Auditioning is a necessary and unavoidable process for the beginning of your acting career, especially in Los Angeles. However, you should not consider auditions as a job interview, but rather a chance to start doing what you love the most, to begin creating new characters and to get used to performing in front of the audience. Still, auditioning, especially in Los Angeles, may be a tense and stressful process as a group of casting directors will gather in a small room watching your performance. For this reason, here are some tips for you to gain an insight on how to audition for a role in Los Angeles.
What do you need for an audition?
The first thing you need for an audition is to arrive not less than 15 minutes earlier to enter the casting room. However, there are several things you should prepare before the audition:
As Konstantin Stanislavski’s method of acting dictates, “The actors’ job is to inhabit the characters they play.” This quote applies not only to confirmed roles but also to auditions. In fact, it is far more essential to have that task completed for the audition to have more chances to get the part. Having done the character research, you will build a reputation of a professional actor for yourself.
Know the plot of the play/movie/commercial
If the casting director does not consider you for the role you auditioned for, you may get another one if you know the script and the whole plot well. Your knowledge will make an impression on the casting crew, and you will have a chance to demonstrate yourself as another character. Tom Hiddleston, for example, first auditioned for the role of Thor in Marvel’s “Thor.” However, the casting director did not see the Thor in Hiddleston and suggested him to play Loki, as he knew the plot very well. So, follow the example of Tom Hiddleston, and go to the audition maximally aware.
Memorize your lines
Los Angeles auditions are tough. They are even tougher if you are going there without memorizing the lines of your character. Moreover, it is a complete waste of time. They expect you to learn your lines before entering the audition room so that you can demonstrate your acting skills and not your reading skills. The professional casting crew may put you in various situations to test your body language skills, your posture, eye contact, etc. If you need to have a paper with your lines in your hands, you will surely fail all the task you may be assigned to do. Some Los Angeles casting agencies will immediately kick you out in case you do not know your lines by heart.
Who auditions you?
You are already in the room where you have to perform in the best way you can to get the role you are dying for. Forget about yourself for a moment and look at the people sitting in front of you. Who are those people? Obviously, they are the ones who decide whether you will receive the part or not. So, it is worth knowing them well, isn’t it? So, just Google them as much as you can.
These are the first people who see the actors in the auditioning room. The job of casting directors is not only to look at the actors and consider them for roles but also to take those talents and lead them to become distinguished actors. We say that directors “have an eye on the talent.” Hence, the casting director is the person who you should impress first of all, even if you are not chosen for the role. Casting directors not only look for an actor for that particular role, but they look for talents for the future. If you impress them with your performance, they will be likely to remember you and help you to grow as an actor.
Remember, it’s all about connections in Hollywood.
Casting associates are the casting directors’ right hand. They “filter” the actors. Out of thousands of candidates for a specific role in a movie, they pick a maximum of hundred. Therefore, you may need to impress them to get the chance to impress the casting director as well. In reference to the final audition, the association takes care of contacting the agents and schedule your audition. Casting associates know everything about you and sometimes even present you to the casting director. So, make sure the casting associates like you.
Even if compared to the casting director and the associate, the reader may seem to be a secondary persona; they are more influential than you can imagine. Basically, the reader is the person who reads the lines of the other characters of the story. However, your interaction with the reader is extremely important for the casting director. The reader is considered to be your partner, and your interaction with him/her is a test of your ability to interact with your real acting partners.
The Creative Team
All of the movie industry professionals mentioned above are important, right? However, the creative team is probably the most essential out of everyone. The group includes the director, producer and the writers. These are the people who are going to make the final decision whether you will play the part or not. In other words, if you impress the casting associate and the casting director, you are on the final line of your audition. This team meets the final candidates for the role. If this team finally chooses you for the role, it will also match you with your future co-stars and the crew.
What to bring to an audition in Los Angeles?
Now, when you are already registered for an audition, and you have done your preparation, it is time to think about what you are going to take there with yourself.
A Headshot and a Resume
These are the two things that are undoubtedly the most important for your presence in a casting room. Even if the casting director knows you very well, you have to have a detailed resume and a headshot by a professional photographer in your hands. These 2 items serve as a passport for an actor. What is more, it is essential that your headshot and your resume are stapled together. The headshot is the first thing Los Angeles casting agencies look at when considering an actor. If you wonder how much it costs to hire a Los Angeles headshot photographer, click here. It is vital for them to have your resume together to be able to form an opinion.
