When you’re just getting started in the entertainment industry, you’ll quickly notice a whole host of insider terms get thrown every which way, and you may or may not understand what these terms mean. When it comes time to auditioning for a role, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid understanding of what’s being asked of you ahead of time.
If you secure a spot that requires an invitation, you’ll be given a slot. This is the specific time you’ve been allotted to showcase your skills. You’ll want to arrive roughly fifteen minutes early and will likely be directed to a sign-in sheet. This sheet allows the casting director to gather necessary contact information for all those invited, so if he or she is interested in booking you for a role, it’ll be easy enough to get a hold of you. Failing to sign in may mean a missed opportunity. Casting directors are busy, and they don’t want to have to dig through emails simply because you missed the boat. What’s more, oftentimes, they create project-specific accounts that are easily deleted after it’s wrapped. This helps keep them organized as submissions start flooding in. So, there’s a good chance the account no longer exists.
At some point, you should have been given a breakdown, or a description of the character for which you are auditioning. Unless you are required to do a cold read, you were probably also supplied with sides, or a portion of the script ahead of time. Cold reads require reading for the first time in front of the client. You may have also been asked to bring along a monologue of your choosing, which means you were asked to go online and select appropriate sample dialogue that matches the part you’re vying for. Always read all instructions sent to you carefully prior to the big day.
When it’s your turn, you will need to slate, or state your name on camera before beginning the read. If you fumble, you can ask the client whether you can be give a second chance to run through the lines. This will be left to his or her discretion.
If the client is still auditioning others or pieces of the project haven’t been finalized yet, you may receive a hold request. This means, the client is seriously considering booking you for the role and wants to keep your time available while plans are being finalized. While this isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be selected, it’s a great sign that you were effective at the audition. And, that deserves a pat on the back!
For more good-to-know-terms, check out model and actress Cynthia Popper’s page.