Should You Go To Every Audition
A few weeks ago, a fellow actress reached out to me and asked if I could give her some advice. As I started to write her a response email, I realized it wasn’t as clear as I expected...and that a lot more of you have wondered this too.
Should you go to every audition?
The short answer is yes...and no.
The long answer is that yes, when you first start auditioning in an area, you should probably go to basically every audition. You need to network and meet people in the business, but most of all you need real-life experience in an audition room. As much as you may think you aren’t interested in a role and “don’t really care,” almost always the second you walk in that room with a camera and some people watching, you will care. It may only last those 1-5 minutes, but you’ll wish you’d spent a bit longer on the scenes.
So yes, go to the bad script auditions (as I stated in this article, you probably won’t go out for anything “good” for a while...and thats totally fine) for the experience. Heck, take it a step further and book the bad jobs. As they say in show business, you don’t know a good set from a bad one till you’ve worked on a bad one. Well...that’s what I say anyway.
Caveat: if there is something in the role or work that is morally against your values, then politely declining is totally fine. For example I won’t do nudity at this point in my career. I would do an implied sexual scene (something I wouldn’t have done a few years ago btw) meaning there is nothing show, just “implied”. But I won’t do nudity. This could mean the subject matter is off-putting to you, against your religion, beliefs, whatever. However, you have to have that conversation with your reps (and yourself) so everyone is on the same wavelength going forward.
When do you turn down bad auditions? I think there is a certain point in most actors careers where they realize my go-to should I/shouldn't I mantra: if it doesn’t make me happy or make me money, it’s a no. Meaning I'd do a friend's short film on a Saturday for free because I'm doing what I love with people I love, but I probably won't ever again take off work to do student films. This is EARNED. I did a LOT of bad free films when I moved here. I did a lot of terrible nonunion work. And I still go out on auditions for roles with less than desirable attributes (if you haven’t auditioned to play a prostitute in a TV show, I’m shocked and I want your reps number please). But the difference is these are now small steps in my career and not in "auditioning just to audition". My time and energies are better served elsewhere now, but I spent a lot of time working to get to this place.
When it comes down to it, it's always your choice, even though you may feel via outside pressures that it is not. Don’t get me wrong, using the audition room as your classroom is as real as it comes. And when you’re new to LA and are non-union, I think it’s THE place to be. You can have some good laughs years later when you catch a glimpse of your crime reenactment show on Discovery ID where you literally were terrible. Oh is that just me? Ok just checking.
But when you have the chops and a good reel and reps backing you up, auditioning for the sake of auditioning may no longer serve you.
Agree? Disagree? Let's discuss below!