The day before the audition
You have done preparation for your character, researched, learned your lines, and read the script. Now is the last day before your audition that will give a start to your acting career in Hollywood. There are a couple of things left for you to do. You should:
Revise your lines
Yes, we said that you have already learned them. Repeat them once again. It will not take too long, but “repetition is the mother of learning.” Make sure you know everything well, and if you forget your lines, you will most probably fail your audition.
Put an extra copy of your headshot into your bag
If you forget your headshot or something happens to it on the way, it will be hard to find a headshot photographer in Los Angeles in a couple of minutes to get a new headshot. Remember, the headshot is your entrance ticket to the Los Angeles audition room, so take care of it.
Choose your outfit carefully
Never ever leave this task to the day of the audition. Choosing clothes is a source of panic, which you need to avoid by all means. You should not load your mind with the difficult task of picking an outfit. The last day before the audition is a perfect time to decide what you are going to wear at the audition. The only thing you will have to do on the day of the audition will be just putting those clothes on and leaving the house. Audition clothing rules are similar to those of headshot sessions. Here is information on wardrobe rules and restrictions.
Make a morning checklist
Does it sound an obvious thing? Well, most people forget about this and run in the house in the morning of the audition, and when they finally get out, there is an impression that the house has been under a nuclear attack. The audition is a key event in every actor’s life and your future acting career in Hollywood. That is why everything should go smoothly on the day of your audition. So, take a moment to write down a morning schedule for the audition day.
Set 3 alarms
Childish? No, it is extremely efficient. Most of the auditions start early in the morning. You need to make sure to get up on time on the day of the audition. Try to wake up from the sound of the first alarm, but if you accidentally don’t, no trouble as you have 2 more alarms set.
What’s happening after leave the audition room
The audition process generally takes from a couple of weeks to several months. You may have to wait very long until you get final decision. If you do not receive an answer for months, do not worry! The audition may still be in process. You may be interested in what actually happens when you leave that room to wait for the life-changing decision.
Basically, after you leave the audition room, other candidates walk in and out. In the end, the casting team starts narrowing down the list. It happens very rarely when one candidate takes the role immediately. Usually, the casting team makes a shortlist of candidates and calls them back for new tests. It is necessary to note that in this whole process, the final decision is not made by a single person. A whole team works on choosing the best candidate. Therefore, after you leave the audition room, a whole discussion about you and your performance may take place.
Los Angeles Actors’ Common Mistakes
You may be perfectly prepared for your audition in LA; however, there exist a certain amount of common mistakes. Even the most experienced and talented Hollywood actors can make those mistakes you would like to avoid. Here are the main mines actors tend to step in:
Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse
It is always evident for the casting director whether the actor has rehearsed his part or no. If you have not rehearsed, you only waste your time during the audition. If you do not rehearse, it means you do not take the audition seriously. It also means that you are not very passionate about the role you are auditioning for. More practically, if you have not rehearsed, you will not be able to have a natural conversational rhythm.
Learn your part every day
Do not leave the rehearsals to the last day. You need time to get used to your role so that you can perform in the most natural way. Do not say that you got the script a day ago. Everybody can say that. You may want to look above the other contestants. So, if you really want to have the role, take some time, and prepare. The casting directors notice everything. They will understand that you have spent a couple of days to prepare for the audition; hence, you have a serious approach to your role, and they will pay special attention to yourself.
Don’t ask to perform once more
Casting directors hate when the contestants stop in the middle of their performance and ask to start over. Never pronounce the phrase “Sorry, can I please restart?.” It makes the casting directors nervous. They prefer confidence in actors. That is why, if you feel that you did not start well, just say, “I will start once more” and do it. The casting directors will appreciate that. They do not like vulnerability but prefer courage and certainty. In one of our previous articles we offer 3 tips to emerging actors.
You, as an actor, should know that you will need to participate in several auditions in Los Angeles to build an acting career in Hollywood for yourself. Auditions require serious preparation, professional headshots, and there are numerous things you will have to do before the audition date so that you leave the room successfully gone through the audition process.
Finally, if you would like to get information on casting calls in Los Angeles register yourself in some top casting agencies. If you are not sure which ones to trust, ask Yelp.