Every actor pines over what to wear to an audition.
You spend all your time learning lines, doing research, preparing your audition book, yet a voice in your head is #yelling at you because you can’t find an outfit that’s just right.
The outfit you choose for an audition gives you the chance to highlight yourself as a smart actor. In an industry that never goes as planned, wardrobe is one more thing we can have control over.
1. Read the breakdown
Self-explanatory. Read it and read it carefully. The creative team’s requests will be listed on the audition breakdown.
2. Use the internet for inspiration
The internet, though sometimes distracting, can be incredibly helpful. Use it wisely, millennials.
Auditioning for film or TV?
Netflix and chill. If you’re able to watch the series, study the clothing choices.
Auditioning for a commercial?
Explore the company’s website.
Casting Director Ken Lazar lends actors a fun little trade secret. “Wear colors that match the colors of the product packaging… Have an audition for Tide detergent? Notice the colors the actors are wearing in past commercials. You’ll see they are wearing colors that match the colors of the Tide packaging.”
3. Read the script
A smart actor never enters the audition room without reading the script or source material. This is crucial especially when auditioning for a brand new musical or play.
What does the script suggest about the character? Any comments on the character in the stage directions? Read between the lines.
4. Choose clothing that suggests the character
Keep it simple. It ain’t a costume party.
Make a decision on the character’s essence and go from there. How does he or she move throughout space? Wear clothes that accentuate the soul of the character.
How old are they? What’s their occupation?
5. Keep it classy but modern
It’s 2017. Have an audition coming up for a revival? Oklahoma? The King and I? Ragtime? Maybe Newsies? Do your best. Creative teams understand it is not your job (and close to impossible) to find vintage clothing from the 19th century.
That being said, it is important to pick clothing that suggests the era of the play as much as possible. Make it easy for the creative team to see you in the world of the production.
6. Choose a flattering color scheme
Casting director Carolynne Berry highlights jewel tones and rich autumn colors such as “burgundy, emerald green, moss green, purple, grayish blue, denim blue,” etc. My favorite clothing is anything that makes my eyes pop!
Stripes, busy fabrics, bold patterns, logos… they draw attention away from your face. More importantly, they distract us from who you are. Choose colors and patterns that make you look and feel your best.
The golden role: clean and figure flattering.
7. Show off your personality
Most importantly, show off your personal taste. It’s what sets you apart from the next blonde bombshell in jewel tones and nude pumps.
Girls: If you love a bold lip, do it. If you hate heels and feel hot in some chunky boots, do it.
Boys: If you hate wearing a tie, then why put yourself through that pain? Unless you’re auditioning for an office type, keep it real.
Your wardrobe should suggest you’re a unique artist who will arrive prepared, on time, and deliver. Wear something that is clean, comfortable, and that allows you to express yourself.
8. Test it on camera
Remember, what looks good at home might not translate on camera. For film and television, try taking a video of outfits and hairstyles to see what looks best.
9. Lay out your clothing the night before
It certainly makes me feel more confident and put together. Also – iron, please.
10. Wear a smile
What else ruins the perfect audition outfit more than a frown? Unless you’re auditioning for a Law and Order victim, you’re never fully dressed without a smile.