Actors and Auditions 101

There is a dynamic filmmaking scene in Cebu, Philippines– a good sign for the recovery of the region’s once glorious movie industry. This 2011, there are three low-budget filmmaking full-length productions currently in the works side-by-side in the Queen City of the South.

This, as well as a rising theater scene, leads to auditions left and right. Cebu’s well-known in the Philippines for the world-class caliber of its artists and performers and actors. And there are many more who aspire to take part in the cast of a local movie, TV or stage production.

But how should aspiring applicants behave in auditions? SineBuano, Cebu’s Independent Filmmaking Scene, has some humble helpful recommendations to those Actor-applicants to improve your chances, make your experience in auditions less stressful and more promising, more productive.

Actor-Applicants should know something or have an idea about the role they’re auditioning for. This will only help the Actor-Applicant when he or she read or perform for the casting director or screening panel.

Read the cast call details carefully. The Actor-applicant takes note of which roles he or she is eligible for,  based on these roles’ requirements.

The Audition starts from the moment the Actor-Applicant arrives at the venue. Be on time or even early if possible! Please be in the right place at the right time. Don’t wander around the venue. The Actor-Applicant is expected to wait and be found easily when called.

An Audition isn’t just about an Actor-Applicant’s abilities; it’s also about the Actor-Applicant’s general character. The casting director or screening panel will be looking to see if the Actor-Applicant is the sort of person that would fit their production.

At all times, an Actor-Applicant should be professional, be personable and please be respectful of those auditioning and those assisting in the auditions. The ideal Actor-Applicant presents the best friendly behavior.

Dress appropriately. An Actor-Applicant should wear clothes that feels good, allows free, comfortable movement but must make sure that these are appropriate for the character roles the Actor-Applicant auditions for.

Actor-Applicants shouldn’t wear clothes with distracting, improper designs.

In filling up the audition application form, Actor-Applicants must print their information neatly. Contact information will be needed later on and it will be helpful if it can be read easily.

Do not bring and use props, unless otherwise instructed.  If a prop is specified in the text, just MIME it.

Nerves and guts alone won’t impress an audition. Warm up and stretch. Prepare by warming up your voice and your body, if necessary. Relax and breathe.

Do not make a lot of excess noise because it can bother those who are about to audition. If Actor-Applicants are disruptive, they may be asked to leave. Turn off/Put on silent any mobile devices, especially during the actual audition!

When called in to read, don’t stand there like a statue. Present some personality. Show the casting director wit, intelligence and heart.

Make proper and simple introductions, something along the lines of “Hello, my name is Juan Dela Cruz and today I’m reading Florante from Balagtas’ Florante at Laura.”

Remember – the panel always operate under time pressure – so no unnecessary chit-chat is appreciated. Knowing how to make direct introductions and project confidence are important – not only for a good, solid first impression, but for the Actor-Applicant’s state of mind going into the audition.

Don’t balk at any direction that’s given, even if it’s totally “wrong”. The casting director wants to see how easily an Actor-applicant can make an acting adjustment.

If more time is required to prepare, simply say so. If reading over something takes a little longer, just ask politely. Unless they’re in a time crunch, the casting director will oblige.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If asked to do something that is confusing, then ask for explanation. The more information the Actor-Applicant has about what is required, the better the performance can be.

Be interesting, imaginative within boundaries. When a piece is being read, don’t say everything the same way. Show the casting director some “variety” to the scene.

Remember – the panel always operate under time pressure, please keep it short and sweet, less than 3 minutes unless otherwise invited by the casting director and screening panel.

Be prepared for questions from the panel.

Don’t apologize for performance, in the hopes of getting praise.

Make a gracious exit. After audition, say “thank you” and then leave unless asked to stay. Don’t hang around to make idle chatter or conversation- it’s not the right time or place.

Don’t overstay one’s welcome. Be aware when it’s time to say, “Thank you for your time and have a great day.”

Once auditioned, let it go. In show business, there is that unwritten rule of, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”. The Actor-Applicant will be the first to know if cast for a role. If not heard from them, it means no casting. While it’s difficult to wait, it’ll be better off in the long run.

Actor-Applicants will have to deal with rejection. If rejection is taken with a smile, remain polite and positive, the casting director would be more willing to audition the Actor-Applicant for a future project. If the Actor-Applicant is defensive and aggressive, the Actor-Applicant makes a negative impression of being difficult.

Just keep trying and never stop.

9 thoughts on “Actors and Auditions 101”

  1. Hello, wat are the three filmmaking full-length productions being made in cebu?..Only know abt paranormal rmance and not like us movies..what’s the third one? thanks

  2. Sayanga, karon pako kabasa ani dah!Pero payts gihapon, padayon gihapon ko sa paglangoy para sa ako damgo nga maka tabang ko sa Cebuano Indie Movies. Maabot ra ang panahon nga mailhan ta mga Cebuano kung unsa ka bangiitan sa pag-arti ug sa pagdayag sa ato talento sa tanan nasud.

  3. Me too… I want also to be an actress which I really wish for all my life.. That’s my dream since I was young.. And I hope I can reach this dream of mine by being part of this “Sinebuano??”. Ahmm,,. How to apply in this affair??.,. Hoping of your good response,.

  4. Hi Fritz and Cora, that’s great to know. Please stay tuned to the site for the latest casting news 🙂 There’ll be more projects in Cebu that you can try out for… so better get ready.

  5. Casting call for a STUDENT SHORT FILM to be shot towards the end of January. Shooting in Bohol. Fluency in BISAYA is a MUST.

    UDOY – A young male 8-14 years old
    Mother – A woman in her 30s-40s
    Father – A woman in his 30s-40s
    ERNING – A man in his 20s-mid 30s

    Would preferably like to cast those already living in Bohol, but if you reside in Cebu, then it’s OK.

    If anyone has any recommendations, please contact Peter Cleopas at or Joan Cajes at or 09173291991. There will be an audition this coming Tuesday, December 6 from 10am-3pm at Internat’l Academy Film & TV, Mactan..

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