Advice from a Pro: Top Ten WaysYou Can Screw Up a Theatre Audition

(From an experienced theatre maker in Austin)


Top ten ways to screw up a theatre audition that have nothing to do with acting


(image via Michelle Barraclough's



1. Be rude, mean, weird, or overly flirtatious with the people helping to organize and check in for the audition. How you treat these people says a lot about who you are as a person.

2. Wear something that distracts from your performance. It’s hard for a director to pay attention to your acting if they are afraid of you having a wardrobe malfunction. T-shirts with strong political statements, or offensive, racist, or vulgar language are also distracting. We want to concentrate on your performance, not your clothes.

3. Self-deprecation and passive-aggressive behavior. We all have imposter syndrome but auditions are the wrong place to show it. If you tell a director that you aren’t good enough, they will believe you.

4. Not reading emails from the auditioning company. Most companies will send you everything you need to know about the auditions in an email. If you don’t read all of it, you will miss something important.

5. Not preparing. If you don’t have time to read over and practice before an audition, then consider rescheduling, or auditioning for another show instead.

6. Not doing your homework. An audition is a job interview. You need to spend time getting to know the company and the show for which you're auditioning to tailor your style of acting to their needs. If a company gives you resources for the audition and you don’t take advantage of them, that says a lot. Theatre company websites and social media should be the first and frequent stops for prospective auditioners.

7. Posting passive aggressive, racist, sexist, or other kinds of offensive rants on Facebook. We do our research on everyone we consider casting and the first place we look is social media. Ranting about auditions (ours or others) is a particular red flag.

8. Misbehaving during other productions at other companies. We research everyone that auditions for us. If you cause issues at other companies, we will know it before you walk in the door. 

9. Ghosting. We have about 1 in 8 people who don’t show up and make no effort to communicate that they are not coming. We remember  negatively people who do this.

10. Sending us an angry rant after the audition. Not getting cast is a part of the theatre life. We understand that it is hard and disappointing. It’s important to deal with these feelings in a professional manner if you want to be someone we look at for future casting. With our company in particular, you may not get cast the first time you audition, but we will remember you and look for you when we have a suitable role.