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Jigsaw Arts Management – Agency audition tips!

Nia Jigsaw student in Macbeth feature film

It’s an exciting time for the Jigsaw Agency as we approach the deadline to renew children on our books for another year and welcome those that are joining us for the first time.

Those that are on the agency will know that ‘Spotlight’ is the online CV every child has with their headshot attached so that casting directors can very quickly view their details when they are looking to cast children for Theatre, TV and film projects. It is my job as the agent to sift through the ‘casting breakdowns’ and submit the children I feel match the description for that specific role. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding a ‘Blonde haired boy, 4”3 and around 8 years old” for a TV commercial and other times we get much more detailed breakdowns which require children to have specific accents and extra skills.

I know first hand that the acting industry is incredibly tough as it is so fiercely competitive. If you get as far as the audition room then you’re in a lucky position because there will have been many children that didn’t make it that far! How do you then make sure you have the best possible chance of being successful? Here are a few handy audition tips!

1. Arrive Early – When going to an audition the last thing you want to be nervous about is being late. If you arrive early it gives you a chance to sit down, absorb your surroundings and most of all to breathe before entering the room.

2. Dress appropriately for the role – Always think about the role you’re auditioning for and dress as similarly as possible to help the casting director imagine you as the part. If you feel as though you are the part then you will be much more comfortable and natural acting the role as well.

3. Keep your headshots up to date – Casting directors have chosen you for the audition based on what you look like in your headshot so they will be expecting that person to walk through the door.

4. Learn your lines – If you have been sent a script for an audition or a monologue to look at then do your best to learn the lines off by heart. This shows commitment and it is easier to take direction and give a better read through if you’re familiar with it.

5. Don’t over learn your lines – This one is tricky and sounds like a huge contradiction to number 4! But remember that casting directors need to see that you can take ‘direction’ as after all if you get the job that is exactly what you’ll be doing. Learn your lines but be prepared to try them being said in different ways.

6. Slow down – One main sign of nerves is speeding through your lines. Remember to take your time, think about what you’re saying and take a couple of deep breaths before going for it.

7. If you make a mistake just carry on –Even the best actors in the world occasionally make mistakes on stage. The joys of being human! However, it’s the good actors that are able to carry on and cover up their mistakes so that the audience don’t even realise. This could work to your benefit if you cover it well!

8. Remember the panel are your friends – It’s easy to forget when auditioning that the panel want you to get the role as much as you want to get it. They want the right person to walk through the door because then their job is done!

9. Make it fun! – If you’re having fun and enjoying the experience of auditioning then it’s likely that this will rub off on the panel and they will enjoy watching you. This is exactly the response you’re hoping for!

10. Let it go! – Once you have left the audition room the outcome is completely out of your hands. Have a quick think about what you might like to do differently next time but don’t worry about it because it’s done now!

For our bonus tip I asked Terri – one of our Jigsaw teachers who is no stranger to the world of auditioning – what her top audition tip would be and she says:

“When someone calls you in for an audition, you have already won half the battle by getting in the room! When you get there be enthusiastic, be prepared and lastly be the best possible YOU you can be that day!”

Although it sounds like a daunting process, it can be extremely rewarding if you’re lucky enough to be chosen one day. Nia from Jigsaw Crouch End thoroughly enjoyed her experience filming for the Feature film “Macbeth” this year as you can see in the photo above! I keep my fingers and toes crossed for you all!

Read more about the Jigsaw Agency.

Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. We offer performing arts classes for children aged between 3 – 18 across London, the home counties and South Wales. To enquire or to book your child’s place at one of our schools please call our friendly Head Office team on 020 8447 4530 or email enquiries@jigsaw-arts.co.uk for more information.