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Your Guide to Becoming an Actor: Preparing for the Audition - Character Work and Learning Lines

You did the research for your audition! What happens now?

What's my Motivation?

So you've read the sides AND you know as much as you can about the project. It's time to circle back to the character work, my favorite part of acting. This is a good time to re-read the breakdown. Usually, when you get an audition, they send along a few sentences about who this person is. It should not be THE ONLY thing informing your character but it's always good to keep in mind. 

So what do we know? You are a scientist working away from home. The project is in fact a space odyssey directed by Ava and produced by A24. You walk into the on ship pub and get into an argument with that 70 year old woman before storming off. I don’t know about you but my first question would be “why?” Do what you can to fill in the gaps the sides leave open. Have fun with this. Do enough to make the person feel real. Find as much truth in the text as you can so your interpretation of the character feels honest. It’s safe to jot down a good who, what, when, where, why analysis to flesh out the character. Once you have that done, look back at the text. Does it align? Did you go way too far? It’s ok, I told you to have fun. Reel it in and start to work on the text again. 

Learn the Words

I don’t have a ton of advice when it comes to learning lines. Do what works best with your learning style. Be mindful not to learn it so firmly that you can’t adjust the choices you’re making. Don’t learn it angry and then become unable to be vulnerable or afraid. Now it’s time to rehearse.

Character Work and learning lines are two of the most important things to focus on for an audition. Please be warned, if you have one word or one line, the prep is VERY different. I'll post a different blog about that. This is for auditions that are a page or more.

*If you are at the VERY beginning of your acting journey, it's likely that you'll be self taping your auditions. That will require you to have a few items at home to make taping the auditions easier. I personally use this cell phone stand. I tape my auditions on an iPhone. The lighting should be good to make sure the people making decisions can see your face and eyes clearly. I use this ring light and these studio lights. Tape in front of a blank wall and make sure you can be heard clearly. Break a leg!

Adetinpo Thomas on set of Woodwork

BTS from Woodwork Directed by Alex Woodward


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