4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands

By Webmaster

  • 4 Great Reasons to Audition with Your Sides In Your Hands

    Question: Now that you are off-book, should you bring your sides into the audition room with you? Should you use them during the audition?

    (by Tonya Tannenbaum)
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    So, you recently submitted yourself, or your agent submitted your profile, for an audition. The submission was accepted, the audition was scheduled, and you received your audition sides.

    The sides are easy…only three lines. You learned them after repeating them for the third time. These lines came natural to you; so natural, in fact, that you are already off-book.

    Question: Now that you are off-book, should you bring your sides into the audition room with you? Should you use them during the audition, even though you don’t need them? After all, auditioning without them demonstrates to the casting director that you are prepared, right?

    Instincts may tell you to leave your audition sides at home. But conventional industry wisdom says: Always audition with your sides in-hand.

    Here are 4 great reasons why you should always audition with your sides in-hand:

    #1: You might forget your lines

    You might think your lines were easy to learn. And you might think you have them down pat. But practicing them with your actor boyfriend and performing them in front of a casting director are — obvious point in 3…2…1…— two entirely different things!

    The magnitude of the moment can make you forget even the simplest of lines. Saying those three “easy” lines in front of your adoring boyfriend, while he gives you admiring glances, is easy enough. But saying those same lines with a stomach full of butterflies, in front of a casting director who’s in a rotten mood and with a conscience that keeps making you feel guilty that you were 30 minutes late for this audition — and three “easy” lines may not be so easy to remember.

    That’s one reason why you should always keep your audition sides in your hands, even if you don’t think you’ll need them.
    Because…you might unexpectedly need them!

    #2: Audition sides can be a crutch

    Auditions are nerve-racking enough, even for seasoned actors! If the pressure in the audition room was visible, the whole room would look like a steam room. Opportunity is on the line! Money is on the line! Careers are on the line! The pressure is thick!

    When you are swimming in a sea of pressure, it’s always good to have a life raft. Sides can be your life raft, your crutch; something to hold on to as you audition for the people who may decide if you make your rent next month.

    Holding on to those sides gives you something familiar to clutch, even if you already know all the words it contains and don’t need to look at it as you perform.

    #3. Audition sides can be used as a prop

    One of the biggest benefits to holding your audition sides in your hand, even if you don’t really need them is that you can use them as a prop.

    Only amateur actors bring cheezy props to an audition. Experienced actors know you don’t bring toy guns, for example, to audition. You simply suggest a gun using, perhaps, your cell phone or…your sides!

    You can use your sides to mimic all kinds of props. For example:

    *You’re auditioning to play a musician and need a pretend “microphone”.
    *You’re auditioning to play a baseball player and you need a pretend “baseball bat”.
    *You’re auditioning to play a businessman trying not to get soaked on a rainy day and you need a pretend “umbrella”.
    *And, as stated above, your sides can, indeed, be your pretend “gun” for your police officer character or your bank robber character.

    Need a handy prop. Use your sides!

    #4: Audition sides can lower expectations

    Let’s face it: sometimes casting directors don’t give actors much time to prepare. You might get your sides in the morning and be expected to nail your audition in the afternoon. (That really ought to be illegal or something, right?!?!). Some casting directors expect actors to give amazing performances with very little prep time.

    Fortunately, most casting directors understand that you haven’t had much time to prepare. They understand that the audition you give is not a finished product. They understand that actors may not be comfortable with all the lines, language and linguistics.

    Use this to your advantage!

    Auditioning without your sides could leave the impression that you know your lines, have had time to prepare and are giving a more polished audition.

    Auditioning with your sides in-hand could leave the impression that your audition performance is less polished. Even if it is not!

    In other words:

    Memorize your lines but audition with sides in-hand, as if you are unfamiliar with the lines, as if your audition is not very polished.

    Then, blow the casting director away with your (polished) performance!
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • 5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition

      5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition (By Jim Webb) There are many things you should never do after an audition. You should already know the obvious ones: Don’t make…

    “That’s what it takes when you’re a struggling actor…You will be poor” (Jenna Fischer)

    “That’s what it takes when you’re a struggling actor. Assume there will be no luxuries. Be prepared to get your furniture from one of three places: thrift stores, garage sales, or the side…

    Narrow Your Focus

    Narrow Your Focus One mistake many actors make is having an unfocused strategy. (Jim Webb) If it seems your acting career is all over the place, narrow your focus and concentrate your strategy….

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself It’s difficult enough for an actor to find and secure a paying gig. Why make it even more difficult by sabotaging your own chances? (By Jim Webb) It’s ok if…

    “I jumped over fears, went through emotional glass doors” (Kim Basinger)

    “I jumped over fears, went through emotional glass doors, did everything I could. There wasn’t one thing I was afraid to do. And I think you have to come to that point as…

  • Ad

  • Director John Singleton has died

    Director John Singleton has died (By Carmichael Phillips) Pioneering African American director, John Singleton, has died. The director of urban films like Boyz n the Hood, Baby Boy and Poetic Justice, as well…

    “Just keep going…” (Morgan Freeman)

      “The only advice I have for any actor is, keep acting. Just keep working. And keep your mind on what you want. It’s bound to happen if you keep working.” (Morgan Freeman)…

    What are “Actions”?

