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Audition tip: Why What You Wear to an Audition Doesn't Matter

As an actor, you've probably heard the age-old advice to dress for the part when going to an audition. But what if I told you that what you wear doesn't matter nearly as much as what you bring to the role?


audition tip what to wear in an audition

I was once casting a TV show where we needed a Playboy bunny for a scene. As you can imagine, we had a lot of actresses come in wearing bunny ears and leotards. But the girl who ultimately booked the part was wearing jeans and a blue V-neck shirt. She didn't rely on her costume to do the work for her - she embodied the essence of the character from the inside out.


This is a common mistake that actors make - relying too heavily on their clothing to convey a character's personality or traits. But the truth is, it's not about what you wear - it's about what you bring to the role. You need to be specific, make strong choices, and embody your character from within.


We believe that what you wear should convey the essence of the character. For example, if you’re auditioning for a Doctor, rather than wear a lab coat, a blue button shirt conveys that you are in the medical field. Striking the right balance between embodying the character and dressing appropriately is essential. So, let's dive into some practical tips on what an actor should wear for an audition.


1. Dress the Part, But Keep It Subtle


While it's crucial to convey the essence of the character you're auditioning for, subtlety is key. Going back to our doctor example, a crisp blue button-up shirt suggests professionalism without the need for a full lab coat. Remember, the casting team is looking for someone who can naturally inhabit the role, not someone who looks like they just stepped out of a costume shop.


Pro Tip: Avoid distracting accessories and overly dramatic clothing that may take the focus away from your performance.


2. Do Your Research


Different auditions may have varying expectations, so it's essential to know the industry standards for the type of role you're auditioning for. For instance, commercial auditions might lean towards a more everyday, relatable look, while a period drama audition may require a touch of vintage style. Research the project and casting directors to get a sense of their preferences.


Pro Tip: Check out The Village Acting Studio for audition classes taught by casting directors Christy Faison & Jami Rudofsky. Their insights can provide valuable guidance on industry expectations.


3. Consider the Character's Lifestyle


Think about the character's lifestyle and occupation. If you're auditioning for a character in a corporate setting, a polished business-casual look might be appropriate. On the other hand, a character with a more laid-back lifestyle might call for a more relaxed attire. Understanding the character's world can inform your wardrobe choices.


Pro Tip: Your clothing should enhance the believability of the character, not overshadow your performance.


4. Be Mindful of Colors


Colors can evoke certain emotions and associations, so choose them wisely. For example, darker colors may convey seriousness or mystery, while brighter colors can suggest a more vibrant and outgoing personality. Pay attention to the mood of the scene and the characteristics of the character to guide your color choices.


Pro Tip: Avoid flashy patterns that may distract or clash with the camera.


Remember, your clothing is just one piece of the puzzle. The most important thing is to bring authenticity and depth to your performance. So, next time you're prepping for an audition, focus on internalizing the character and let your outfit complement the story you're telling. Break a leg!

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