Ever been in a room full of people that look just like you? Yeah, it’s a surreal experience but one as actors we must get used to and pretty quickly, especially since we are in the midst of pilot season. One of my most recent auditions for a well known American day time drama was one of my first experiences of entering a room and seeing ten other early twenty year old, tall, long dark haired, white women all in one place and all thinking the same thing as I walked in ‘Oh great, another one.’ This, on top of being in a room waiting to be judged is a peculiar thing for anyone to go through, so I wanted to share my preparation routine that helps waiting for my name to be called that little bit easier.
1. Arrival Time:
My head of acting, Gareth Farr, at ArtsEd drilled in to us the importance of time keeping and since leaving I have lived by his motto with not only going to meetings, but with all aspects that are important to me:
“If you’re fifteen minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late and if you’re any minute past your scheduled time you might as well not bother showing up.”
I like to be early for an audition so that I can settle in to the room and calm any nervousness I may be feeling, that way I will not be rushed and have time to go over my sides or make notes for any cold reads.
2. Block Out The Noise:
It’s hard to be sitting in the waiting room, concentrating on pieces of work you have gone over and over only to hear not only someone else’s audition, but to hear someone leave a room as if the casting director you are all seeing is their best friend. Yes they may know them and have some sort of common ground with them already but they could well be simply playing up the small connection they could have to make you feel as uneasy as possible. Believe me, some people do that. I like to take a pair of headphones with me, pop them in and listen to music that aids me get in to the mood of the scene or character. It automatically makes me feel concentrated and energised.
3. Don’t Be Anti-Social:
Absolutely do what makes you feel most comfortable and ready to take on the room but make sure not to be a complete recluse. Some people like to make small talk whilst they wait to be seen, others choose to stay silent, both fine to do so but as a pre-warning, do not be someone who flat out ignores others, simply say you’d like to stay in the zone because trust me, the casting directors are not the only members of the casting company that are watching you. Assistants and receptionists all have eyes and will give honest feedback. It doesn’t matter if you’re the next Kate Winslet, if your attitude is aloof you will not be getting the job.
4. Keep Your Mind And Body Active:
It is very easy to sit in one position and meditate over your script, but after a while your energy can become deflated, especially if you arrived relatively early. I try to walk around a little, go to a corner outside the room and stretch a little more to ensure I am even more warmed up. You want to go in to the room knowing you’re as prepared as possible, know the lines, feel confident and versatile – all key aspects for good ground work.
5. You Deserve This:
It doesn’t matter who you come across in the room or how anyone makes you feel, you deserve to be there. The casting directors want you there because they see something. You have just as much a chance of getting that role as anyone else in that room.
My audition room prep. works for me but of course might not work for everyone the same way. Once you attend more and more auditions you come to discovering what is best and what works for you. Like everything, it comes with experience on how to make you feel the most comfortable and confident when you enter that room to be the best version of you and give the greatest audition possible.