How to build rapport at an audition

There is, thankfully, a very simple way in which to build a rapport with your auditioner(s) in the necessarily short amount of time available to you during castings. We all know that creating a memorable impression is important in this business and those who find auditions and castings nerve-wracking have a wonderfully easy solution right here. It is a method outlined by an Acting Tutor at my Drama School years ago: I have never forgotten it and I use every time.

When you enter the room, instead of feeling like a rabbit in the headlights and that you are being scrutinised by all facing you, turn the situation around. Look at each auditioner in the eyes as you extend your hand to shake theirs in greeting and from that point on, for the extent of the sudition chat, YOU observe THEM. Have a good look at their faces; how they use their mouths, their eyes... This is a two-fold winner: not only can you learn, as an actor, by watching and storing away those mannerisms right in front of you but you immediately feel more relaxed as you have conveniently shifted the focus away from yourself. And when you're relaxed, so is the audition panel.

The third advantage in using this really simple and easy psychological shift is that it compliments the auditioner(s). And who doesn't respond well to a compliment?! It flatters them that you are actively interested in them and that it's not all about you. Observe THEM and that very minor act lessens the pressure on you. The eye contact that emanates from you whilst using this trick demonstrates an interest in your auditioner(s) that, in turn, makes you more memorable. Your status improves in your own mind, as you don't feel so much the focus of attention, and you become more relaxed, more at ease.

This is a method I always use and it has served me well over the years. Your interest in someone else is flattering to them; they respond and you become more memorable. It is a fabulously simple and effective exercise. Try it!