditionee does not measure the success of an audition by the validation of their work through employment or through praise. One must demonstrate enormous psychological health to enjoy auditioning and not place this activity in the realm of approval.

Take a scene or song, analyze it, enjoy it, and bend your craft towards it. Go into the room to explore the words and the part, ask yourself hard questions about the action of the scene or the song, put that action into the character and particularly the person the scene is aimed at, keep the focus off yourself, and on the work, and be brave and agile. Make clear choices and look at the work like a …

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