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How To Audition For A Movie: How To Prepare

Photograph of the blog post author, Ella Clarke

Ella Clarke


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Are you an aspiring actor or actress? Are you wondering how to audition for movie roles and ace it? If so, then you have come to the right place. Welcome to Мusic Gateway’s comprehensive guide for how to audition for a movie! 

how to audition for a movie

The competition is always high when you audition for a movie part, as there are so many talented people seeking their big break. This means that you need to put in the hard work so that you’re truly prepared to give your best performance and impress the casting directors. 

In this article we will help prepare you for your audition, including explaining how to apply for a movie audition, how to audition for movie roles with no experience, and plenty more!

So, stay tuned to discover how to wow at your next movie audition.  

How Do Movie Auditions Work?

actors waiting to enter a performance

The first basic question to address when explaining how to audition for movie roles is ‘how do they work?’ Well, it’s always a good idea to get there early, as you never know if things may be a little ahead of schedule and you don’t want to risk missing your opportunity. 

When you arrive you will be greeted by the casting director’s assistant (or receptionist) and they will provide you with a script (if you haven’t already been sent it). 

Then, it will be a waiting game. You will likely sit or stand in a waiting room depending on how busy it is. If this is your first time seeing the script, then it’s a good idea to spend your waiting time familiarising yourself with your lines. 

Sometimes you will need to do a cold reading for the casting directors, and this means you won’t have the lines until you get into the room. Or, you may be auditioning for a character who doesn’t have a speaking part. 

What Happens Once You’re Called In?

So, what happens when you get called into the room? There will likely be an X in the centre of the floor, and this is where you need to stand. You will need to greet the casting directors (a friendly smile and “hello” will be sufficient!) and then stand on your mark. 

You will then have to do your slate which involves looking into the camera and saying your name, age, and what agency you belong to. Then it’s time to audition! 

You will do your reading, likely with an assistant who sits out of the view of the camera. You may be given some feedback after your audition or asked to do the same reading in a different way. 

When your audition is over, thank the casting directors and make your way out of the room. You can hand them your headshots, along with your contact details before you go. 

How Do You Find Auditions For Movies?


So, how do you find auditions for movies? After all, they don’t just appear out of nowhere, you have to put some time into finding them! 

You can do this in a number of different ways – here are the main ones: 

Get An Agent

Getting an agent isn’t easy, but it can open many doors for you. 

To improve your chances, you can hand out your headshots to your friends, colleagues, and other people in the business and ask them to pass it along to relevant talent agents.

Even better is if they have an agent themselves, as they could give you a personal recommendation! 

It’s a good idea to befriend like-minded actors and get their advice on how to improve your craft, as well as making a successful CV that stands out from the crowd.

Build Your Experience

Gain experience by getting yourself out there and acting in independent films, plays, adverts, basically anything that helps to build your CV and experience! 

You don’t even need to accept paid jobs, as anything can help get you noticed by a casting director or casting agent. 

It’s a good idea to share your talents via social media, as this is a great way to get noticed by all the right people. 

Remember to be careful online though. Only meet with people if you’re sure they are who they say they are and take someone along with you. 

Attend Showcases

Showcases are where casting agents organise open auditions in the hope of discovering new acting talent. 

It’s a good idea to go along to some of these, as even if you’re not discovered it all adds up to great experience for you. 

Check Online

This is a great place to begin if you’re feeling unsure about the other methods of finding movie auditions. 

There are literally thousands of websites out there advertising casting calls and auditions. 

You can also go old-school and check to see if any newspapers have advertised acting jobs in your area!

These are the main ways to find auditions for movies. A common question that arises concerning the movie audition process is ‘can anyone audition for a movie’? The simple answer to this question is: yes! However, the process will differ for professionals and amateurs. 

Professional actors will have agents and relationships with casting agents, and it’s likely that they will be directly invited to movie auditions. 

On the other hand, amateur actors or people with no experience will have to build up their CV. In addition to attending showcases to get noticed by casting agents. 

How To Prepare For A Movie Audition

an actor reading lines onstage

In this section we will explain how to prepare for a movie audition – as preparation is key to a successful audition! 

Read Your Script

The type of preparation you can do will vary on whether you already have the script. If you have been provided with a copy of the script then it’s time to study, study, study, and then study some more! 

It’s time to memorise your lines and think about your acting choices. Top tip: read everyone else part as well so that you can get a feel for the overall story. This will help you to better understand your character and may influence your acting choices. 

On the other hand, you may not have been given a script to work off, just a character description. Don’t despair – as there’s still plenty that you can work with here! You could think of some lines they might say and practice them, as this can help you to get into character. You can also think about their likes and dislikes, and maybe write your own character profile expanding on what you’ve already been told. 

Headshot & CV

Remember to pack your headshot and CV, as you can give this to the casting directors following your audition.

You may also wish to use a demo reel to demonstrate your skills.

Dress Appropriately

What’s more, what you wear is important – so put some thought into it! Wear something comfortable, but clothes that are inspired by the character you’re auditioning for. No need to take this super literally, but definitely think your outfit through beforehand. 

And finally, be on time! 

Plan out your journey beforehand and budget extra time for traffic or a late train. The casting director won’t wait for you, so don’t be late!

