Whether you get a role or not is exclusively determined by how well you perform in the audition room. Right?

As it turns out, not really. Qualities like attitude, reliability, and self-knowledge can and do play a huge role in whether or not you are considered for a role or not. It’s also a good idea to come across as helpful and professional even before you step into the audition room.

To increase your odds of getting the role of your dreams, check out some of the tried-and-true ways of making the most out of your time in front of the audition panel:

  • If requesting an audition by email or by an online submission form, be sure to make your file attachments easy to read and name them professionally. While “sexyblueshirt” might be a name that means something to you, it’s not a very professional name for your headshot.
  • Assume that everyone you interact with throughout the whole process has influence over whether or not you get the gig. From the director and producer to the person who answers your email or gives you a pen to fill out a form, behave kindly and respectfully.
  • To look at the panel or not? Some people coach to always look the panel in the eye as you do your piece and others say that it’s too invasive and uncomfortable. When in doubt, ask.
  • When it comes to picking the appropriate piece to perform, follow the guidelines provided. You’ll rarely score points for doing a Sam Shepard monologue when the audition calls for Shakespeare.
  • When choosing a piece, try to avoid anything from a movie. Unless you’re as good as Pacino or Blanchett, all you’re doing is reminding the director of the performance those actors gave.
  • In the same vein, when choosing a piece, try to avoid ones where the character dies, gets violent towards the audience or uses a lot of props. There’s a chance you’ll be left lying on the floor and have to make an awkward rise, or you’ll have dropped stuff that you’ll have to spend time cleaning up. All of this can make you look self-conscious and unprepared, plus it takes away from your time in the room.
  • If asked to read sides, there’s nothing wrong with asking for time outside of the room to review. You may be asked to do so as the panel sees someone else, but that’s great - more time to prepare and show your work at its best!

The most helpful thing to remember is that everyone on the audition panel wants you to succeed. While the process may be intimidating, keeping that small fact in mind can give your time in the room that boost of confidence that helps make your audition a stand-out.

Break legs out there!

—by the staff of Hart House Theatre