Monday, March 29, 2010


In the video below - you will see an audition I recently gave for a webseries. I wanted to share this with you and spend a little time discussing the audition process. Notice the length. This is often the case with auditions - they move very quickly leaving you very little time to “impress” - so make it good. The day of your audition
- you should walk out your front door in
character (if you have sides before hand). A lot of times with indie projects you will get the sides when you arrive - which makes it more difficult - but do your best to memorize them as best you can and develop some sort of character. On “hollywood” projects (and when you have an agent) you will almost always get your sides ahead of time - though on some occasions - you only get it an hour or so before. So get used to cold reading and having to prepare quickly.
When I worked for a Hollywood agent - he was famous for giving the actor the most mundane script he could find - something very short about - say - toothpaste. He’d give it to them moments before their audition and then expect them to be great. And while a lot weren’t - there were a select few that were - and that’s when you saw magic. When an actor could take a line as simple as “I like my morning coffee with cream” and grab your attention - that’s magic. Practice. Practice. Practice. Could you do that right now? Something I find helpful is to film yourself, I can’t tell you how eye opening this is - just looking in the mirror can be deceiving - seeing yourself on camera - very valuable. Remember there is always room for improvement/growth - so challenge yourself. Try different things. Take different classes. Practice with other actors and give each other feedback. Know an indie director? Ask him/her to watch you do a monologue and give you his/her feedback on how you did. Would they cast you? All these things can only help you. The more you practice - the more comfortable you will be when it comes time for an audition.
Also - after this audition - and based on the feedback I got from the casting director - I’ve realized something very important.... you need to take into account WHAT you are auditioning for. Stage? Film? Webseries? All these require different levels of performance. For instance - obviously stage acting requires a more exaggerated outward performance, where as film is more introverted and subtle. A webseries - in my opinion - is somewhere in between. They are featured on smaller screens and often times the cameras won’t pick up every detail of facial expression the way an expensive film camera would. So while you don’t want to be over the top - you need to push outward a little more to make sure your emotions are coming across.
When you get to your audition - don’t forget to breath. You’ve worked hard to be prepared for this moment - don’t question that. Have trust and confidence in your abilities and it will show. I know it can be nerve racking - and who doesn’t get that adrenaline rush? But use it! Use that energy and filter it out into your performance.
I’ll finish with this - don’t beat yourself up. Everyone has had an audition where afterwards they go - fuck - I could have done that better, I could have given more. Learn from it - use it - and pull your shit together for the next one. It’s all about learning and growing.....
Hope you enjoy...



    You rock...Nikki

  2. I love how people get to see just how fast and short an audition really is - I think most people think it's some long process and they have time for a huge monologue - when in reality - it's about 1 minute long - makes you realize how fast you have to hit them with what you got.

  3. WRITTEN BY: 1001Hobbies

    I'm with you Oak, much more comfortable behind the camera.

    This is so frigging cool Nikki. For those of us that have never seen an audition it is GREAT insight. So surprising to see a person introduce themselves in one breath and then be someone totally different, in a completely different situation on the next. The little things you include that most "ordinary" people wouldn't think about like the verbal pauses, repeating words as if clamoring for something to say; THAT is what makes a performance seem real. Great job.

  4. She does kinda rock lol - it takes guts to go to cattle calls - auditions are based on so many things outta' the control of the actor - it's a wonder how they can do their job - go to auditions and have any self confidence whatsoever - one of the many reasons I love actors so much - it take guts to walk in front of the camera and be judged - on camera - on/from everything/anything - from what you look like - if they think you are any good- are your teeth straight enough - and on and on - and actors have to do this time and time and time again - some damn strong people if ya ask me - it may sound easy - but then I always ask people - have you ever walked into a room full of strangers - with a camera rolling - and ask to be judged - on camera. Tell me you wouldn't be sweating lol - I know I would - that's why I'm behind the camera lol - watching a me sweat and shake on camera ain't that much fun lol.

  5. Thanks so much for the feedback. As an actor - I think we are hardest on ourselves, and it's hard to watch yourself and not critique every little thing. It really helps to hear what others saw in your performance!

  6. Nikki

    1st & foremost I think it is so brave & important for you to put that up so people can see exactly how much goes into how little time you have in front of these people.
    2nd, I am so proud to see how much you've grown as an actor! Bravo lil mama!