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What are Directors Looking for in an Audition?

Behind the scenes Katrina Kusa on Set

I’m loving acting and let me tell you auditions are fun! I’m getting more comfortable the more I get out there for auditions. Each time I learn something new from the people in the audition and always take their feedback to heart for the next read. Today I’m sharing what I’ve noticed so far about one of the most important people in your audition: The Director.

Be Prepared

Show the director you are well prepared. Prove you will be an asset to the production!

You cannot expect a director to trust you in a role on the TV or film if you show up for the first audition unprepared. Preparation leads to security, which leads to better acting. When you are prepared, you feel more at ease and the character comes more naturally.

Small Moments

A first audition is not to show the finished product, it is just to show a glimpse of the character. You want to show a moment that sparks interest.

Think of the nuances (glances, movements, laughs, etc.) that make your character who they are. These small moments can make a big difference in the audition process.

Typically, you will have several callbacks and each call back is a moment for the director to observe your acting.

Make Decisions

Directors will watch for actors who make confident or pivotal decisions on how to play out a scene or character. I mean having clear opinions on how your character feels about the scene, I don’t mean throwing in a limp or accent for no reason.

You should base your decisions for the script on the character’s need. Trust your instincts at this point and be sure of your decisions.

Have an Opinion

Even if they do not match their own, directors are likely to choose actors who share their own opinions. Opinions on the script, opinions on how to play the role, opinions on acting. Be sure to always read the script and do research so that you can speak about it if the director asks.

Take Direction

Directors want to see how well you can take directions. This is perhaps the greatest factor, particularly for auditions in drama school. Just be willing to throw out whatever you have prepared for the audition at any moment.

If they direct you to act it out in a completely different way, follow direction! It may simply be that they are testing how well you take direction which is a vital skill that actors must-have.

Team Player

Apart from your acting, it’s important to be authentic. Directors want to be able to work easily with their actors. If you are auditioning for drama school this is especially important. They need to know you can work in a team ensemble atmosphere. If you come across as difficult, you may not get the part. It’s best to have a positive and supportive attitude at every audition!

That’s a Wrap!

Of course, we all want the part, however, walking into an audition with desperation is not the attitude you want to show. Believe in yourself and be genuine! Nobody can land every role, but you will get the roles that fit you best.

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