Things Actors Shouldn’t Do in an Audition

Mr. PCN, who’s a casting director, has been busy the last couple months with several projects. While he loves what he does, he’s occasionally subjected to the crazy things some actors do in pursuit of the job. Having heard many of these anecdotes, I’ve compiled a helpful list of actions that actors should never take in the audition room.

  1. Never disrobe, especially if the scene doesn’t call for it and no one asked you to.
  2. If you’re Caucasian, do not try to pass yourself off as African-American or Asian.
  3. If you’re in your 40s, do not pretend you’re 16. Pigtails won’t fool anyone.
  4. Don’t say you’ve read the script if you haven’t. It’ll make you seem really clueless after you read a comedic scene as melodrama.
  5. Don’t rip off moves and mannerisms from famous actors like Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Bring in your interpretation of the character.
  6. Don’t bring a bag of props, especially if it includes your boxers, which you then place on the casting director’s desk. It doesn’t matter how clean your undies are.
  7. Bold acting choices should not include actual violence.
  8. Don’t crash the audition, beg to be seen, and then suck.
  9. Don’t make the casting director hold your baby or pet while you audition.
  10. If your palms are sweaty and clammy because you’re nervous, don’t offer to shake hands with the casting director.


  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Ha! Good ones! Although, would Mr. PCN be against the first idea if it involved Olivia Wilde, Ana de la Reguera, or Halle Berry?

    • Reply
      Mr. PCN
      May 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

      A-HEM!! I can tell you stories, Mr. Leopard13! I can also tell you that no matter how attractive the actor/actress, disrobing only comes off awkward, not sexy.

      • Reply
        May 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

        Thanks for the f/u! All joking aside, and understanding that the situation is obviously awkward, what reasons have actors given for wanting to disrobe for an audition?

        • Reply
          Pop Culture Nerd
          May 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

          I’d be interested in hearing those reasons, too.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Informative! lol! I will print out the above and pass it on to my actor friends. From what the stories they tell me, they are each guilty of breaking at least some of these rules.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      May 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Oh, you have to tell which ones they violated.

  • Reply
    Hira Hasnain
    May 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

    How about telling the director and company that you’re extremely nervous, and then launch into a twenty minute meditation session without even uttering a single word, as others sit around you awkwardly not knowing if it’s politically correct to throw your ass out! lol 😛

    Orrrr, taking a ketchup packet and smearing it on your shirt as blood in order for things to appear more “authentic” for your scene?

    Orrrr, stopping halfway during your monologue, crossing your legs and exclaiming “I’m sorry, I have a bit of a nervous bladder. Can you excuse me?” and running out of the audition.

    I don’t suppose those would work either, would they. And all THOSE are true stories too! [don’t ask me how I know…just…don’t!] lol 😉

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      May 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      I can tell they’re true stories because you provide specific details. Which means I HAVE to ask: How do you know about these things?

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Haha!! I love these posts! (and that’s why I don’t watch AI audition rounds).

    About number 2, though? I think Robert Downey Jr. can bypass that rule by now, can’t he?

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      May 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      I should amend #2 to include “unless you’re Robert Downey Jr.”

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    May 27, 2011 at 2:26 am

    It’s good of you to publish this list, PCN. I hope it makes Mr PCN’s job less stressful, albeit less entertaining to hear about over the dinner table.

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    May 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I’m so glad I don’t have Mr. PCN’s job!

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