Acting and voice acting auditions can be scary, especially if you go in without some prior preparation and know a thing or two about how to become an actor.
Knowing how to prepare for a casting audition is half the battle. Once you know what to do, it’ll simply become a case of going through the motions before it’s your time to show them what you’ve got.
If you’re concerned about nerves getting in the way of optimal performance, take comfort in the fact that everyone gets nervous. Even the actors that seem unfazed by anything have had moments of self-doubt and pits in their stomachs before auditions.
In fact, it’s almost more concerning to be nerve-free before an audition or voice acting job, as this means you might not be taking it as seriously as you should.
If you’re wondering how to become an actor with no experience or how to become an actor or actress in the UK, then knowing how to prepare for auditions is key.
In this guide, we’ll go over just about everything you need to know to crush your audition from getting a handle on those pesky nerves to addressing confidence issues and more.
Have you Done Your Research?
‘I want to become an actor where do I start?’
Well, if you tackle theory before practice, then you should put yourself in good stead going into auditions.
If you want to nail an audition you’ve just been called up to, then it’s in your best interests to research around the role.
If you can prove to the casting directors or whoever else is in charge that you know everything there is to know about the character and the background information for the scene, then you’ll put yourself in pole position for the role.
Nothing’s guaranteed of course, but you’ll automatically become a better option for the role than the actors who go into the audition blind.
If you’re auditioning for an ongoing TV show, watch several episodes and pick up on everything from the way the characters move to how they talk and address one another.
Is the dialogue free-flowing or often interrupted by action?
How can you assume the role of a new character in the show without interfering with the current harmony among cast members?
Even if the role is for a new show or a film, you can track down some of the director’s previous work. By studying their past work, you can get a feel for how they like their action to play out on screen, and how the dialogue flows.
You should also go over a copy of the whole script, even if you only have a few lines!
If you don’t have the whole script, ask the director for a copy. This will show that you’re proactive and willing to work hard to truly understand the role.
This is a good habit to get into, as it demonstrates a willingness on your part to dive deep into the source material and read around your character’s role. After all, your character is likely just one of many, so you need to know what else is happening in the show or film with characters you will probably interact with.
Are you Confident in your Abilities?
Do you lack confidence when it’s your time to shine?
If so, then you need to address that if you want to realise your potential in the profession.
It isn’t so much confidence you need to develop, but self-confidence. The kind of self-confidence that has you believing in yourself and your abilities to do well in any audition and any role.
How do you build this self-confidence?
In our view, the best way to develop this trait is to take on private acting lessons with a tutor.
If you want an easy way to find a local acting tutor who can help get you ready for your next acting audition, Superprof has you covered. If you ever wonder aloud ‘where are the acting classes near me?’ then Superprof could be the answer.
On the website, you can find local tutors for lessons or even take on online classes so you can work on your self-confidence with someone who’s been in your shoes and knows what it takes to succeed.
Another life hack for instantly boosting your confidence on the day is to stroll around with your back straight, shoulders back, and chest out. Take up space, and assume the posture of someone who is confident in themselves.
While this might feel strange at first, there is some evidence to suggest that performing certain ‘power poses’ can have a real effect on how confident you feel.
An acting course isn’t a bad idea either as it will give you useful tips on how to get into acting and general performing arts skills.
Have you Learned your Lines?
It goes without saying, but one of the most important ways to prepare for an acting audition is to learn your lines.
However good your memory is, you’ll have lapses from time to time and moments when nerves get the better of you and forget your lines.
It’s in these moments that you want to know you have a safety net in place.
The safety net is your inside-and-out knowledge of the lines for your audition.
Reading over them once isn’t enough. Go over them again and again, reading them from memory, to your friends, and doing anything else you need to in order to burn them into your mind.
That way, even if you stumble, you shouldn’t have to spend too much time reaching for that word or phrase.
Are you Able to Slip Into Character?
Method acting is when an actor goes all out to get into the mind and body of the character they’re going to play on screen.
It’s an approach that can lead to brilliant results in some cases but can also be awkward for other cast members when taken to the extreme.
We’re not suggesting you need to become a method actor to nail your acting auditions, but you could learn a thing or two from that approach.
To give a believable performance in any role, you’re going to want to embody the character to some extent.
How can you do that?
Well, on a basic level, by doing due diligence and researching the role thoroughly.
The best way to impress in an audition is to show how prepared you are. Show that you know what kind of clothes the character you’re auditioning for would wear and that you know how they would speak, and even how they talk with their body.
Getting down to the minutiae of the character you want to play is crucial for delivering believable importance. Obviously, it’s easier when you’re taking on the role of a real person because you can track down footage and details about them to mimic. But when it’s a fictional character, you’re going to have to take some initiative by asking the director for as much information as they can give you.
In the case that the role you’re auditioning for requires a foreign accent, don’t rely on your ability to imitate that accent. Hire an accent coach and that way you can train your voice to accurately produce the sounds of the language or accent.
If you follow the 10 rules of social media for actors and learn how to market yourself as an actor on social media, this should help you build a reputation and learn from the pros when it comes to getting into character.
How to Tackle Pre-audition Nerves
We all get nervous before a big event, and casting auditions present an opportunity for work so of course, they will bring about a feeling of nervousness from time to time.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can address this common audition anxiety.
The first way is to follow the aforementioned preparation tips, as going into an audition knowing that you’ve done everything you can do is the best way to alleviate nerves.
Aside from preparing though, many actors follow pre-audition rituals or routines that can provide a sense of comfort and help them to slip into the zone.
For example, in her MasterClass, Helen Mirren claims that one of the best things you can do is breathwork. She recommends several breathing exercises to help you feel grounded and get the nerves out of your body.
Another thing she recommends is vocal warmup exercises since there’s nothing worse than opening your mouth at an audition only for a faint croak to come out due to insufficient warmup.
This won’t work for everyone, but some actors like to go to an audition with a playlist they’ve prepared. If you make a playlist with a lot of songs that make you feel calm and put you at ease, then you should notice that audition anxiety dissipates before it takes over.
Finally, the best advice we can give you to tackle pre-audition nerves is to try and be present. Do what you have to do to get into the moment, and stay there.
Whether it’s meditation, paying attention to the sights and sounds around you, or pinching yourself, make sure to show up at the moment and don’t allow your thoughts to monopolise your attention.
Child actors might have a different experience of nerves, so if you want to become a child actor with no experience then working on your confidence is your best bet.
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