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The Modern Actor A product of

Audition Checklist By: Eddie Ramos

The Modern Actor Audition Checklist

Auditioning can be fun and rewarding.......... The Checklist Objectives A simple device comprised of a few tasks........ 1 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist ......... ¨ Execute in the room ¨ Walk out happy Other Resources Contents To grasp audition technique 100% takes time and practice............................ Mindset..... Don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s..................... everyone learns at their own pace.... Researching the scene …………………………………. Actors go on more auditions than they book.... Keep this sheet at your desk or ¨ Understand the material with you at your next audition...... Technical skills……………………………………………………7 down time.. Mastering the audition technique will change your acting career.... The best way to improve your auditioning is through developing a solid foundation of skills that you can build upon.16 Evaluation Remember auditioning can be highly rewarding for an actress or actor....... Where to start?...9 5..13 see page 17... Memorization…………………………………………………....... as part ¨ Breakdown the scene of your auditioning tool kit...... 4....……. You will start to enjoy auditions and seek to go out even more.... you will see yourself able to find your beats quickly and handle cold reads with ease... 7..... Pen This all-inclusive guide aims to answer those questions and help you § Quiet space & Focus feel great about your audition from the moment you receive your sides to the moment you walk out of the room.....2 experience auditioning will teach you 2......................... but you can also learn on your 3...... chances are you Here’s what you’ll need: will audition for a role at least once in your life....... Artistic skills……………………………………………………........ The Modern Actor’s Audition Checklist was designed in a way that hopefully achieves that.......4 a lot........ Overview Materials If you are an aspiring actor or actress in today’s world. Over time... It will open the doors you’ve dreamed of.. You need only to focus on strengthening your craft and confidence...... Your own 1. The Audition Checklist.....11 For more resources on auditioning 6........ ¨ Commit the role to memory ¨ Bring yourself to the character Find the list on page 16.... but where do you start? How do you prepare for a role? § Audition sides What skills do you need to memorize your lines? § Highlighter.... so knowing your “why” is crucial to maintain stamina.

Where To Start? 2 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

might not for other actors. the actress stopped talking and started to frantically scroll for two minutes. But. everyone prints out his or her sides right? I mean it’s obvious? You’d be surprised. completely draining the energy from the scene. they had no life vest to save them from drowning. Pro-Tip: Casting directors allow actors to hold their sides during an audition to prevent potential mishaps. As the scene reached the climax. What may seem like a no-brainer to you. an older actor chose to skip out on printing her sides and use her iPad instead.Where To Start? Print Your Sides Auditioning can be a very fast process. print or write your lines. simpler is better. During a casting session I sat in on. the better prepared you’ll be—the better chances you will have at booking the role. the director had already moved on mentally. When it comes to auditioning. The physical action acts as a double bolt lock on your memory bank. Some of you may even receive multiple auditions at once. The more time you give yourself with the physical script. write them down if you don’t have access to a printer. As long as you aren’t staring down at them the whole time or directly reading from the page. 3 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . You won’t drown if you have the sides with you. The best way to avoid this kind of situation is to leave your technology out of the room. Keep it old school. I sat shocked with the director and casting director as we waited for her to find her place again. all for the NEXT day! That’s why it’s crucial to print out your sides as soon as you get them. keeping your sides near you in an audition is totally acceptable. In this guide you will discover the best ways to keep from checking back into your lines constantly and how to deliver a powerful and connected performance. So taking the time to read the lines out loud and write them down is beneficial to your overall memory. Studies have shown people remember 10% of what they read (passive) and 70% of what they read and write (active). By then. I’ve seen actors and actresses ruin their auditions because they refused to print out their sides and when they inevitably forgot their lines.

