The Smartest Actor
True - there is no hard and fast rules for creating a great audition. Many people approach it in many different ways. However, there is one universal you should bring with you whenever you audition: BE THE SMARTEST ACTOR IN THE ROOM.
Not the know-it-all actor, or the most self-satisfied actor - the smartest. I cannot tell you how important this is.
During pilot season, a lot is asked of actors: Multiple auditions in single day, 10 pages of sides that become 2 when you walk in the room, hours of waiting, but all of this can be turned into a positive!
1) Many auditions = great but also stressful. Look at it as a challenge - I can conquer these! You are in demand and that's a goood thing! If you become overwhelmed, know yourself. Can you handle 2? Great! Can't handle more? Great too! If casting wants to see you, your reps can handle the reschedule so you don't burn out.
2) 10 pages of sides that become 2 in the room? Yes, super frustrating but great character development. Usually the scenes are chosen to show character diversity so you now know where the character comes from & where he goes and have made choices about everything.
3) Hours of waiting. BUMMER - but time to get into your headspace. What is your moment before? Who is the other person in the scene? How do you feel about them? Does your character have a song? Listen to it! 3 deep breaths before entering will calm you and you'll be IN IT!
A smart actor does his/her research. Read the script - most of the character/acting clues you need will be right there on the page. Do not ignore them. Also, do research on the studio/network. A CBS show is fundamentally tonaly different from an ABC show.
Who will be in the room? Is it a pre-read with casting? If so, what do they cast. Is it a producer's session? If so - who are the producers/director. What have they done before? If the script is not available go one step further - look at the writer and find something else he was written. Watch it! Be prepared.
Break down the script to the FUNDAMENTALS - where am I, what do I want, who am I talking to? That way, if your plan goes out the window (as it sometimes does) you have a strong foundation to catch you.
Use your time waiting wisely, I know you are catching up with your fellow actors but a smart actor take time to prepare and live in the moment before.
Ask useful questions to your audition. Is something said in the scene that you don't quite understand? Great! How to pronounce a word? Not so great (unless it's a last name). Be smart and learn all dialogue (and meaning) as you prepare.
BE. OFF. BOOK. Yes, hold your sides in case you drop a line, but the only way to get a scene into your body is to know the words!
Casting, Producers & Directors will always respond to a smart actor. Don't give them a reason to doubt!