Auditioning is a crucial aspect of becoming an actor, especially at the beginning. It's where you'll have the chance to show casting directors, agents, and producers if you're right for a role in their project. Auditions are an opportunity to play and showcase your skills. They are "a chance to act that day." Until the day comes where they are no longer necessary, treat each one like a play date.
Get Good at Auditioning
It is important to remember that auditions are not things to fear but opportunities. You want to audition as much as possible. You want to get good at auditioning which annoyingly is a different skill than just being a good actor. Whether it is in-person auditions or self tapes you want to become comfortable with doing them skillfully and efficiently with the hopes of improving your booking ratio.
"What's a booking ratio?" you ask, that's a great question! Some people only book 1 in every 100 auditions. So, to get 3 bookings in a year, at those odds, you would need to audition 300 times. Imagine knowing you need to audition almost ever day for a year to book three roles and dreading auditions. That would be torture. It's easier said than done to be chipper every time one shows up. Keep in mind that the energy (positive or negative) that you approach your career with is what is going to feed it. Getting your booking ratio down would mean that eventually, you're booking 1 in every 50, then 1 in every 20, 1 in every 10, and maybe even getting to a place in your journey where you don't need to audition anymore at all. That would be a dream! Getting better at acting and booking is possible, it just takes time and intention.
Now that we've established the need for good vibes, strategy, and skill, you have to find the auditions. If you have reps (agent/manager), they are generally the ones who do this part. Although, you should still take initiative and keep an eye out for opportunities should they arise. If you don't have reps, doing indie or non-union projects will be a huge help in getting the footage you'll need in your package to submit for representation. For more tips about building your submission package check out this post. You'll find auditions for TV/Film and theatre on sites like Backstage, Casting Networks, and Actor's Access. Please keep in mind that most of the union roles that you're likely looking for (speaking parts) are usually behind a paywall and the bigger ones are only accessible by an agent/manager.
Here is Where Money Comes Up Again
Once you get onto the sites mentioned above, there are things that are easy to access for free. However, know that you will likely end up needing to pay to submit or add headshots or footage from your reel. Remember that to be an actor, there are many up front costs. Don't let that discourage you but know that they exist.
Auditions are not your enemy
Auditioning can be daunting but it doesn't have to be. Finding auditions can take time but they exist. Improving you auditioning skills is important and will help you move along in your journey faster. Submitting to roles and setting up profiles on the audition sites can cost money so be prepared. Auditions are an opportunity to showcase your skills and should be a chance to play and create. Remember you love acting and auditioning is acting and auditioning gets you roles so you can act. IMPORTANT REMINDER: Please don't forget that the Casting Directors want you to be good and are rooting for you. Don't be afraid of them. Believe in yourself and know that this is a marathon not a sprint.