Sunday, October 23, 2011

Waiting Room Time is Your Time

Here’s a minute-to-minute breakdown of my audition last Friday:
  • I walked into the office (early!) and signed in, noting there were three people ahead of me on the list, all there for the same role.

  • I looked at the bathroom keys, but decided I didn’t need to go.

  • I checked my hair and makeup in the wall mirror, deciding to touch up my lips and brush my hair one more time.

  • I grabbed some water from the cooler and sat down to go over my sides.

  • When the person before me was called, I stood and went over the sides again while facing the wall.

  • When I was called, I went in and did my audition.
Photo / Creative Commons / cdsessums
The central theme of this list? I took care of myself. Walking into the waiting room at a casting office can be a daunting experience. There are many, many factors that can throw you off your game if you’re not prepared.

The important thing to remember is that your time in the waiting room is yours. Chit chat and be friendly if you want, but make sure you do what you need to take care of yourself and prepare for your audition.

So what’s missing from my list?
  • Comparing myself to the other actors – Don’t waste time trying to understand the casting director’s thinking by evaluating the other choices in the room. Sometimes you’re in a room of people who are just like you, other times you’re not. None of it really matters to your performance. Do what you came there to do.

  • Getting lost in waiting room small talk – I’m very friendly in a waiting room, but I don’t lose sight of what I need to do to prepare. Even if the discussion is really interesting, always take the time you need to check your appearance, review your sides, and get ready. You can join the discussion later.

  • Listening to vultures – I once walked into a waiting room where one actress was telling everyone that the role was already cast and we were all auditioning for a backup spot that was ultimately pointless. I could see the other actresses listening and feeling disheartened and I wanted to yell, “Don’t listen to her!” Even if her information was genuine, it didn’t matter. What mattered was giving a good performance in the room. Backup spot or not, a good audition is always worth it.
Anyone else have waiting room stories to share?


  1. Arrive just early enough to do that last-minute check for errant nosehairs and/or lipstick stains on your teeth. Too much earlier, and you're more likely to start freaking out over how other actors are dressed. Do your prep work at home so that you arrive feeling as confident as you can be that you're ready to go in there and knock the cotton socks off of them!

  2. i always arrive early so i'm not freaking out and rushed. and yes, i avoid small talk beforehand…unless i'm at a comm'l audition and it's taking forever...