Why Aren’t I Getting Much Direction When I Audition?


The entertainment industry as a whole is riddled of contradictions and dualities. For instance, whether you’re auditioning for on-camera or voiceover, it may come as something of a surprise, but you’re not likely to get much direction at all.

So, what gives? Don’t they know what they want?

To answer the question, yes, “they” do. They (casting directors, producers & potential clients) typically want… YOU! They want to see what YOU would do with what they’ve given you. (i.e. “Conversational. Real. Natural.”) Not what you think they want from you.

They want you to surprise them with something extraordinary. They want you to think outside the box, use what they’ve given you as a jumping off point and become a valuable member of the creative process. So, rather than waiting for them to mold and shape you into one person’s vision of a single, solitary take that barely fills the bill, you need to be prepared to surprise even yourself.  Believe it or not, that takes practice.

As talent we must risk. And not just in our day-in, day-out running the business of our careers (which we do—it’s imperative to act on the opportunities that come your way, however meager), but also in every session, on every set, in every booth, audition, and with every take… it’s imperative you venture outside your comfort zone. In doing so you will come to trust your impulses, gain greater confidence in your ability to simply ‘play’, and allow discovery to become one of your greatest assets. This is a key component to making you skillful.

This is how we, as talent, develop confidence in ourselves, instead of obsessively wondering about what someone we don’t know is thinking, which is an impossible proposition. (I don’t recommend it. Ever.)

Your objective is to confidently, honestly walk into an audition and give them something interesting to think about. They aren’t thinking about anything—yet. You’re there to supply the imagination to this simple audition. (Not the other way around.) And you’re going to have an interesting thought, you have them all the time! May as well include it into your audition. It’s why you’re there. You’re paid to have a pulse.

Best rule of thumb: head in to every audition… and be prepared to play.

Copyright © 2015 by Kate McClanaghan, Inc. All Rights Reserved.