Making Your Audition Natural & Believable
Rehearsing Scenes For Acting
Now that you have booked an audition for a principal speaking role, you will need to prepare as throughly as possible. You should have received all the pertinent details you will need related to audition date, time, location, wardrobe, etc.
Your main task will now be to become familiar with the scenes, memorize your lines, and flesh out your character and the role that you are playing to the extent that it is believable and natural when you deliver your lines. Please do not think that it is okay to go into an audition without knowing your lines. There are those who believe that it is acceptable to partially know their lines and just try to wing it and get by without being prepared. The best course of action when it comes to the audition process, is to be completely memorized.
The first thing I do is read the scene a few times just to get a feel for it. Using a highlighter, I highlight my character name. Some actors and actresses also like to highlight their lines in order to identify them easily on the page. You can use whichever method that works best for you.
When I feel that I understand the scene, I start memorizing my lines. I have found that rote memorization works best for me, so I say my lines over and over until they stick. When I am comfortable that I know my lines, I start giving more thought to my character. Who am I? Where am I? What am I doing in the scene? Who are the other characters I am interacting with? Am I sad, angry, happy, anxious or scared? What do I want and what am I trying to achieve in the scene?
It is also very helpful to break the scene down into parts. A scene is like a mini story and therefore has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Give thought as well to what has occurred just before your scene begins. Sometimes, this is not so evident and you might need to imagine what might have happened right before you start delivering your lines. This is helpful for setting the scene.
If you have friends who can help you out, or if there are other actors and actresses who are willing to work with you, then the best thing is to rehearse your lines out loud with the other characters in the scene. I know that this is not always feasible and many times, I will rehearse my lines in front of a mirror. This gives me feedback in terms of facial expressions, gestures, etc. It is also a really good idea to be familiar with the other character's lines. That way, you will know when it is your cue to deliver your line or perform whatever action is called for in the scene.
I also have a Sony Webbie that has been a valuable tool for taping myself while working on the scene. I then play it back to see what adjustments I need to make in my performance.
When I start answering these questions, I get a better sense of who my character is and what their personality is like. Then it is easier to get inside the head of my character and start thinking the way they might think. In a sense, you can take on the persona of the character which then makes your performance believable and you can deliver your lines with a more natural flow.
One of the best books I have read about auditioning is by a Hollywood Casting Director, titled Audition & Book It! by Helen McCready As the front cover describes, this book "Uncovers everything An Actor Needs To Know From The Audition To Booking The Role".
Review Auditioning Tips Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five.