Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Dress for an Audition

Okay, folks. We need to have a conversation about what is appropriate at an audition and what isn't. I've been pounding the pavement quite a bit lately, and have been totally appalled by what some people consider audition appropriate attire. Maybe it's because I grew up in LA, and have been auditioning and working there for most of my adult life. Maybe I was just blessed to have an instructor beat it into my head somewhere along the road.

But the truth of it is, some people are just a hot mess. And I'm not even sure they know it.

The number one thing to consider when auditioning for a paid gig? It is essentially a job interview, and you would not (I hope) show up to an interview at a prospective employer looking like a schmuck, or like you just rolled out of bed.

You are showing the company and the casting director respect by showing up looking appropriate.

So first things first - no matter WHAT you are auditioning for, please do everyone the courtesy of doing your hair. Brush it, style it, but please make an effort. I understand wild hair - mine can be pretty crazy, especially in Florida - but I always either put it in big, sexy curls or straighten it. Unless it's behaving and I can put some product in it and show off my own natural curls. But I will not show up to an audition with a hot mess of hair, and you shouldn't either.

Second - Makeup and Grooming. Ladies, I'll get to you in a second. Men, make sure that your facial hair is well groomed. If you're rocking a beard, stash or wild brows, make sure that they are tamed and look presentable. And remember who you're auditioning for. Disney? No facial hair (except your eyebrows, of course). Ladies - we are putting our best and most attractive selves forward. I understand - there are days when I look in the mirror and think - "Who the heck is this person staring back at me? She is hopeless!". Still, foundation, eyes, cheeks, lips and a great lash curler can work miracles. If you don't know how to do this, enlist the help of a professional - ask them to teach you an easy routine to get you looking your best. We can all use a little extra help. Now if you're a model, the rules on makeup are different, so ignore what I just said. Besides, you're probably gorgeous all the time, sans makeup. Lucky you!

Wardrobe. For theatre, unless you are auditioning for something super edgy, a la Rock of Ages (where you can wear something "cooler"), a couple of nice outfits will do. Men - you can't go wrong with slacks and a button down. Ladies, you can't go wrong with a lovely dress that flatters your body and coloring and shows off your legs that look amazing in those heels. Now ladies, I understand some of us might be bashful about our legs - cellulite, varicose veins, etc... Try a pair of nice slacks with a heel. But have you really looked at some of the knee length dresses that are out there? They make some exceptionally flattering styles for all body types.

Your audition wardrobe should be a small investment, and purchased with the specific intention of wearing it to book jobs. Refresh it every now and again - you do not want to look dated. Seriously. Remember that they often don't remember your face - they remember the girl in the green dress. The girl with those killer shoes. The guy in the purple button down. It is all about impressions, folks. 100%.

For commercials, film and tv - dress appropriately to the role. College student? Jeans and a great top. Bride? Well the casting director will probably tell you if they want you to show up in a bridal gown, but otherwise a nice dress and heels should do the trick. Most Commercial/TV/Film casting directors are pretty specific about wardrobe, so when your agent sends you the breakdown, check to see if they've included any specific notes about wardrobe. If they haven't, dress as appropriately to the character as you can. And always, always dress nicely - be put together and appealing. You want to make them WANT to work with you. Only once was I ever asked to show up to an audition looking like a total slob. Once. And it felt awful.

Dance auditions. This is a whole different category, but the same general rules apply. Do your hair. Do your makeup. And please, please, please, don't show up in your rattiest gym clothes. One nice set of dance clothes or work out clothes that flatter your body and make it look it's absolute best will help.

Callbacks. Always, ALWAYS wear the same thing for your callback that you wore for your original audition. There was something about YOU that they loved that day, that caught their attention, so it's best to show up looking exactly the same unless they specifically ask you for something different. If your second call is a dance call, try to keep the hair and makeup the same and wear something in the same color if you can. Remember what I said about "The girl in the green dress"? They may not know it's you if you don't wear the same thing again. Seriously.

And besides - when you look your best, you feel confident, and we all could use a little more confidence walking into that audition room, right?

Happy Auditioning!

Did I miss something here? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please let me know in the comments section below!

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