Do you dream of being a working actor? Have you always been told that you are more than talented to make it in show business, but the phone just doesn’t ring when it comes to callbacks?
Well, the good news is that, like many things in life, what separates the winners from the losers isn’t varying levels of god-given talent or soaring inspiration. It is all about preparation and execution, whether it’s about trying out for an advert, playing the Bingo Australia and the rest of the world now offers online, or doing well at your day job.
Always Know the Objective
Dare to go beneath the dialogue and explore what the character you want to play wants from the reader. What greater purpose does your part play in the scene and overall story?
Develop Your Confidence
As simple as this tip sounds, it is something that takes practice. You need to walk in the door with your head held high, and be aware of giveaways that you are nervous, like shuffling your feet, or whispering instead of speaking audibly. You are being sized up from the moment you walk in the door, so practice your posture and body language before you arrive in the mirror at home. And don’t forget to smile!
Don’t Check Your Personality at the Door
Let who you are shine through. Avoid giving one-word answers when talking to the casting director, and don’t be shy about asking questions if you have any. The industry is always looking for curious actors who want to learn more about the craft.
Get to Know the Character
Read the entire script if you can before the audition to get as many clues as you can about who you are supposed to be playing. Define what they say about themselves, what others say about them, and what the writer says about them.
Make a Connection
Making a connection with the reader is easier than you think, and will go further than you hope. Memorise the material or at least study it so that you are familiar enough with it to keep eye contact. This will have a huge effect on how believable the scene is.
Explore Playing the Opposite
Raising your voice is not the only way to express anger. Sometimes lowering your tone can make for a far more affecting emotional display. Experiment with playing the opposite of what the standard method of portraying a feeling may be. It can sometimes result in a far more interesting interpretation.
Variety, Variety, Variety
Feel and play all the levels and dynamics in a scene. Avoid sticking to just one emotion. If your character is tough and angry, how might they evidence their vulnerability, hurt, or sadness?
What’s the Obstacle?
What is standing in the way of your character getting what they want? A large part of acting is finding what happens to you as you try to meet your objective in spite of the stumbling blocks your character necessarily encounters.