How to get noticed in an audition

When you're in competition with possibly hundreds or thousands of others, it is certainly hard to stand out, especially as auditions differ in so many ways. Theatre auditions will be a different style to film and different again to TV. The person running the audition could be anyone from the director, producer or a casting assistant. You'll probably be filmed, but that's not guaranteed. You could get quite a bit of direction and instruction or you may just do your piece in front of a camera once and leave. Despite all of this, you can still control yourself, and by remembering a few basic points you can hope to stand out just enough.

Some of the points are basic things that, individually, won't make you stand out - but they are signs of professionalism and certainly won't work against you.

Be Early

This is obvious. It may not make them instantly remember you - but if you're late, they'll definitely remember you, for all the wrong reasons. One person being late can put the whole day back for everyone and there's only so long a casting director can sit in a small room before they get irritated. First impressions count and if you can't turn up to an audition on time why would they think you'd make the expensive shoot on time. Secondly, you don't want to turn up flustered and looking a mess. You'll also have a chance to thoroughly read over any script/brief that you're given and maybe even practise in a quiet corner before you go in.

Be Prepared

This starts before you even get to the audition. If you've been give a script, or part of a script, in advance then learn it as much as possible. If you've got the whole script, read more than just your section so you can get a bigger idea of the story. Go into the audition with a definite idea of the character - there's no right or wrong, they may end up telling you to do it completely differently - but portraying your own interpretation is key. It shows the casting director you're serious and that you've thought about the role. Practise how you're going to act it, but be prepared to adapt that if you're given direction on the day. If you've not been given anything beforehand then be prepared to take direction and be adaptable.

Be Yourself

Don't worry about other people, you're there for you. So be you. Unless you're really miserable, then change it a bit. But generally, be happy, be friendly, be nice and be willing. You want to come across as someone who is easy to work with, in case you do get the job. If they're running late, it's fine - don't throw a strop, unless you want to guarantee that you won't get the job - plus you get more time to learn your lines.

Be Committed

Whatever your interpretation of the role, or whatever they ask you to do - unless it's completely against your beliefs/morals - then be committed. If you believe you're a giant african land snail for those few minutes then everyone watching will believe it as well. If you keep laughing because you think you look ridiculous, then you will look ridiculous.

Be Attentive

Do as instructed/directed. You'd be surprised at how many people don't pay attention and listen to basic instructions - not just from the director - but where to go, if you have to fill out a form etc. Pay attention and try not to pester people.

Be 'Normal'

There is obviously great variation in the interpretation of normal, but, essentially, it's not advised to go running around screaming trying to get attention or to throw a strop because you've forgotten your lines. Be the normal guy that delivers a killer audition.

After all of this, it's out of your hands. As long as you've been friendly, normal and delivered a good audition then you should be pleased. The outcome then comes down to the preference of the casting director/director/producer/client… everyone might love you immensely but if the person with the money just doesn't fancy your particular look with their product then it's not your fault, you're just a bit unlucky.