Memorizing lines is tough. But, acting those lines out can be even tougher. For example, what if the scene you are auditioning for is a fight scene and all of the dialogue is mixed with punches, tackling or using weapons? How do you approach the scene? Do you jump around during your audition or do you let your voice do the acting? This week several working actors discussed their techniques and how they win over the casting director during their auditions.
Reenact the real world
I think what’s most important is how you react to situations like this. For instance, I had an audition once that involved a kiss. Now I wasn’t going to pucker my lips and kiss the thin air. So I just closed my eyes a second put my hand over my heart, took a deep breath in, and experienced a moment of lightness that you experience when you have a kiss.
The CD actually complimented that action, because I guess she’d spent all day watching people pucker up and kiss the air.
Less is More
What I hear people tell me is that less is more. The purpose of an audition generally isn’t to see if you can fake a punch or etc. Plus if a CD is watching 200 self-tapes a day, they’ll get tired real quick of watching people do similar physical business that doesn’t inform you about the actor’s abilities.
Be selective with movement. Only allow what might inform the dialogue – think of how the character might feel physically (breath, energy level, pain). Avoid miming as much as possible. If the role requires a lot of physicalities or fight training think of adding a short “routine” to the beginning or end of your taping. Many action actors add a routine to their tapings to showcase their skills. 10-15 seconds max. Best of luck!
Use your time effectively
It depends on the specifics of the scene but I’d say go full on if you have enough time. If you feel you can confidently incorporate a bit of fight choreography WITH a partner without detracting from the text DO IT. Switch it up with a wide shot everyone and again. The majority of people are probably going to stick to the text without much movement involved if they haven’t specified in the tape brief to leave the physical actions out they probably want to see how far you’re willing to go (they could have given you a simpler scene but they didn’t) Surprise them. After hours of watching the same old Schtick casting directors will at the very least perk up with something different and just tell you to tone it down next time or give you a more static scene the next time if they like you enough.