Audition Strategies by Mark Brandon
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Assess the Role Size
"Acting is best enjoyed when we're unaware of technique."
~ Laura Dern
"Eliminate the obvious" or "play against type" are some of the recurring bits of advice actors often hear from their teachers. While those kinds of recommendations are meant to bring about memorable performances, they overlook a pivotal reality.

Directors don't normally look for memorable performances for extremely small, one or two-line parts. In the world of television, small parts are normally considered clichés that the TV viewing public can readily digest. For instance, the bored waitress, the no-nonsense traffic cop and the robotic government agent with the aviator glasses are some of those persistent clichés. Consequently, you stand a better chance of nailing down the job in one of these roles if you don't try to get too cute or creative.

On the other hand, principal parts with several lines or several scenes allow for more latitude. Once you're sure you're reading for one of these types of roles, have fun and put your own personal stamp on it.

Biggest clue you can be creative? Your character has a name. Biggest clue you Shouldn't? Your character has a number ( i.e., Cop #2 or Ambulance Attendant #1).

The preceding was an excerpt from the best selling acting book, Winning Auditions - 101 Strategies for Actors (Limelight Editions, NY) written by Mark Brandon. Mark is a native Californian who now makes his home in Vancouver, BC. He has appeared in over 100 commercials, films and TV series.

Copyright © Mark Brandon. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.

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