      What are “Actions”? Simply put, actors act. (By Tonya Tannenbaum) Once the actor understands their character’s objective in the scene, or in the moment, the actor takes actions. Actions are the various…

  • Ad

  • All Acting and No Play Makes You a Dull Actor

    All Acting and No Play Makes You a Dull Actor Ironically, spending too much time on all things “acting” can actually make an actor worse at acting. (By Carmichael Phillips) You know what…

    Acting: When is it Time to Quit?

      Acting: When is it Time to Quit? How long is too long to pursue an acting career? (By Carmichael Phillips) How many years should an actor wait for their “big break” before…

    “Acting is not pretending. Acting is becoming” (Bill Duke)

    “If you’re hired to do a job, the director doesn’t hire you to act like that character, the director hires you to become that character. And that’s something that most people don’t understand…

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work!

    Don’t Just Tell a Talent Agent About Your Dreams. Show Them Your Work! Your dreams are not much different from any other actor’s dreams. It’s your work that sets you apart. (By Carmichael…

    How to Audition When You Know the Role Has Already Been Cast

    How to Audition When You Know the Role Has Already Been Cast You still have an opportunity to introduce people to you and your art (By Carmichael Phillips) One of the hardest things…

  • Ad

  • What is a “Cold Read”?

    What is a “Cold Read”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) A “cold read” refers to a type of audition where the actor is expected to perform with little-to-no preparation. Usually, the actor is given the…

    “You can write your own things and act in your own stuff” (Emma Stone)

    “I was auditioning a lot and waiting for other people to give me a chance. And now, with the internet and all these other outlets, you can write your own things and act…

    The Callback is Not the Time for Experimenting

    The Callback is Not the Time for Experimenting Why tinker with a winning formula? (By Jim Webb) The callback is not the time to start taking chances. Unless otherwise instructed, try to do…

  • Ad

  • “Auditioning sucks hippo d**k.” (William H. Macy)

    “Auditioning sucks hippo d@#k. Everybody knows it and no one will say it. It’s the worst part of the business. If there were a way to do it better, we would have figured…

    Why Acting Must Be a Need, Not a Want

    Why Acting Must Be a Need, Not a Want If you want to become an actor, then don’t become an actor. It must be a NEED, not a WANT! (by Jim Webb) It’s…

    What is a “Background Actor”?

    What is a “Background Actor”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) A “background actor” is an actor who performs in view of, but usually away from, the foreground, in a non-speaking or non-singing capacity. Commonly referred…

    “Just work on being a better actor” (Jeff Daniels)

    “If you want to work on anything, just work on being a better actor. Stardom? You don’t have any control over that. You may think you do, but you don’t. If you can…

    What is an “Obstacle”?

      What is an “Obstacle”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) In acting, an obstacle is a person or object that stands in the way of the character achieving his or her objective. Obstacles can also…

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: How Luke Perry Almost Gave Up on Acting

    Actor Stories: How Luke Perry Almost Gave Up on Acting. “Literally within a week, he was getting ready to go back to Ohio and join the fire department.” (Arranged by AM Staff) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________…

    Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you.

    Don’t just pursue an agent. Study the craft. Do good work. Then, invite them to pursue you. (by Jim Webb) Pursuing a talent agent is one of the more unsavory, yet necessary, aspects…

    “Just don’t give up, okay” (Molly Shannon)

    “Don’t give up. Whatever you do. Just don’t give up, okay? It took me ten years to get on SNL. I walked around and no one knew who I was. Then I got…

  • Ad

  • Check Your Ego at the Door, But Bring Your Confidence into the Audition Room

      Check your ego at the door, but always bring your confidence into the audition room. And bring lots of it! The audition process, in many ways, is like the job interview process….

    Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer Recalls Her First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actor

    Actor Stories: Jenna Fischer’s First Day in LA, as an Aspiring Actress It was my first day in Los Angeles and everything felt perfect. Then, nothing happened for six years. (Arranged by AM…

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training

    Why Natural Actors Still Need Training While an actor might be a natural performer, he or she is also a human being. (Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ Training is vital to the actor’s life. Being…

    Being-in-the-moment

    Being-in-the-moment “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely connected to their character. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ “Being-in-the-moment”, usually refers to the abstract event when an actor feels genuinely…

    “Do not run for the sake of running” (Konstantin Stanislavski)

    “Do not run for the sake of running or suffer for the sake of suffering. You must not act in a generalized way, for the sake of action. You must act with a…

    “There’s a wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)

        “There’s a wide, wide, wide river of actors and actresses. But there’s only a tiny pond of real talent.” (Charles S. Dutton)   ____________________________________________________________________________ Dutton went on to explain: What I…

    The Super-Objective

    The Super-Objective Unlike short-term or moment-to-moment objectives, the super-objective influences and guides the character’s actions throughout the entire course of the story. (By Tonya Tannenbaum) ____________________________________________________________________________ The “Super-Objective” is the primary goal that…

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting.

    When you speak words you don’t truly understand, you are not truly acting. So, pull out your dictionary or get busy on Wikipedia and find out the answer… (by Jim Webb) ____________________________________________________________________________ When…