When actors are just starting out, there can often be a long time between auditions. What are you supposed to do with yourself as you wait for that next opportunity? I am here to tell you that what you do between auditions will determine your success at the audition. Too many actors wait forget this and wind up NOT showing what they are truly capable of.
So what should you do while waiting for you next audition?
Be in class
If you don’t know this by now, you should… acting is like a muscle, and if it is not exercised, it gets weak. If you are auditioning, you should already have a strong foundational technique, but there is no harm in learning new approaches. Or, you can get yourself into a good scene study class where you can put your skill set to a weekly workout. Just be sure any class you join, you work every class and you rehearse in between. You must be at the top of your acting game so you are ready when the big opportunities present themselves!
Learn a new skill
As an actor – the more you know, the more you have to bring to any role. Take ballet, enroll in a history class at the local community college or learn to cook. It doesn’t always have to be something performance based…you just need to keep expanding who you are and what you know, expand what is interesting to you. This also makes you a more 3-dimensional person, which makes you more attractive to those who can hire you.
Volunteer to be a Reader
A reader is the person that reads opposite the actor who is auditioning. Even though you aren’t auditioning for the part, it’s a great way to have someone see what you are able to do as well as to create a more personal relationship with the Casting Director. Call Casting offices that cast the shows you are right for and ask if they need any volunteers.
Go to see plays
Movies are wonderful, but plays really allow you to study other actors. Good plays or bad, each experience is a great way for you figure out why a performance works, or doesn’t.
Be familiar with today’s directors and their styles – from the Coen Brothers to Kathryn Bigelow, you need to be familiar with their work.
You need to be familiar with plays and playwrights. Playwrights like Neil Simon were the origin of our modern sit-com. Writers like John Patrick Shanley and Theresa Rebek now write for film as well as television shows like Law and Order and Smash. You also need to know the iconic writers so when they are referenced (ie; this is very Pinter-esque, or this has a Tennessee Williams quality) – you know what that means.
Go to Casting Director Workshops
This is a great way to start meeting the casting directors (or their assistants).
Stay mentally healthy
If that means daily exercise, meditation, getting a pet or going to church… do it. You need to stay positive, optimistic and happy to get through the slow times.
What you do in between those precious auditions can make or break what you end up doing in the room – so stay busy and be prepared for your big break.