Advice on getting noticed at auditions

Crystal Hohenthaner

Crystal Hohenthaner

After auditioning for hundreds of plays, working with over 20 directors, and even being a director myself, I have learned that there are some basic rules about how to audition for a play.

In fact, I’ve even had a few directors tell me what they expect at an audition. Time to learn from my experience.

The audition begins the moment the director can see you, therefore you may want to consider:

What to wear: Some directors will tell you to dress as the character you are auditioning to be. Dressing up can be a good way to get a director’s attention.

Dressing provocatively, unless you are emulating a character, can be a bad way to get a director’s attention.

You should also wear the same out fit each time you appear before a director, to help a director remember who you are.

You should also wear something distinctive or bold. It is not a good idea to wear all beige, or anything that blends in.

How to behave: SDSU director and CST professor Jo Nesmith says, “At all times you have to be respectful of the person auditioning and of the way the director has set up the auditions.”

This means being quiet unless it is your turn. It is also a good idea to sit alone.

Prepared audition pieces: Most of the directors here at SDSU do not require prepared monologues or solos. However, many of them will gladly hear a prepared piece if you offer it. Better safe than sorry, I say.

Resumes and head shots: I recommend preparing a resume and head shots to bring to auditions.

Many directors will have audition forms for the actors to fill out, but often these forms are very short and will not ask for information you want the director to know.

Leave a bit of space in the margins or on part of your resume for the director to take notes on.

Pictures are always a good idea. You don’t want a director to forget what you look like after you get off stage.

Every night: Plan to attend auditions each night they are scheduled. Again, better safe than sorry.

If auditions are a multiple night process and you have to miss part or all of one of the nights it is important to contact the director, rather than to simply miss.

If you are interested in more audition info check out Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part by the famed Broadway and Hollywood casting director Michael Shurtleff.

The book is available on for $7.99.