Top 3 (and more) items for your “audition bag”

by Kenji Maeda on June 29, 2009

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Just as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts say, “Be Prepared,” actors need to keep that in mind. Being prepared for an audition isn’t just about the few minutes in the room with the Casting Director, it’s also about being relaxed and prepped before you head into the room.

With the help from some members on the Vancouver Actor’s Guide forum, I’ve compiled a list of things to bring to an audition. Let’s start off with the top.

Top 3

Headshot and Resume – These are by far the most important items you bring to an audition. It’s your business card. It puts a face to a name. You should always have multiple copies on hand just in case. And don’t forget to bring them for every audition, including call backs.

Agent Info, Measurements, and Schedule – You can expect to fill out a form when you get to an audition. Key details to remember and have on hand include your:

  • Agent’s information (good thing you have your resume cause it should also be on there)
  • Body measurements. Height and weight are asked for all types of auditions, while the following are mostly for commercials: Waist, bust/chest, inseam, dress size, suit size, shoes, glove, head/hat, neck/collar, etc…
  • Schedule and Availability. The form typically includes a section letting you know when the callbacks and/or shoot dates are scheduled for.  If you have any conflicts on those dates you should write that in.  So make sure you have your calendar on hand, whether electronic or a physical day planner, so you can include that information.

Sides – “Sides” are the portion of the script you receive before you audition if you have any lines to prepare or storyline you should be aware of.  It’s always good to print your own copy to have them with you especially if you have a particular way you print out your lines or you write notes on it.

And here are some more to help prepare you when you’re heading out to your audition.

How You Look

Wardrobe – If they ask you to wear specific style of clothes, then that’s what you should be wearing. Otherwise, consider the part you’re going for and dress appropriately.

Comb/Brush, Makeup, Oil Blotting sheets, etc… – If doing your hair or makeup a certain way is what you need to do, then go for it.

Lint Brush – Pet hair, anyone?

Props – Bring any props you plan to use in the audition. Choose your prop wisely. If you really don’t need it, don’t use it.

How You Feel

Water – Feel hydrated. Feel good.

Granola Bar or light snack – I’ve been in situations where I’m heading to an audition hungry. Eating a granola bar or snack can really help out the situation. Having your stomach growl in the middle of an audition would not be good. And if you’re self-conscious about the possibility it may happen, you don’t want that to show in your performance.

“Triggers” – Depending on the type of scene you are doing you may want to bring your mp3 player, a picture, or some other trigger item to help you get to that emotional place for your role.

Personal Hygiene – The waiting room is small. The audition room is small. If you rode your bike to the audition or if it’s a particularly hot day, be kind and wear deodorant. Mints or breath freshener are handy on those special occasions when you need to be close to your scene partner or if you finished off a large caesar salad for lunch.

Few more things

Loose Change – Find free parking if you can but you may need to park at a meter — Make sure you have change for that (or in the City of Vancouver, you can do pay-by-phone meter parking).

Pen – It’s mightier than the sword… oh, and it saves you from waiting for someone else to lend you their pen.

Your Talent – Bring it!

Is anything missing from this list? Write it in the comments below or share your thoughts on the Vancouver Actor’s Guide forum. Thanks to all the forum members who contributed to the initial brainstorm.

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