The Art of The Audition
By Ryan Cooper in Educational Articles on Aug 09, 2011
Learn about auditioning from Beatrice King, a Mortal Kombat queen.
Beatrice King is an experienced Canadian actress who teaches, among other things, auditioning technique in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Beatrice has a great list of credits ranging from Mortal Kombat Legacy to Supernatural. We sat down with Beatrice to talk about how to make the best out of auditioning so you can maximize your chances of landing that dream role.
Know Your Limits
Early in Beatrice's career she began auditioning much like any other actress would and soon found what seemed like a dream role. After a grueling four callbacks everything seemed perfect! She was set to land her first lead. They loved the way she portrayed herself in the auditions. They thought she had fantastic chemistry with the male lead. It seemed too perfect to be true. And then they dropped the bomb! They decided they wanted her to do an explicit scene right at the end of the movie.
When auditioning for a role make sure it is something you are comfortable with. Many directors will push the boundaries of what is acceptable and the only way they will draw a line is if you show it to them. Have the confidence to turn down a role that insists on breaking boundaries that you don't feel comfortable in bending. If you were offered a lead role once you will be offered one again.
Do Your Homework
The most important thing an actor or actress can do to maximize their chance of success is research, research, research. Many actors think that just learning their lines is enough but knowledge is power. Learn the entire story. Learn its mood. Learn its tone. Learn about the director, learn about his style. Learn about the producer, learn about his expectations. Study the setting. Dominate the role you are auditioning for, do a character study, learn their motivations, their weaknesses, their strengths. Walk into the audition feeling like you know more about the role being cast than the team on the other side of the table.
You don't always have time to do all this research though. When Beatrice first auditioned for Mortal Kombat she was asked to audition for one of the twins at the very last minute. They contacted Beatrice's agent and wanted her to audition within the next couple hours. Rushed, Beatrice focused on the most important aspects of her character. She learned the scene as much as possible but also focused on the tone of the story so that she could capture the mood of her character.
They really loved Beatrice's performance despite being under prepared. After some strong feedback, however, the role went to another girl simply because she looked very similar to the other twin who had already been cast. The casting team, however, assured Beatrice that they were impressed by her audition and would keep her in mind for another role. Soon after Beatrice was cast as Queen Sindel, the twins' mother in flashbacks. Even if putting that extra effort into an audition doesn't pay off initially you never know how it will reward you down the road.
Be Up to Date with Acting in your Area
Every actor should be up to date with what is filming in their area and already be familiar with those stories. When auditioning is slow this becomes your job. Watch the shows that are airing and learn as much as you can about those that are not. You never know when you will get an audition for any of them and if you already have done most of your research the last minute preparation becomes much easier.
Never apologize in an audition. Especially Canadians seem to be always be apologizing for something. "I'm sorry, can I use a chair, or I'm sorry I messed up on a work, can I start over?" Indeterminate behavior just doesn't fly in an audition room. It is all about learning to be confident and trust in your work. Be solid with your choices. Even if you don't perfectly know your lines be confident in your talent. Make sure to keep your edge.
In all, a career in acting is undoubtedly hard. For every role an actor lands they must go through dozens of auditions. While learning your craft is definitely key to success, mastering the audition is just as hard. Practice makes perfect and never forget that when you are having fun you will always be more genuine. Learn to be take charge while auditioning and you will soon discover that it is a process that actually can be enjoyable.
Learn more about Beatrice King by visiting her website as beatriceking.com. Photo by Toranj Kayvon.