Our guide to audition

Our guide to audition

First published date April 02 2014 Amended date April 28 2014

Catching your big break in the acting world is something that’s incredibly tough such is the competition for roles. And where is it that a role is won or lost? It’s the audition of course, and nailing it is ultimately what will be getting you work over the course of your acting career. So what better way to give you a head start than with an audition course to help perfect your techniques when it comes to those nerve racking casting sessions? This could be especially perfect for you if you’re thinking of auditioning for the next series of The X Factor!


Why would an audition course be good for me?

An audition course is great if you’re someone who finds that you falter at this stage when looking for a role. It doesn’t matter whether you struggle with nerves or find it hard to remember your lines; there will be a course that will assist you with whatever kind of help you need. Auditions are not only about first impressions but lasting ones, so it’s well worth perfecting your approach and application in them to make it in the world of show business. There are courses for auditions in all kinds of performing arts disciplines, whether it’s for camera for TV roles or preparing your voice and songs for a theatrical musical.


What kinds of techniques will I be shown?

This really depends on the kind of audition course you go for. Courses can range from specifying in auditions for Shakespearian roles to ones which concentrate more on auditions which require singing or ones specifically for auditioning to camera.

Courses will teach you how to loosen up and be more open so you can concentrate on the task at hand and put those nerves to one side. The pressures of the situation can often over shadow your actual talents meaning you’re unlikely to stand out in the whole audition process. You’ll be taken through different methods like the Alexander Technique for example, to maximise your body functions, help your breathing techniques and posture, and other ways to minimise nerves, improve projection and boost all round confidence.

There are also courses which will help more with the acting itself rather than concentrating on overcoming any nerves or anxiety issues. This could include exercises and help with memorising lines for example. Some courses will help you choose a monologue of some kind which will best prepare you for any upcoming auditions. This will usually be led by an experience actor or someone who has worked in casting before. They will give you honest feedback; though it might not always be what you want to hear, constructive criticism is often the best way to help you progress and improve on your weaknesses.

Courses will also teach how best to prepare for any given audition. Apart from the obligatory practising of lines and rehearsals as well as voice projecting sessions, you’ll be shown how to warm your body as well as vocals immediately before an audition is about to begin to ensure you are at 100 per cent when it begins.

Courses range from one hour sessions booked as you go, and others which are booked in blocks over a number of weeks or even months. The former will be perfect for you if you have an audition coming and want a quick booster to bolster your chances, whereas longer courses is great if you’re trying to improve your techniques and approach as a whole.


Some Hollywood audition tales

-          Robert De Niro had originally auditioned for the roles of Michael Corleone, Sonny Corleone and Carlo Rizzi for The Godfather. However, director Francis Ford Coppola deemed De Niro unsuitable for any of those characters because of his chilling nature. When it came to casting for The Godfather Part II, Coppola remembered De Niro and cast him as the young Vito Corleone in the iconic film for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Closed doors and opened windows and all that...


-          Eli Roth, who played Donny ‘The Bear Jew’ Donowitz in Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglorious Basterds, did not impress the director in his first audition initially. Roth said ‘I blew it. I did terribly and Quentin called me and starts making fun of me. He was like, “you were so bad in your audition, but I’ll give you a call-back”.’