Tips to Actors from a Director
As a director of five feature films, I’ve sat through a lot of auditions. We’ve cast in LA and NYC and of course local. And what I want to do here is give some advice, some cheat codes that can quickly make an impact for you as an actor going in to an audition.
First– if you’re given the sides, have them beyond memorized. What I mean by this is that if you work until you’ve finally get through it once from memory, that’s not near enough. The crucible that is the audition room will pressure your brain and you’ll forget. So run it again and again. If you’re not given sides, then practice memorizing– it’s a muscle. Quit saying you’re no good at memorizing. Become good at it. On Rising Stars, we saw one actor who did a great job, but I thought maybe she would do better in a totally different role. We sent her out and fifteen minutes later she came back in with the sides completely memorized.
Second– don’t stick your sides up in front of your face. It’s okay to hold the sides, but if at all possible, keep them down and away (and hopefully you never glance at them). As a director, I want to see your face. I want to see your expressions. Honest-to-goodness… we’ve had actors who have read with their sides way up blocking their faces.
Third, don’t forget to act when you’re not saying lines. I’m watching that as much as the lines. I want to see the beats. And they often come when the other person is talking.
In the Audition Seminar, we go into depth on these and a lot more. I might post more. Also might post some video. Have questions? Post them here.