nail the audition

How to Nail the Audition

The audition can be somewhat of a mystery. What’s the producer and director looking for? What should you do? And why does the director keep asking for changes to a perfectly delivered scene? Here are the top things you need to be aware of to nail the audition and maximize your chances of getting the part.

Your Voice

The foundation of acting is the voice. The voice determines who the character is – her education, social status, geographic origin, and most importantly, the voice conveys the character’s emotional state. The significance of the voice can be heard on radio shows, for instance, on NPR, when someone’s being interviewed. In an instant, you’re able to get a feel for who the person is, how they’re feeling, and what they want – and we’re able to tell these things without ever having seen the person. So during your audition, your greatest focus should be on your voice. Focus on elements such as: cadence (speed), where you put your pauses, and musicality (peaks and valleys).


During the audition, the director will ask you to deliver a scene again, but with changes (adjustments) to certain aspects of your performance. When you repeat the scene, try your hardest to make the changes the director requested. Even if you miss by a country mile, the fact that you made the attempt shows that you’re willing to listen to the director, and that you have the self awareness to modify your acting. If your repeat performances are identical to your first, it shows that either you’re unable or unwilling to modify your acting. Either way, it demonstrates that you’re not an “actor”, and will likely disqualify you from the role.


During the audition, you can hold the side in your hand, but it’s only there as backup. Make sure that you have your lines memorized.

Dress for the Part

Conventional wisdom states that the producers and director decide whether you get the part the moment you walk in the room, and before you perform your scenes. That’s not quite right. While your look factors into the decision, it’s much more about how you embody the character, and demonstrate that you can project the persona of the character. How you look is only one aspect of that, and while it’s only an aspect, looking the part can only help.

Your Attitude

Attitudes are contagious. If you appear to be happy to be at the audition, you’ll make the director and producers happy as well, and that can only be a good thing.

Be Prompt

There are so many no-shows and late arrivals, that your prompt appearance at the designated time will automatically set you apart from most of the other actors. As Woody Allen said, 80% of success is showing up. We couldn’t agree more!


If you’re not selected for the role, it’s not a reflection of your talent or acting ability. It’s simply the degree of alignment between your acting style and the particular character you were auditioning for.

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