Ten top tips for actors’ auditions

Stuart Piper is managing director of Cole Kitchenn Personal Management Ltd
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1. Do your research

Know who you are meeting, what they have cast, produced or directed. Identify if you have seen any of their work. Read the character breakdown carefully and if it is not new writing, read the play/watch the series.


2. Learn your sides

I’m often asked ‘Do I need to learn the script?’ before a casting. It’s never a bad thing to have learnt it, even if you still read from the page. It will help you with tip three…


3. Listen

Often when we are nervous we stop listening because we are thinking about an appropriate response, and this can lead us to not hear the question properly. A director will often simply want to see how you take direction, so be alert.


4. Don’t be put off by others

I’ve lost count of how many actors have called after a casting saying ‘everyone else was older, or younger, or more something or other' and then have been cast in the role. Avoid pre-audition chit chat if you’re prone to being thrown when someone says they know the director or have some inside knowledge (supposedly). Auditions are more democratic than you think – the casting director is looking for the most suitable candidate, plain and simple.


5. Be yourself

It’s the best way for the casting director to get to know you.


6. Be punctual

Leave yourself PLENTY of time, don’t leave the fate of your career in the hands of the transport network.


7. Control your nerves

Nerves can eat you up, you have to channel them into positive energy.


8. Odds are better than you think

There are so many actors out there who don’t necessarily even obtain an audition slot for a particular show, so if you get your casting your odds have improved before you walk through the door. A BBC casting director once told me that they might get 400 or so suggestions for a guest role on a recurring drama when the breakdown goes to their choice agents and sometimes they are only able to meet 8 or so actors, such is the fast pace and turn over of roles to cast. So when a client gets a casting, they often have a 1/8 chance of getting the role – which are not the worst odds in the world.


9. Expand your repertoire

Keep learning new songs, new monologues, watch good theatre, television and film – a knowledgeable actor is a hard working actor, and casting directors will notice this.


10. Ask your agent

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity on any element. A good agent will be happy to answer questions, because after all, they want you to succeed as much as you do.


  1. Listening is very good advice. Often actors are so involved in the audition process going on in their heads they don’t hear properly. A tip: If given a direction or an adjustment, say to the director/casting director. “So what you’re looking for is…” and repeat what the person has said. This does two things. It makes the person reiterate what they said, in case they spoke incorrectly or at random, plus, it gives you time to decide how you’re going to accomplish the adjustment/direction. And don’t forget, you can always ask if you can take a moment to think about the adjustment/direction. Invariably, they will say yes. If so, leave the room to work out how you’re going to present the material in the way you’ve just been instructed. DO NOT do it in the room – too much stress on you and the people behind the table. Remember, it’s your audition, you have no control over the outcome, but you do have control of how your time is spent and how long (within reason) the audition takes.

  2. Regarding point 1 I once auditioned for a west end transfer of a play I had been understudying in for months.
    The director’s first question was
    “do you know the pay”!

  3. These are really helpful tips! Actually, I’ve been practicing all these tips since I started joining acting auditions. And those are really works. Aside from this, I also been guided on how to make a professional resume because that would be the first step to catch the attention of casting director. I would also like to share it with you, kindly check it here http://www.exploretalent.com/articles/definitive-guide-to-making-a-professional-resume-for-your-acting-jobs/ Good Luck!

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