Things to Consider Before You Start to Prep for that Audition

You are about to grow a character out of your own being. Like any smart gardener prepare the soil before you start planting. 
1. Before opening the email, ask yourself: “what tiny part of the human condition do I get to explore today? What an amazing opportunity! I get to explore myself in relation to others and the world around me. I may even end up getting paid for this!”

2. Let empathy and curiosity be your guide regardless of your audition prep.
You only have one chance to read your materials for the “First Time”.  It is pure snow, untrampled by any unconscious bias that you unwittingly apply to it.  It’s not the choices you make that will get you, but the unconscious ones you didn’t realize you’ve already made. 

3. Before reading your sides for the first time – try sitting in a nice chair, lie down on the couch or pull them up before you go to bed. Approach the materials as though they were a poem, a novel, or a piece of music. 

4. Let it enter you associatively and let it seep into your consciousness, just as a powerful film or a great piece of music would. You will be affected deeply. It will trigger long term memory. You will drift to a place that is almost dreamlike. This is what I call “dreaming while awake.”

5. This is not an exam. Do not put yourself back into into high school exam trauma mode. This is an opportunity to share. 

6. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
–  Where or when have I ever experienced anything like this before?
– Where or when have I known anyone to go through anything like this before?
– Where or when have I seen anything like this before on a TV show or on a film?

7. Characters don’t have memories, only you do. 

8. Make character choices, not choices designed to impress casting. Characters don’t want to book parts. They want what they want.

9. 4 questions to ask when dealing with stage directions:
–  Is it doable without mime?
– Does it advance the plot?
– Does it reveal something more about my relationships?
– Does it reveal more about the nature of the character I am playing?

10. Highlight all non-contextual lines to create a mind map of your character’s thought processes and psyche.

11. Black out the cue word and highlight that part of the other persons speech that you are reacting to.  

12. Relentlessly searching for validation through the audition system is futile. 
Commit to it, or don’t do it.  No one is forcing you to do this audition. You choose to do it!

13. Remember you are part of a community and this is PLAY.  Get together with an actor friend.  Have a cup of tea or coffee and run some lines.  Discuss and share thoughts about the scenes.  This gives you a beautiful excuse to get together to share your passion for the craft.

14. Always walk into the room with something to offer.  An audition isn’t about acquisition.  

15. Review the 5 stages Blog:  and for an even deeper read, take a look at the full 5 part Audition series: