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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Off-Book at Audition? (Submitted Question)

I saw this question posted on a forum, and I posted an answer that I wanted to repost here:

I have an audition for an industrial tomorrow and they sent me the script late last night. Are you expected to not have the script in your hand at all? I seem to remember someone saying they hold the sides in their hand and only glance at them if they need to.

TAE responds:

There are different schools of thought on this. One the one hand, you want to be as familiar as possible with the material so that you can keep your eyes off the page- this make it easier for the auditors to see your face. This is especially important when you are auditioning with a scene partner, where connection and timing are very important. On the other hand, you don't want to be so familiar with it that you cannot take adjustments in the moment, which is sometimes hard to handle when the materials are memorized. Also, in the case of industrials and commercials, the script often changes between the time that you get the script and the day of the audition. If you are off book, you may get thrown off when they ask you to add, remove or change a sentence.

Most auditors prefer that you hold the copy while auditioning. My suggestion would be to hold it at chest level and to the side, so the paper doesn't block your face. That way, you can refer to the copy when you need it, and the auditors will only see your eyes peek to the side, as opposed to your full head looking down into the page.

I hope this has been helpful- have fun at the audition!

Have a question? Ask one by leaving a comment and I will answer it in an upcoming blog!

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Anonymous said...

Something else to mention; From a producer's (me!) point of view, if you're going to be off book, you'd better be OFF BOOK. There is nothing more annoying than an actor who THINKS they are off book until it comes time to actually audition.

If you set that side down, the words better come naturally and correctly because if you have to waste my time with "let me try that again. I had it memorized this morning!" there's no way I'm calling you back.

Erin Cronican said...

That is an excellent point, Brent. And I always appreciate your thoughts from the producer/director side. It really helps me drive the point home in a way that is relevant and palpable!

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