8 Subtle Ways to Stand Out in an Audition
You can’t look like you’re trying to stand out, while you’re trying to stand out
(By Javier Guerra)
(Photo: Shvets Production | Pexels)
Standing out from the crowd is an absolute must! There are just too many actors competing for the role. If you’re not doing something – at least something! – to differentiate yourself in an audition, then you’re probably just wasting your time.
But the tricky thing about standing out is, you cannot appear to be attempting to stand out. You cannot stand out solely for the purpose of standing out (if that makes sense). It has to fit naturally within the scene.
Doing wild and crazy things to stand out only makes you look…wild and crazy! It makes you look like an amateur.
To a casting director, it looks all too obvious. It’s like the guy who says something really silly and then waits for everyone in the group to laugh. But the group winces, knowing that he’s pressing them for a laugh. It’s just too obvious.
(Photo: Pavel Danilyuk | Pexels)
I once had an actor audition for me for one of my short films. He tried to stand out by doing an impression while reading the text. It was a feeble attempt.
It didn’t fit the scene. It was totally counter to the personality of the character he was portraying. It didn’t match the spirit of the scene or the role. It was just plain bad! He would have been better off changing his voice for a word or two, rather than to try to attempt a whole impression.
Doing wild and crazy things to stand out only makes you look…wild and crazy!
On the other hand, I once saw an actress do a masterful job of finding a subtle way to stand out at an audition. She added a great “wild line”, an improvised, throw-away line at the end of the scene. It was totally unexpected, and funny! The line caught the casting director off guard, and it worked. She got the job!
There are lots of subtle ways to distinguish yourself in an audition. You can:
*Use a button at the end of your scene
*Wear something unique, like an interesting pair of glasses
*Improvise a line (if permitted) at the end of your scene
*Interpret the character in a fresh, new way, rather than simply staying within the confines of the text
*Use a dialect, if permitted
*Use physical gestures to get your point across (Remember when Jack Nicholson made the movement of a rat when talking about the rat/mole in his gang in The Departed?)
*Inject a little bit of your own personality into the character
*Do something unexpected, like giving your character a slight limp or having your character chew gum rapidly while talking
Whatever you choose, it must fit within the context of the scene. You can’t look like you’re trying to stand out, while you’re trying to stand out.
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