Research The Scene 4 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

Once. an interrogation scene might call for close-ups. as Yourself. Let your imagination go wild. Try and picture the scene played out on camera or on the stage. how they are saying it. Familiarize yourself with the show by watching a couple of episodes to get a sense of the style and tone.Research The Scene A smart actor knows how to do good homework. Know where the jokes are in a comedy and the pauses are in a drama.) Once. as the Director. but always work towards making the scene feel authentic. You should be thinking about what your character is saying. For example. a romantic stroll. Whereas. Understand the rhythm of the scene. as the Writer. and two warm coffees. Read The Sides 4x Los Angeles acting teacher Lesly Kahn suggests actors read their scripts multiple times using different perspectives. Look up the playwright or screenwriter. Go through and highlight your lines. (Don’t worry your brain will automatically do that for you as you continue to read and work on your script. hovering cops. a romantic scene might call for wide-shots. Once. If your agent sends you the script and you have time. Once. read it. as the Character. and get familiar with common themes in their work. and what others are saying about them. Read the entire play or screenplay. Long sentences usually reflect longer thoughts or that the character is searching and picking his words 5 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . and the smoke from a lit cigarette. Imagining how a director might see your scene gives advanced actors clues to shape their performance. Not committing anything to memory yet.

The same can be said about short. 6 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . artistic skills. social status. Now that you have a basic understanding of what’s going on in your scene. Good writing will tell you a lot about your character’s background.Research The Scene carefully. There are three major concepts you’ll need to develop into your audition: technical skills. and emotional state. direct one-word responses. it’s time to start developing your skills as an actor. and memorization.

Technical Skills 7 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

“ARCHETYPE. only smart choices. emotional.. back of your sides or on a piece of scrap paper take up to 5-minutes without stopping or censoring yourself Obstacles – The physical. Relationship. birthplace. Moment Before. Renowned Los Angeles acting teacher Anthony Meindl calls these tools the characters “blood & guts. 8 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . with your own life and that of the characters. Substitution. actors we should ne able to call upon at least one encounter with each of these archetypes from our own Place – Where does the scene happen? The scene memory or by using our imagination. It gives you a place to come from.” They are helpful devices in developing your character and making strong choices for your audition. So for circumstances and scene partner in the scene? that reason it helps to think about relationship in terms of ME VS..etc. There are many more ways to develop your character and scene. and in the book. “your boss” . There are great resources to find out what these tools are online. it helps add even your physicality change from each archetype? As Urgency and Raises the Stakes. and mental describing the life of your character that we don’t get to hurdles that make it difficult for your character to see. or How does your character respond to the given achieve their objectives at the end of the scene. a library.etc. inner–thought and maybe that has a different energy than the scene. “The Power of The Actor” by Ivanna Chubbuck. their relationship with their family. There is no “right” answer for your character’s I was talking to my____________about_______________. I also include the time of Backstory – The who/what/where/when of the day. What your Substitutions to a deeper level. “AS IF scene. objective. “your begin the scene.Technical Skills Find The Blood & Guts Of The Scene Identify your characters Overall Objective. As you read this could you feel physically and emotionally. Create a Moment Before your emotional response. Substituting helps actors get closer to the reality of the scene. and a One-Page Backstory..” An archetype can be Moment Before – The event that happened before you described as someone like “your best friend”. would be very different if it were taking place in an office. Overall Objective (Scene Objective) – Your As If – Sometimes its necessary to take your characters Purpose throughout the scene. Actors will imagine what character wants to achieve over the course of the entire it would be like to be in the scene as themselves.. You can find your objective by reading your lines and asking yourself— Relationship – Our characters’ always want TO WIN. Time of day hugely affects how your character character leading up to the start of the scene. As If. however based on the average amount of time an actor is given to prepare an audition (which isn’t much) these tools will do the trick. both ex”. outside. On the might react during the scene. any love interests or things they despise? Creating a backstory Substitution – Find substitution for your scene partner develops a better understanding of the character and and all the nouns in the scene by making connections Given Circumstances. This is where you can describe his or her achieve his or her Objective. Place. Scene Objective. Obstacles.

