Open Call Auditions: 8 Facts You Need to Know

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As an aspiring actor or actress you will have to go through the process of auditioning. Yes, this means going to open call auditions. Getting up in front of a group of casting directors can be nerve wracking. So the more unprepared you are, the harder it will be to calm those nerves. However, if you are prepared and can remain confident, a casting director can quickly turn from being a critic to being your greatest advocate. This is because if you give them something awesome that they can present, it makes them look good and gets their job done by filling the role. So, in short, you need to put on your game face and knock it out of the park.

You can view a casting director at open call auditions as either the doorway to your career, or a huge stumbling block. Just remember, they need you just as much as you need them. So go there and do your best. This article will give you tips to remember before your open call auditions. This way, you will prepare so good that only your acting shines through and you make a great impression.

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8 Tips for Your Next Open Call Auditions

1. Never Underestimate the Basics

If you have any experience in hiring for a company this tip will be no surprise. Or, even if you have listed something for sale, this will make sense. How annoying is it when you take the time to write up all the basic info of that sale item or position? You know what comes next: tons of calls from people asking questions that could be answered simply by reading your write-up? It is not only frustrating but unnecessarily consumes your valuable time.

This is no different for casting directors who write up information in audition notices for open call auditions. It is your responsibility to carefully read those notices and retain that basic information. If you are unable to do so, you become that annoying person who keeps calling. And no director wants to deal with that level of irresponsibility on set, every day.

So, read and be prepared. Look for pertinent information such as:

  • The show title;
  • Performance and audition dates;
  • Any special requirements or special performance times;
  • Synopsis;
  • What to prepare;
  • What type of performers are needed;
  • The type of performance.

Most of the time a notice for open call auditions will include everything you need to know to begin getting ready to audition… So read it.

2. Auditions Are Not Bookings

Take some of the pressure off yourself. Do not expect a booking every time you audition. Auditions are not only about booking the job. So do not get discouraged if you leave without being booked. Open call auditions can give you a lot of feedback. If you come out with positive feedback, you did well. You may not have gotten the role because you did not physically fit it.

However, if you still did well you will more than likely be remembered when another part comes up that is more of a fit. That means repeated business with minimal effort. Open call auditions are a terrific way to create a name for yourself in the casting world. The more casting directors you have a positive standing with, the more successful you will be. So do not go to an open casting call to book, go to impress.

3. Relax, It Isn’t Personal

One thing that is very important to remember during open call auditions is that the casting director is under pressure too. They may be trying to work their way through auditions. But they are fielding calls from their producers, the shows director, the studio, network, and even mangers who are trying to get their clients in for an audition.

So, if the casting director is scarfing down a sub sandwich while you audition, it is not because he is not interested. It is because he is trying to fit some lunch into his busy schedule. Do not take it personally and drive yourself crazy by trying to read into things. It will drive you nuts if you do.

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4. Do Not Avoid Parts That Do Not Fit

As an actor you will spend a lot of time and energy auditioning for parts you will never get. What you do gain is the experience. All auditions will get you more acquainted with the process and when you know what to expect, the more comfortable you will be. Learn to enjoy it. Look at every audition as an opportunity to show off your talent and perform to your best level. You may not be a fit for the part. But if you still perform you gain exposure and will be remembered for other parts.

In a way you are creating a business network. Plus, you will be recognized for your versatility. So do not weed through parts or shy away from ones you are convinced you won’t get. You may be surprised when you do or when you make an impact on a casting director because of it.

5. Always Be Prepared

Something you will not find on the audition notice for open call auditions is the fact that a casting director expects you to research you part, or in the very least, be familiar with it. It is important to read the script and do your research.

You can look for a synopsis on the internet to familiarize yourself with the story. While you are looking, find a character description so you can really create the persona during your audition. The more you familiarize yourself with the role, setting, and atmosphere of the role, the better you will be able to convey it.

6. Bring It With You

Be sure to bring everything you will need to the open call audition with you. Clothing should allow you to move freely without being a distraction. Thus, you will want to avoid any clothing or accessories that will take attention away from you. (Unless it is part of the character’s style). You want the casting director to remember your face and not your couture.

You will also need a calendar or list of possible conflicts between your schedule and the show’s rehearsal and performance dates. The director expects this because they are responsible for casting someone who will be available for rehearsals with the other actors.

Other things to consider are:

  • Water to relieve stress and keep a clear voice;
  • Dance shoes if the role is for a musical;
  • Personal items you may need like a hairbrush or tissues;
  • A small notepad and pen to jot down any important notes.

7. The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Well, just because you show up early does not mean you are more likely to get cast. However, it does give you more time for other things and does show initiative. It also shows responsibility and takes some stress out of the whole process. That way you aren’t rushing around and end up out of breath, sweaty, and full of nervous adrenaline before you get in front of the casting director. Consider open call auditions the same way you would a regular job and make a good impression.

Early arrival gives you time to find parking and plenty of time to find your way to the audition room. It also gives you time to fill out any forms that need to be completed. It also gives you the occasion to warm up your vocal cords. You can even get a little more practice in alone or with another individual getting ready for their audition. Sometimes a director will hand out something they want you to perform. So getting there early gives you more time to prepare.

8. The Waiting Game

Sometimes the worst part of open call auditions is the lull after your audition where you have to wait to see if you got the part. Ease your mind and remember that a casting director can potentially see hundreds of people. This takes time and it may in turn require several call back sessions.

The casting director may have to balance out the actors that are cast. But this is just because they need to fit the characters as a whole. They may narrow down the potential actors for a part until they decide on one. You will just have to be patient and remain positive through the process.

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Open call auditions require some preparation. It is a good idea to research and get yourself ready for your audition so that you can make the best presentation you are able to. Even if you do not get the role you are going for, you can still help your career by creating a good repertoire with casting directors who will keep you in mind for future roles.

How was your first open cast audition? What things came up that you did not expect or were not prepared for? Do you have any other tips to aspiring actors? Please leave any helpful experiences for others to learn from.

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