Audition Tip #1: Tell the Story!

I’ll go back to talking about acting in a bit.  I’ll also soon give you some tips about Marketing and Branding.  But today I’m starting my 99 tip Audition series!  I invite you to become an audition ace with these little in-the-room attitude adjustments.

I’ve recently become affiliated with Hollywood Casting and Film, a casting and production house that has some interesting perks for its actor members.  One of them is that acting coaches like me give feedback for the actors who come for in-house auditions.

I just finished viewing my first batch and I have to admit that I was disappointed!  Not by the acting talent which, in some instances, was exceptional.   But by the lack of commitment to tell the story dictated by the script.

Let me back up here and give you some insight from when I was acting.  We didn’t have cell phones, computers or faxes then.  The answering machine had barely made a bow;  I bought one at great expense and it paid for itself when, a few weeks later, I got my first paying gig.   So auditioning was totally different.  We’d have to walk in the casting office, pick up the sides, and create our preparation then and there.  It kinda leveled the playing field by making cold reading skills all the more important.  For younger actors, it was also a crash course in figuring out a scene really fast!

I just finished reading a book called  “Become A Famous Actor: 10 Auditioning Secrets They Don’t Want You To Know” by David Patrick Green.  I don’t agree with some of the things he says, but his first “secret” really hit home when I saw those videos.  It was “tell the story”.

acting 51 Audition Tip #1: Tell the Story!As an actor, you have a responsibility to first read a script and understand it.  And I know that it’s kinda hard when you get disjointed sides with cross-outs and abrupt transitions. But it’s YOUR responsibility to find out what the character is about.  If you can’t get that from the script, for god’s sake ask the director or casting person!  I saw about six auditions for the same part and only one actor read it the way it was intended.  And the director had to tell him how.  I find that lack of grasp of the bottom line in a scene blatantly unprofessional.

Also, don’t attempt pantomimes, elaborate scene-settings, or sensory preparations.  Just act what is going on with the character, what the character wants in the scene and the way you as the character goes about getting it, and you’ll get the part,  as I’m sure the actor who was set straight by the director did.