WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!

  • Apply text study techniques (individual process as adopted) on receiving the script.
  • When learning lines, get used to saying them out loud. There is nothing worse than bring surprised by your own voice in the audition. It is also good to have someone read opposite you at least once otherwise you tend to anticipate the cue lines only and your performance is hesitant and bereft of reaction.
  • Know your lines! This frees you up to work with the director and to listen and react.
  • If you use props, make sure they will help the scene and not detract from it. Also, make sure you have rehearsed with them.
  • It is a good idea to choose an outfit that suggests something of the character. Avoid white, black and red (it bleeds), stripes and busy patterns. Bright colours are better and all shades of blue are good. Avoid hats – they hide your eyes and shadow your face.
  • Warm your voice up before the test. Simple breathing and vocal exercises are always a good idea. Singing in the car on the trip there is an idea, though perhaps not on public transport.
  • Be punctual, 10 minutes early.
  • As soon as you hit the waiting room, start to concentrate and focus on the script. Forget the other contenders. Don’t waste time socializing – no one likes a party animal in the waiting room.
  • When you enter the test, be warm and friendly. Your test starts from the moment you come in the door.
  • Absolutely know your lines. Never make excuses for not knowing your lines for whatever reason (lateness of scripts, no time, too much work, another job etc). Nobody wants to hear this! They just want you to know your lines. DO NOT begin a screen test by apologizing for anything.
  • Listen to everything that is said to you and be responsive. You may get a chance to share your views, but wait to be asked. Casting people are impressed by discipline and commitment, NOT WAFFLE. You are allowed as sense of humour though.
  • Before you start the scene, focus on “who you are”, “where you are”, and “what is happening”.
  • Think of the camera as a very good friend.
  • Most studios allow you to “run the lines” before the first take. Some may not, so be ready and focused.
  • Keep your movements controlled and precise.
  • You don’t need a lot of voice projection, but try to balance your voice with the voice your are acting opposite.
  • Use the person acting opposite you as your point of focus, and let the camera take care of itself. This is a real conversation.
  • Be ready to improvise or alter any of your performance for the director.
  • If you start badly, always ask to start again, but if you fluff a line, forget it. They will be more impressed if you stay in character and ad lib. You cannot expect to do unlimited takes.
  • When you leave the test, thank them and leave graciously. Above all, do not apologise for anything.

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