Top 5 Acting Tips From Directors

A lot of acting advice is about finding an agent and figuring out your network with casting directors to get you jobs. Now what are things that directors look for when you are standing IN the audition room? Agents, casting directors, and headshot photographers aren’t going to get you the job. Sure they help, but at the end of the day: The director makes the decision, so here are 5 tips straight from directors on how to get hired.

Directors are not simply looking for talent, so you don’t necessarily need to be the best actor in existence. They are looking for the best actor for their specific project. They are looking especially for people who connect with them. They are looking for someone who stands out, someone who they WANT to work with.

Be Prepared

When actors come in unprepared, the first thing that directors see is that they are uninterested in their work, they are uninterested in the story, and that is a huge red flag. It is a signifier of a lack of respect, whatever reason there may be for it. An actor that is better prepared is also better able to show off what they can offer. If one is able to come with questions, opinions, and ideas about the project, this gives them more insight into who you are and what you have to bring to this project. They are able to see if your vision aligns, if you are able to think on your own in a way that would be helpful to the project. The conversations that you are able to hold with the directors are just as, if not more, important as the reading.

Make a Bold Choice

Auditions may be scary, but this is the time for you to be ambitious. Push yourself as far as you can. Before you make those bold decisions, ask questions that would be able to wipe away your doubts and clear up whether your venture will be what they are interested in seeing from you. Trust your acting instincts, justify the choice, and be bold.

Be Open to the Room

This project is a collaboration. Creating this environment as an actor, in the audition room as well as on set, is something that they are definitely looking for. When directors want to try something or actors want to try something and either say no, that may be a red flag. A lack of trust is, 100%, not something you want on set. The panel is not trying to trick you, they are on your side. Work with them to create the story that you want to be a part of. That is what you are really auditioning for. If that isn’t what they’re looking for, is this a job that you want?

Avoid Negativity

When someone with a positive attitude brightens up the room— Even before your audition with fellow auditionees— Eyes are on you. It does not only benefit you with this one audition, but also for your future. Friendliness to everyone in your industry gives you a chance to create that network to get you more bookings, it is a support of the art itself, and it shows the directors that you are someone they want for the job. Bringing negativity to the table is often seen as negative traits, and never something people are looking for on their set.

Be Yourself and Have Fun

The panel wants to meet you. Directors are not looking for some acting-bot. They are looking to find a person that they want to work with. Making it known who you are, if they want to spend weeks or months working with you, and if you’re being authentic is key to finding the right job for you and displaying yourself to become a part of a project. This isn’t just about finding a job.

This is about expressing ourselves in an art form that thrives on the collaboration between synergies individuals to tell a story. Directors want to work with actors who show interest in their project, who can add to the masterpiece that they have been put in charge of. They want people who are creative and talented, who are open and playful. They want somebody who they will enjoy working with, and the best way to let them gauge if you are that is to be you.

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