7 Core Elements to Improve Your Audition

by Michael Coleman on June 22, 2009

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Every coach will have a different name for this – sometimes even a different number. But I maintain that there are 7 essential ingredients for EVERY character in EVERY scene in EVERY story EVER told. Learn these 7 and you can’t have a terrible audition ever again. Knowing these inside out will let you play and enjoy the audition process like never before.

Audition Breakdown – The 7 Core Elements

  1. What do you specifically want from your scene partner?
  2. What are your specific obstacles?
  3. What are your specific tactics? (Transitive verbs – actions you do to people)
  4. Do you get what you specifically want from your scene partner?
  5. How do you specifically feel about it? (More specific than good or bad)
  6. What’s specifically fun about this scene? Is there a parallel or game?
  7. Who are you specifically talking to?

Other things to consider:

Let us know what this scene is about or who this character is before we here word one of dialogue. Some people call this the Moment Before. Most scenes happen mid-life – What did you just say or hear? What are you in the middle of doing?

Consider ending on a solid “button” so we understand you understand the scene and the character.

Never betray the FACTS of a scene. If it is written you have to accept it. Read every line of action and dialogue carefully. There is always more than the naked eye can comprehend in one read.

Block every audition like someone would shoot it.

YEAH! or YUCK! every time you are faced with a new obstacle or try a new tactic. Are you getting closer to your goal or further away? You are always winning or losing in your pursuit of your goal.

Learn the scene not the words – if you drop a word, a sentence, … stay in character, back it up and continue or just continue forward… They’re looking for actors who get the character and purpose of the scene not actors that can memorize and recite.


michaelcolemanMichael Coleman is an actor, writer, voice-over performer and acting coach based out of Vancouver and Los Angeles. Michael is the founder of The Audition Room and The Shoreline Actors Film & Television Studio both based out of Shoreline Studios.

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