Photo Source: Caitlin Watkins
Ah, the audition room. It’s a place as fertile with opportunity as it is with rejection—it just depends on what seeds you’re looking to sow. No matter where you’re at in your career though—from young novices to Oscar winners, Backstage has talked with them all—one of the constants of making a living as an actor is audition nerves. Let’s face it: It’s likely never going to be a situation that you’re particularly excited for, and it’s so very easy to get in your head and psych yourself out when put in the vulnerable spotlight, but it’s a necessary evil and there are, of course, ways you can quell your fears.
Ask any actor how to make the most of their time in the audition room, and across the board, they’ll likely tell you one thing: The key is in the preparation. You simply can’t give your best work if you’re underprepared. That means memorizing your sides; that means warming up and being emotionally present; that means understanding the greater context of the piece; that means making choices that others are not obviously going to make. But preparedness goes beyond the ins and outs of your performance. As an auditioning actor, you should certainly have some idea of the piece’s tone and intent, and part of that is asking questions in the audition room, yes, but also being familiar with who you’re asking those questions to. Know the writer and director’s previous credits and filmmaking style; know the people who are attached as casting directors for the project.
But…who are all these other people in the room with you? It’s one thing to put your success on the line for your future collaborators and the creators of a project, but it’s also important to know the smaller fish on the other side of the table and what their role is in making your audition the best it can be. Below, we break down the various people you may run into over the course of your next audition and what their position in the audition room means for you, the actor.
- Casting Directors
- Casting Associate
- Equity Monitor
- “The Creative Team”