No matter what type of acting you plan on pursuing, from television and commercials to film and stage, you will have to audition a lot to get a part. Auditions and casting calls are used by directors, talent scouts and agents to find candidates that they believe has what it takes to make it in show biz. Preparing for an acting audition, especially first time auditions, is often what separates the success stories from the failures. The process of auditioning can be grueling, nerve wracking and a bit intimidating but the more you attend the more comfortable you'll get and sooner or later you'll get your break.
Acting auditions can go by many names including readings, screen tests, casting calls and tryouts but in the end it's all about performing in front of someone who will decide if you're right for a part. Some acting auditions can be open casting calls meaning anyone can show up and give it a shot or the audition can be closed meaning only aspiring actors who got a call from a director are allowed to attend. Regardless of the type of audition you are attending the experience is pretty much the same: you have a brief window of opportunity to show the casting director, talent scout or agent that you have what it takes to make it in show business.
Every successful actor or actress has an audition story and advice on how best to go about preparing for a casting call but what worked for Daniel Day Lewis won't necessarily work for you so heed other people's advice with a grain of salt. Also know the difference between serious acting for film and stage and the theatrics that reality show casting agents are looking for. This is not to disparage reality shows, but melodrama is what fuels such hits as "The Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives", not legitimate acting chops. If you are thinking about using a reality show casting call as a springboard to a real acting career know that you will have to overcome a pretty strong stereotype before directors will take you seriously.
When it comes to an acting audition the most important thing to remember is to be early, prepared and relaxed. Nothing will kill a career faster than not showing up and the only thing worse is to show up late without your resume and headshot. Even if it was just an honest oversight most agents will view such forgetfulness as arrogance and will feel jilted that they gave you a chance and you didn't take it serious enough to show up on time and prepared. The other important thing to remember for an acting audition is to stay calm. You and every other aspiring actor in the room will certainly be nervous but the trick is to use those nerves in a positive way and let it fuel your performance. If you let your nerves show it's a sure sign you're not ready for the bright lights of the big screen.
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