Artistic Skills 9 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

This is super important so I’m going to put it into bold for you: The sooner you realize that YOU are good enough. Not only. place the trophy somewhere else in the room and “see” it while you speak. instead of delivering a speech about the time you won a trophy directly into the reader’s eye. There are ways to showcase your artistry in a five-minute audition. but rather what they don’t say. Can you imagine if Marilyn Monroe or James Dean shied away from who they were? We would be deprived of their iconic performances. The best actors are those who unabashedly bring their essence into the characters they play. Their physical body is their instrument.” use it to explore your acting all the more. Again “I am saying these lines to make you feel________. The most successful actors and actresses figure this piece of the puzzle quickly and it will dictate the time it takes for you to land roles.. Ø During the audition you won’t be staring blankly at the camera or at the reader when they speak—you will be thinking. So how does one shine through the character on an audition? If you study the greats closely.” You should have an intention for every one of your lines. as we do in life. having that inner-thought will do three things for you: Ø Connect you closer to your partner.Artistic Skills Acting can’t be 100% intellectual. Meaning that the actions created by the actor should be informed by instinct. Your job as an actor is to inspire others by being yourself. You should have an inner-thought every time your partner speaks. Doubt is the green-eyed monster that creeps into our heads from time to time. And guess what? That’s what audiences and casting directors respond to. 10 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . The thought does not have to be long. Ø Gives you sources. Actors are as much artists as painters and musicians. emotion. does it look great on camera but it helps you avoid staring at the reader and will make your audition feel more natural. Set Your Intentions For Your Lines & Inner-Thoughts For Your Partner’s Lines Your intentions or “mini-objectives” should go as follows. yet those who remain and become successful understand that the most important factor in their career is how alive they feel walking out of their auditions. Actors are artists too. The juice is in the listening and the actor’s inner-thoughts. to the props you incorporate into your scene—the life and energy you bring into your audition will set you apart from other actors and make the people sitting across from you pay attention and listen. and their instrument is their art. in life we are much subtler. and responding truthfully and the camera will pick that up. and a quality of spirit.” However. You can make your audition more engaging and interesting by having clear intentions and real inner-thoughts. it can be a few words or utterances such as “Hmm. So for example. A source is a technique to delineate different substitutions using various eye lines out in front of you.. the sooner you will book. I think we tend to forget that because of the blurred line between celebrity and actors who are famous because of their talent. In the case of a larger monologue or paragraph. listening. “I am saying this line to make you feel____________. Stop seeing auditioning as hoop to jump through before you get to “act. From the clothes your wear. find the overall feeling you are trying to evoke in your partner with that group of lines. a really captivating performance does not come from what they say. by allowing every word they say to have an affect on you. Be careful not to over act your thoughts. Doubt has made the most confident actors and actresses throw in the towel.

Memorization 11 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

Run Your Lines Regularly Run your lines continuously during that time leading up to your audition. why you are saying them. but an actor who prepares is better off than an actor who goes into the room and tries to wing it. Not the Lines In the book Acting For The Camera. Pro-Tip: Be aware that in your audition anything can happen. Tony Barr writes “the words themselves are not important. inner-thoughts and all the information you gathered in the technical skills portion. Trust me. don’t just memorize and repeat your lines one after another.Memorization Learn the Role. if you’ve made a connection between the stimuli and the responses they create. The feeling you associated with the first time you heard it generated a deeper connection to the lyrics. Going over the scene with someone else would be optimal. although finding a quiet space to rehearse alone works as well. it’s what makes the words happen that has significance. Naturally. There will be little worry about forgetting your lines. Incorporate your intention. and how you are trying to make your partner feel with them. that is the same relationship you are trying to develop with the text. It’s the reason you can remember all the words to a song after years of not hearing it. 12 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . In other words. Know what makes you say them. Practice makes permanent. so don’t be married to any of the choices you made on the script.

Mindset 13 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .

You’re not like other actors. Visualize The Audition In The Waiting Room As you enter the waiting room most casting directors have the actor sign in with their name. If you allow yourself to be open to it. your body will naturally re-align your behaviors and thoughts with those of the character. This has been the key to my recent success and overall happiness. Brush your teeth as the character would. My favorites are the UCLA free-guided meditations and Abraham Hicks guided meditations on YouTube. A great performance doesn’t begin in the room. role. Give yourself time before your audition to meditate. and time of arrival. Meditate If I could only do one thing on the day of my audition. It’s a great way to get grounded. it starts the moment you decide to print the sides and put in the work. There is a range of 5-20 minute meditations online that you can choose from. it would be to meditate. -Audition Day- Wake Up Like The Character Practice igniting your creativity early. Recently. I have seen massive results in my overall audition experience by doing a meditation from a fellow Modern Actor reader. relieve stress and nervousness. and I booked my second National Commercial the day I decided to implement this into my routine. However. listen to it.Mindset Audition day skills are needed to make a great actor or actress excel at their audition. The following guideline is to be done on the day of your audition. and sabotage their whole audition before even entering the room. Orel De La Mota. 14 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . Not to worry. the more time you can give yourself to mentally prepare on the day. self-doubting. You are prepared and confident in your work. the better. This is where even the most seasoned actor can become nervous. If the script suggests any music that your character likes.

