It is not uncommon for a newer, or even more experienced actors to over think the audition process and spend too much time thinking about the wrong things. In order to execute the perfect audition and win over the Casting Director, many actors go through a familiar and common list of questions. Should I wear this shirt or that dress? Should I pull my hair back or leave it down? Should I wear make-up or stay natural? These are all perfectly legitimate questions to ask, in fact making the appropriate choices may give the actor the right feel for the part they are auditioning for…maybe even instill additional confidence. It’s all part of the product being presented, but is this what Casting Directors base their decision upon? Is this what Casting Directors really want?
To answer these questions it is important to understand what Casting Directors do. The primary function of a Casting Director is to get the best actors who are suitable for the roles being cast. Not Casting Directors are responsible for getting the actors who knew exactly how to dress and do their hair and make-up. Think about it. CD’s spend their lives auditioning actors for every type of role imaginable under the sun. They can often tell within moments of an actor walking into a room whether or not they are suitable for the part. What they really need to know is that you have the chops and will be a person who they can trust to put on set. So, the objective of every actor should be that they are remembered for their performance, not their wardrobe or fashion sense.
To summarize; Casting Directors really want actors who are skilled, professional and know how to present a put together and professional package in the audition. First and foremost good acting needs to happen in the room. Looking appropriate for the role you are auditioning for is a good idea, but not the actor’s main concern. Don’t dress up in costume, don’t overdo the make-up (unless the role is that specific), and don’t think for a second the person sitting across from you in the audition can’t smell fear, guise, ruse, and any other trick that deigns to mask the unmistakable stench of bad acting.
Remember… you are good enough!