How To Audition For Movie Roles

how to audition for a movie

So, now it’s time for our helpful tips and tricks for how to audition for movie roles! Let’s get started.

Find Background Work 

Gaining relevant acting experience will not only get your name and face out there, but it will also give you practical first-hand experience and insights. Next to getting some acting lessons, this is the best way to get some much-needed practice in. As well as gain more confidence in your skills. What’s more, it may also earn you some extra pocket money! 

Plus, while your role may not be a speaking one to begin with, if you impress then you could be recommended for other parts by the director. It’s a good idea to search for local casting directors in your area, and here you may also be able to create an account that allows you to upload your CV and headshot.

If something comes up that fits your profile, then they may get in contact with you to set up an audition. 

Know Your Stuff

What we mean by this is not only knowing your lines, but also the casting directors’ names, where to go, what time you audition starts, and so on. 

This kind of preparation indicates that you have a professional attitude about the audition process. And it will help prevent you from showing up late or embarrassing yourself at the audition. 

Have Confidence

Confidence is key for a successful movie audition – even if you’re not really feeling it! Take some deep breaths before you audition and reassure yourself that you’ve already put in all of the hard work, now it’s just time to show it off! 

Remember to be polite to everyone you encounter, as this will ensure you make a good impression. Giving off an air of confidence will also help ensure that you make a lasting impression on the casting directors. 

So, walk in with good posture, as this will automatically make you feel more confident. Also, remember to smile and greet everyone in the room with assurance. A smile will go a long way!  

Be Patient 

Good things come to those who wait, and while it’s great to be self-assured in your abilities, never expect to get a movie role. 

This can lead to you doubting your skills or becoming bitter about the industry. 

After all, nobody will want to work with someone who has a negative attitude. 

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Acting Choices 

Acting refers to doing, as opposed to talking. So, remember to move and play around with the scene you’re acting out. 

Don’t just remain still on your marker (unless the role demands it). Demonstrate variety in your performance, rather than displaying one emotion. As the casting directors will want to see your range. 

Remember, your aim is to stand out from the crowd, and only you have the power to make that happen. 

Practice Your Camera Work 

The majority of auditions and showcases will be taped so that the casting directors have something to refer back to, and something to show their colleagues for their opinions. 

If you’ve already got your fair share of auditions under your belt, then it’s likely that you will already feel comfortable in front of the camera. However, for those of you out there who have yet to experience your first movie audition, it’s worth getting some practice in.

Learning how to work with the camera and to use it to the best of your ability is a skill worth mastering. You could take an online course, talk to experienced friends, or even hire a coach if you can afford it. 

Think About Improv 

As we already know, some casting directors will provide actors with the script while others will receive it on the day of the audition, but they also may want to see your improv (improvisation) skills. 

If this is something that fills you with dread, then why don’t you consider taking some improv acting classes? Or you could organise a session with a group of like-minded people who you already know if this makes you feel more comfortable. 

During improv it’s important that you don’t lose your character or to go over the top. Take a few deep breaths and consider what your character’s next move would be. 

Become Part Of A Union 

If you see yourself working as an actor for your long-term career, then you will eventually need to become part of a union. 

Being part of a union can give you much-needed peace of mind, as they will ensure that you are paid fairly, have insurance, and that your working conditions are safe. 

In major films, the majority of actors that will be cast belong to a union, with the actors only being allowed to audition if they are a union member. Non-union actors are usually paid less and don’t have the same protections as union actors. So, how do you become a union member?

It’s quite simple – a lot of hard work! You can demonstrate your work ethic by getting minor parts in TV and film. Getting parts as an extra will greatly increase your chances, however, it may take you a few years before you become a union member. 

However, there are quicker paths. For instance you may audition for a film and immediately be offered a union role. Also, sometimes you will be able to earn a place in the union by working a certain number of contracted hours on a certain film set

In America these unions are called the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of TV and Recording Arts (AFTRA). In the UK there’s Equity, The Actors’ Guild of Great Britain, The Actors Centre, Women in Film and Television (WFTV), Shooting People, and more. 

All of these unions and guilds have individual requirements for membership. For example The Actors’ Guild of Great Britain requires you to have four professional credits in film, TV, radio, or theatre. Membership will cost you between £12 to £24 a year. 

That Was Our Guide On How To Audition For Movie Roles

movie audition

So, that was our complete guide on how to audition for movie roles successfully! 

As you now know, there’s many things to consider when auditioning for a movie. 

It’s vital that you prepare yourself beforehand by learning your lines, considering your acting choices, and researching how to get to your audition. 

This is essential to ensuring that you’re not late! 

Familiarise yourself with all our tips and tricks before auditioning, like portraying confidence, having patience, and honing your skills though background work. 

Also, remember that having an agent isn’t everything. You can find acting work for yourself online and attend open showcases – just keep honing your skills and persevering and you’ll improve your chances of movie success. Remember us when you’re a star! 

Now that you know how to audition for movie roles, why not check out our blog for some more super interesting articles such as Famous Movie Scenes, How to Make a Short Film or Online Filmmaking Courses

Have you ever auditioned for a movie? If so, let us know your experience in the comment section below, we would love to hear about it!

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