even if your audition is going extremely well. 15 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . but do not apologize or worst go off on a rant about a late night the day before. Similar to a date. Focus on your character.” or “Good luck with the rest of the project. Most likely the casting director will think you are making a choice. find your place. why would you not include things that we do naturally? It is important that you have your lines memorized. That is how you get the second date. auditioning is just another human experience. The reader or casting director follows the same guidelines of life as you do. Remember. Your job as the actor is to stay positive in these rooms. and even though it may seem like an audition is a foreign experience. Ever walk out of an audition and repeat the lines over and over to yourself? This is death for an actor. The casting director wants you to do well. it wasn’t until I sat in on casting sessions that I realized this was true. Collect your thoughts. Gradually block out the other actors in the room and visualize yourself having a great audition. you want to put your best foot forward. you must train yourself to not see it that way. After your audition is done and the casting director is satisfied you can say something like “Thank You for having me. It’s Just Another Day On The Job. Don’t panic. They do not want to hire you and then get word from production that you lack flexibility. You have to recognize that at it’s core. Audition Like You’re Going On The Perfect Date The best actors are self-aware people who understand the social cues of life. You don’t want to be an actor with a reputation for making excuses. Trust that you gave it your all in the audition and walk away stress-free. Be Open To Adjustments Film is a director’s medium. Those who remain and become successful understand that the most important factor in their career is how alive they feel walking out of their auditions. but again it is a JOB. As much as I hated hearing this from other actors when I first started. If acting is living truthfully. The team will be engaged and eager to work with you on set. a casting director may ask you to make an adjustment. The next time you find yourself doing this. It means you failed to leave everything in the room. Your date wants you to sweep him/her off their feet! No one wants their date to disappoint them. stop and let it go. So try not to let your audition experience hijack your whole day.Pause. Therefore.Mindset Breathe. and continues on with the lines.. Actors have one of the coolest jobs in the world. This is just another day in the life of an actor. I am not advocating paraphrasing or not knowing your words. Say Thank You And Keep It Moving. Collect your thoughts. The casting director is making sure you can take direction. The most important thing is to understand is that getting direction is nothing personal and purely part of the job. By staying relaxed. You don’t want to enter the room with an attitude or distraught over whatever happened to you earlier that day.” and walk out of there with your head held high. however I think it is important for actors to know that in the case of stumbling over your words.. Have A Conversation With Your Lines In life we stumble over and mispronounce words all the time. actors have the power to create an atmosphere that is fun and inviting. auditioning is just part of the process and it gets easier every time you do it.

The Modern Actor Audition Checklist Every time you get an audition. and walk into the room knowing you are ready to book the role! ¨ Print the sides ¨ Read the sides 4x ¨ Research the scene ¨ Find the blood & guts of the scene ¨ Set your intentions for your lines & inner-thoughts for your partner’s lines ¨ Run your lines regularly ¨ Wake up like the character ¨ Meditate ¨ Gather everything you need: ¨ Sides ¨ Headshot ¨ Resume ¨ Props ¨ Confidence! 16 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist . complete this checklist.

com/modernactor/ Follow The Modern Actor on Instagram https://www.the-modern-actor. The Power Of The Actor A Practical Handbook For The Actor Book The F#©king Job The Complete Audition Book For Young Actors How To Stop Acting The Science Of Acting From The Modern Actor On Auditioning 13 Top-Tips To Nailing Your Audition! How To Breakdown A Scene Share This Checklist With Your Friends Like The Modern Actor on Facebook Copyright © 2017 17 The Modern Actor Audition Checklist .com/subscriber-contact-form Publisher: Eddie Ramos www.Other Resources The following books are in order by which I think they are relevant to understanding audition technique and their resemblance to the reality of auditioning in Subscribe to The Modern Actor Newsletter https://www.the-modern-actor.