Casting Director, Mark Summers, talks to The Stage about what makes a great audition.
One of the most common questions that I’m asked is ‘what makes a great audition?’ You’ve got to remember that talent is only a part of it. It’s about being prepared. It’s almost like being an athlete getting ready to do an Olympic race; you’ve got to be prepared for absolutely everything. Know your script, ask about any changes to the receptionist, and deliver what you need to deliver.
Use all of your skills
Remember; treat every single audition like a job interview. As a Casting Director I’m not only looking to see who’s the most talented, but also, I’m looking for problems. I’m looking to see how difficult or how easy you are to work with on and off camera. Remember, use all of your skills to get the most out of that two or three minutes you have in the room with the Casting Director and don’t sell yourself short.
Preparation is a must
If you want to land those auditions, then preparation is an absolute must. Go online, have a look at the past work of the Director and Casting Director. If you’ve been given a script, learn that script, but don’t over memorise it to the point where you cannot adapt at the audition with the Director.
The first time a Director will see you at an audition will be your slate, also known as your ident. This is the time where you can be yourself, so be friendly, be warm, be confident, be a person that you would want to work with. If you get this wrong, there’s a ninety-nine percent chance that the Director will not want to watch the rest of your audition.
Do it the Casting Directors way
A Casting Director is usually given directions by their client, who’s the Director, on how they would like to see the scene run; they will then pass on this information to the performer. Remember, even if you have a better suggestion in your mind don’t suggest it until you do it their way. Once you deliver and once you do a good job, then nicely suggest a way that you would like to do [it]. Most Casting Directors will be happy and will oblige this. Remember at the end of the day that you were called in to audition yourself and the Casting Director is testing your skills, not the other way around. If you listen to these tips, you’ll be on your way to success.