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Still From 'Time'

Image credit: BBC Studios / Still From Time

Audition room tips from the casting director of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Time’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed: Origins’.

During her incredible career, casting director Amy Hubbard has worked on various film, television and video game projects, including blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and hit television series like Apple TV+’s Hijack and BBC’s Time. She’s seen countless auditions and knows precisely what to look for when casting her next role.

We spoke to Amy about what she wants to see in the audition room, and what performers should do in the waiting room before an audition. Here’s what she shared:

Be Confident in Auditions

If there’s one piece of advice Amy would give to actors before an audition, it’s that, “Confidence is key.” She emphasises, “Confidence, for me, comes above talent.”

So, when you enter the audition room, ensure you exude confidence by: 

  • Dressing appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing that won’t distract you or the casting professionals during the audition. 
  • Conveying good body language: Make appropriate eye contact, stand tall with good posture, and avoid nervous fidgeting. 
  • Being well-prepared: Arrive at the audition early – but not too early! – so that you have time to calm down from your travels before going into the audition room, make sure you know your lines and be committed to what you plan to do in the audition. 

Take a look at our guide for more advice on how to audition with confidence.

Make Bold Decisions

During auditions, casting directors will hear the same lines delivered repeatedly, and many actors will likely deliver those lines in the same way. 

Amy’s next piece of advice is to, “Make a bold decision about how you want to play it.”

Don’t be afraid to be creative – and unique! You need to trust your instincts on how you interpret the character you’re auditioning for and how the lines should be delivered, “Don’t be trying to predict, ‘What does this person want?’” It may be that your fresh and different delivery makes the casting director view the character in a new light. At the very least, it will make you memorable to them – which is just as much a victory as getting the role.

“As you grow in confidence and as you train, as you get more experience, start to work out what would excite you if someone else was to play this part,” Amy says. “How would you want to see them interpret it? Come in and do that.”

What to Do While Waiting for an Audition

It’s important to stay calm and focused while waiting to go into an audition – and respect of the other performers around you. Don’t distract them; maintain your professionalism by, “Not chattering too much,” as Amy says.

She stresses that it’s, “So important to respect someone else’s process, especially if you’re going to audition in a different accent. Some people like to listen to that accent right up to the moment they go in the room and they have it on their headphones. So leave that actor alone.” 

Here are a few ideas for how to spend your time productively or distract yourself from the nerves you may be feeling:

  • Review your lines
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Engage in breathing exercises
  • Stay hydrated
  • Meditate

“If you need to talk,” Amy advises, “Find a casting assistant or, at Spotlight, somebody who works there, and chat away to them, if that’s what you need.”

If you need more tips for dealing with nerves, our video has some great advice from actors, including Imelda Staunton and Alex Jennings.

Thank you Amy Hubbard for taking the time to speak to us to share your advice!

Take a look at our website for more video tips from casting directors and performers.