Cold read auditions are auditions where you come in with almost nothing memorized; you may have received the material a day in advance or on arrival at your audition. Namibia’s audition scene is mostly made out of cold read auditions.
Cold read auditions can be daunting. However, it helps to be prepared.
Follow these 5 vital tips and get that role:
1. Prepare for your audition.
There is a common misconception that it is impossible to prepare for a cold read audition. And yes, although you may not receive the actual audition material until right before, there are quite a few wonderful ways you can prepare. Going into an audition you should know what you’re auditioning for and therefore have the opportunity to research the show or film and become familiar with not only the characters but the time period, the story, the theme, and so on. Learn more about previous projects from the director and show up prepared.
Many aspiring actors come in and literally read when asked to read. If there is one thing directors hate more than anything is ‘pretend acting’. Acting means to do, not to talk. When you are outside the audition hall, take the script and memorize the part you want and walk in to act, not to read. As much as it’s not a sin to read, look up from the script. The people running the audition know that you had limited time with the piece of work and are aware that it won’t be perfect. Don’t worry about getting the lines word for word. Pay more attention to the performance and what you feel. Show real emotion.
The fact that you showed up to audition is already an achievement. It shows guts. So don’t be afraid to let loose. Walk in the door with your held head high. You don’t get sympathy points if you’re nervous, not feeling well, or having a bad day. Leave it outside the door. You are being evaluated from the minute you walk in, so practice good posture and body language before you walk into the audition room. BUT, be wary of overconfidence and be ready to follow direction.
People speak really fast and it damages their audition because no one can understand them. This is because they came late to the audition and didn’t have much time to go through their lines. Being punctual will help you calm your nerves- which are inevitable. Being punctual also helps to get yourself energized. Jump around, dance to a great jam, and move! As crazy as it may seem, it can really help pump you up for an audition.
Use the ‘magic’ words
Walk-in with a big natural smile, and say hello if the casting team is looking at you. Again, when they are done with you, regardless of how you felt you’ve done, just give a big lovely smile and say ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you very much’. Being lovely is something to cultivate. Our industry is so small but trust me, there are too many prima donnas still.