Audition Song Selection, What to Expect, Tips, and More!
How To Dress For Auditions
Everyone knows that feeling of waking up on the first day of school and wanting to wear their very best outfit to showcase the brand-new human they've become over the summer. Great outfits bring great confidence. There's no better feeling than knowing you are rocking what you're wearing, whether it's the first day of a new school year or you're an adult meeting new people. First impressions matter.
Actors get the super fun job of meeting new people everyday who could potentially hire them. They are constantly making first impressions. Every walk through midtown holds the potential to become a "job interview" (audition invite). So not only are actors tasked with looking "headshot ready" on the street, they also have to make sure they bring those same fierce looks into the audition room. Below are a few tips to make getting ready for that early morning audition less stressful and help you figure out what to wear to an audition! (keep in mind different rules apply for invited auditions and EPAs, because nothing can ever be cut-and-dry in this industry... that'd be too easy).
Dress Professionally For Auditions
The overarching theme you'll see with all of these tips are that you want to make sure you look like a professional, so a good rule of thumb is to wear clothes you would wear to the office if you were one of those people who work in a cubicle. Full on business attire may be a bit too much, but make sure to keep it at least at a business casual level.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Your heels are beautiful and make your legs look incredible and you love wearing them for special events, so of course you'd want to wear them on a day when you want to look your best - just please, make sure you can actually walk comfortably in them. Stumbling into an audition room like a baby giraffe learning to walk might work if you want to play Sven in Frozen, but I doubt that's the vibe you're hoping to give off on a daily basis. I love a good shoe as much as the next person, but I want to remember YOU at the end of the audition, not your killer footwear.
Wear Athletic Clothing
Old Navy flip-flops are some of the comfiest shoes ever created, I won't argue with you there, but they don't belong at an EPA. Neither do swimsuit tops, adorable booty shorts you bought on the boardwalk last summer, or rompers that have more openings than they do closures. I love that you love your body and want to show it off. I know NYC summers can be the worst where you're sweating the minute you step on the subway platform. I get it. But actual swimwear shouldn't be worn at an audition if you're not auditioning for Baywatch.
Look Like Your Headshot
I feel like I've said this before but it warrants repeating... make sure to look like the headshot you've given the casting team, or if money is tight right now and you can't afford to get new photos after you stress cut your own bangs, at least print out a small selfie and staple it to the corner of your headshot or resume (I'm sure some casting folks have differing opinions than me on this, but I love when actors go the extra mile to do this. It makes my job easier, and it shows good initiative).
Don't Show Up In Costumes
EPAs/ECCs are about looking your best and showcasing yourself, not about matching a character description. There's a fine line between showing you understand the show you are auditioning for and painting yourself green to drive home how serious you are about wanting to sing 'Defying Gravity" eight times a week.
Follow Any Notes On Clothing
If an agent passes along notes from anyone on the production team saying they want to see you wearing something specific, make sure to follow the guidelines they set out. If you're auditioning for a period piece, or the character you want to book wears an iconic costume that you could easily elude to with the color of your clothing - go for it! (i.e. Wednesday Addams and her all black attire or Elsa and her blue dress). There's a fun interview I watched recently where Lisa Ann Walter, who played Chessy in the Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap, talked about how the production, and then her agents, kept telling her she should show up to the audition looking as dressed down as possible - zero make-up, hair in a ponytail, just dropped all four kids off at separate schools - and she booked it. https://youtu.be/uaTO7oIx6LY?t=1m35s
Auditions are hard, but choosing what you should wear shouldn't be. I hope these few tips help to guide you in the right direction to make the best first impression possible. And remember, no matter what you end up wearing, it's the life you bring to the role that really matters. Remember how Sutton Foster showed up to an audition for Annie wearing velcro shoes, having no headshot/resume, and singing the song 'Oklahoma!' and STILL got the role, that could always be you. But in case you don't want to test your luck, use the above advice to walk into that room feeling confident and ready to do the work!