No actor can expect to book every audition they go on – it’s just not possible. One of the key metrics that you should look at and keep track of, however, is your call-back rate. If you are getting call-backs then presumably you are doing a good job or they wouldn’t be wasting their time.
This article is about how to improve that ratio. The more you can improve your call-back percentage, the more likely you are to actually book the job. Some of this may sound pretty basic, but if you’ve ever been late to an audition or not given it your best, then take special note here.
1. Arrive plenty early so you can focus on your audition.
Have you ever been running late for an audition? Most actors have at one point or other. The question is, how focused were you able to be on delivering your best?
All that anxiety and adrenaline from running late works against you once you arrive—especially if you’re late for the audition itself. It’s just not a great way to present yourself. Best to keep the hapless-yet-charming-persona for the audition.
One way to ensure being on time is to think of being “on time” as fifteen minutes early. If the audition is for 2pm, then get there no later than 1:45. Give yourself plenty of padding on that time – including traffic!
In fact, for traffic, I suggest to go online and check to see if there are any accidents on your route and plan accordingly. Do you have gas in your car or have your subway card on you? It might take work being early, but showing up as professional is worth it.
Getting things taken care of well in advance will keep you calm and thinking about doing your best work, rather than being distracted by concerns.
2. Plan ahead to have everything in order for your audition.
Decide what you are going to wear the day before and make sure it is clean and ready to go. Also, is your hair the way you want it? Do you need any grooming appointments? Do you want to get your nails done?
The idea is to plan ahead and get ready, but at the same time, don’t make it seem like this is the one and only audition you will ever have it your life — which would probably add to your stress.
3. Don’t be attached to the outcome.
It’s easy to get worked up about a great part or working with a particular director or writer. Unfortunately, if you get yourself too attached to landing the role, you won’t be free to show your ability in your audition. You will be worried about it.
Casting agents, producers and directors are looking for many aspects of your talent, one of them being how well you work under pressure. They need to know that you could deliver regardless of the time of day, weather conditions, number of takes, or whatever comes the way of filmmaking.
If you aren’t free but instead intense and easily thrown off in your audition because you are worried about the outcome, it will show that you might not be strong in stressful situations.
Rather than obsess about how a certain project might be your “big chance,” consider it part of a long career filled with auditions.
Sometimes you will get the part and sometimes you won’t. It is okay to be excited about the prospects as long as you can maintain your composure when you need it most.
4. Do something to set yourself apart without going over the top.
This can be tricky because “over the top” means different things to different people. Think of it as a memorable thing that won’t distract from your acting. A small thing you can do is wear something that sets you apart. A woman can wear a flower pin or killer shoes, for instance.
For men, it could be as simple as not wearing a black or a white t-shirt or some awesome jeans. That alone can set you apart from the crowd!
5. Develop a great slate for yourself.
Many auditions, especially for commercials, are videotaped and you won’t even see the casting director or director. They will watch your videotaped slate later. And sometimes all your audition will be is a slate–nothing else. They are looking at both what you look like as well as the energy that comes across.
If the casting director is there, don’t dismiss possible idle questions like, “So, how are you today?” Rather than answer “fine,” you can have a personal and personable response practiced and ready.
Say your name with confidence and personality. Whether taped or live, when confidence comes across, that might have the casting director remember you later.
The more you connect with the executives as people (they are people, after all), the greater the chance they will see you as someone they would like to work with on set.
Working with just these five tips alone can potentially increase your call-back rate greatly. If you aren’t getting enough auditions to have a call-back rate, then you might need to get a new agent or add a manager to your team.
Best of luck to you!