Kate Rhodes-James: How to Prepare for an Audition

We’ve partnered with Northern Europe’s largest casting platform, Stagepool, to share opportunities with each other’s members and make it easier for actors to gain opportunities throughout Europe. As part of this event in Stockholm last weekend, casting director Kate Rhodes-James held a Q&A about all things casting. Here are her top tips from the session.

  1. Read the script over and over before you go to your audition – obvious, but essential! Read the whole script if you can, not just the sections for the part for which you’re auditioning. Learn the script well enough that you could improvise if needed!
  2. Think about your character in their world: what do other characters think about your character? What do they say about your character? This should influence how you play them, and add layers and depth to your performance.
  3. Dress to influence the casting director subliminally, in a way that suits the part. Don’t go OTT (e.g. please don’t show up in full period dress for a period drama!). If your character is fastidious, for example, don’t come with ripped jeans and a scruffy T-shirt.
  4. Decide and commit to your interpretation of the role. Be confident, make a choice, don’t sit on the fence or wait for direction the first time around. Come with ideas!
  5. Be prepared to take direction and be open to the director’s feedback. Go for your interpretation the first time, but then be flexible. Don’t challenge the directions too much, just show you can take these on board – be easy to work with.
  6. Engage and show your enthusiasm. A positive presence is an asset; someone everyone wants to work with!
  7. Be professional. Don’t talk too much about personal stuff - don’t waste time in the audition telling people you’ve had a bad day! Get on with the job in hand.
  8. Remember that the audition isn’t a test. You’ve already passed the test by being brought in for the audition. So, if you don’t get the role, it won’t be because you’re not good enough. It will be because you’re not quite as right for the part as the person who gets it. There are other factors at work, like the channel the programme will be shown on, what time it’s going to be broadcast, what kind of audience they are trying to appeal to, etc.