Let Your Imagination Improve Your Auditions

in auditions use imagination casting workbook

Put yourself in the casting director’s chair: it’s the end of the day, and you’ve seen a character interpreted two dozen times. What actors will you remember, the ones that deliver lines directly off paper, or those that improvise and challenge the idea of the character? Being imaginative with your characters is key to getting your casting director’s attention.

Flex your acting

Getting creative is usually a good thing. When you imagine how you would become a character, think of what could ‘wake up’ a casting director. The trick is to be memorable, yet appropriate. Want to use a football in the scene? Mime it. Just be sure not to get in your CD’s space, or bring along inappropriate props.

Success is about striking a balance. If you go too far into left field, a casting director may interpret that as you may be unable to take direction, or see that as an inability to decipher subtlety of a character. Challenge yourself, and ask for feedback. This could involve an acting class, running lines with actor friends, or performing in a mirror. The point is to be able to reflect upon your delivery, and give yourself the time to adjust your technique, if necessary.

Find your character’s triggers

How you interpret your character is key to effectively using imagination to your advantage. What would bother your character, or excite them? By finding out who they are as people (or the idea of a person), you can get to know the aspects of the character that may speak to your casting director.

Imagine your character is an army veteran from the first World War. What would happen to them if you were playing them in a scene with a car backfiring, or fireworks going off on the Fourth of July? These things may not happen during your audition scene, but they would affect the personality you deliver in your audition.

If your character is the friend of an army veteran, your outlook and personality would be incredibly different. Do they feel frustration at your character? Perhaps they don’t recognize the person that returned from fighting overseas, and are struggling to reach out to an old friend that they now feel is a stranger. Character development allows you to develop empathy and consider performance as a matter of angles, which allows you to be creative and adapt in the moment when required.

It’s all about the lead up

Most of the time, the main action in your scene isn’t the most interesting part of the performance. If you’re a casting director watching an audition that leads up to a fight, you don’t skip the suspense and get right to the fisticuffs. What’s interesting is the emotion that develops the calm towards the storm.

Use that imagination to find stressors, triggers and work that into your scenes. Getting creative in your auditions may not yield results the first time, but once you start to develop your techniques, you’ll likely be seeing results. Stir the character inside you, and use that to impress casting directors.

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