• by Mel Mack

Actors, Are You Sabotaging Your Auditions?

Are you Sabotaging Your One-Line TV/Film Auditions?

Lately I’ve been coaching a lot of actors on one-line auditions. I always ask for feedback on their auditions as it’s important for me as a not only a teacher but also as a casting director to know what happened in the room. Many times I can help an actor navigate how they did based on the direction that was given, or NOT given.

Here are the 3 things that can sabotage your TV/Film one-line auditions:

  1. Reading to the camera

  2. Not knowing your one line

  3. Forgetting to create a beginning, middle and an end to the story your one-line helps tell

Reading To The Camera:

Unless it says to do so in the sides you were given, you ALWAYS read with the reader. You need to create a relationship with who you are talking to in your scene so reading with the reader is the best way to do this.

Not Knowing Your One Line:

So many actors but very little preparation into their one line because they feel like it’s either so easy they’d never forget one line OR they feel like a one-line audition is no big deal. This way of thinking couldn’t be more WRONG! Remember, your one-line is there to move the story along and if it wasn’t important to the story line it wouldn’t be in the scene. Do your job and know that one-line, think about why you’re saying it and how you feel about saying it. Trust me, this makes a HUGE difference in the audition room.

Forgetting To Create A Beginning, Middle and An End:

SO many actors forget that your one line is part of whole storyline! Maybe your one-line introduces a new character, sets up the series-regular for a big laugh (comedy) or reveals valuable information to solving a crime (drama series). What ever the reason your one-line is there you have to be sure that you have a moment before (literally where did you just come from what were you doing, or what did you just see) which leads to you say your one-line with a strong opinion or strong feeling. After you’ve said it you MUST end the scene and continue the “feeling or energy” of the scene until casting says cut.

The biggest mistakes I see in the room is how little thought and preparation goes into one-line auditions. I’m not saying you have to beat the one-line like a dead horse, NO! But you do have to do your homework. I want you walking into the audition room feeling confident that you’ve made strong choices and are able to say what you’re saying in an organic, natural way based on the story. And the only way to stop sabotaging, is to start preparing for these one-liners.

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*Mel likes to maintain a comfortable work environment for her actors and therefore does not allow auditors.
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