How to Stand Out in a Group Audition
Auditioning can be incredibly nerve-wracking at the best of times, when required to audition in a group setting, this can be even more intimidating.
Not only do you need to navigate interactions with other competing actors, but you also need to ensure you stand out for all the right reasons and make a lasting impression.
In this guide, we’ll look at how to achieve this, what to expect in a group audition and how to remain focused and professional while listening to auditions going on around you.
What Are Group Auditions?
A group audition is any audition involving two or more actors in a room at once performing side by side as instructed by a casting director.
Group auditions can occur not only for purely speaking roles but those that involve singing and dancing too.
What To Expect At A Group Audition
At a group audition, all actors are given the same call time and will typically be asked to perform a type of group activity.
You may also be asked to engage in improvisation or monologues, all of which you will need to do not only in front of the casting director but the rest of the group.
Be prepared that feedback may be given in front of the group also. This can make group auditions feel particularly confronting or difficult compared to one-on-one auditions.
However, as we will outline below, they are important and something you will come across frequently within the industry.
Why Do Casting Directors Hold Group Auditions?
It may seem like a group audition makes it harder for a casting director to see individual talent, but they do serve a purpose.
Group auditions allow a casting director to review group chemistry and provide insights into how an actor works as part of a team. Additionally, they can greatly shorten the audition process and help pinpoint which auditionees are worth focusing on.
Due to this, even if you are called to do a group audition, do not be surprised if you are also asked to perform independently later on.
It’s all part of the process used to find the right people for the part and production as a whole.
8 Tips For Success In Group Auditions
So how can you manage your nerves and ensure you are one to watch during a group audition? Here are our top tips for navigating group auditions and setting yourself up for success.
Just as with all auditions, arriving early is highly recommended. Running late and feeling flustered is not going to do you any favours.
Ensuring you are at the required location at least half an hour ahead of your call time gives you plenty of time to sign in, warm up and meet the other actors in attendance.
This supports you to better mentally prepare yourself and may help lessen any nerves.
We’ve talked previously about how to dress for auditions and the same rules apply for a group setting as a solo one.
Smart casual clothing that is comfortable, easy to move in and won’t distract from your performance is essential. Don’t be afraid to wear colour as this makes you easier to remember and will help you stand out from the rest of the group.
Even though group auditions can involve some unknowns in terms of what exactly will be asked of you, you should still attend fully prepared.
This means having a prepared monologue, song or scene ready to perform if asked. Don’t forget to practise this in front of your acting peers, family and friends too and adjust as needed based on feedback.
Find Your Focus
One of the most challenging aspects of group auditions is maintaining your focus. You will be listening to other actors audition around you and this can easily become offputting, causing you to overthink and lose confidence.
Work on blocking out these distractions and maintaining your focus on your prepared performance. Remember, another actor’s audition has no bearing on your ability to deliver your own as intended unless you let it.
Show Your Support
While you shouldn’t allow yourself to get distracted by another’s audition in a group setting, it is still important to show your support for the other actors attending.
Casting directors will be watching for signs of professionalism and voicing any negative comments or criticisms will not place you in their favour. Your job is simply to listen respectfully and show enthusiasm for your peer’s performance.
You can guarantee that any actor who backchats a casting director or is resistant to adjusting their performance when given direction is going to stand out. However, as you would expect, this will not be in a good way.
Demonstrating your adaptability and a willingness to learn and follow directions will absolutely help you make a good impression within a group setting.
Be Flexible & Friendly
As noted above, casting directors often use group auditions as a means of gauging how actors interact with one another and the chemistry they bring to the stage.
Cold, aloof behaviour is not going to fly and will quickly see you marked as lacking in confidence or being potentially difficult to work with.
Be warm, speak politely to everyone and be visibly willing to work with your group as needed – this shows professionalism and that you’re a great team player.
Comparison is a thief that can quickly rob you of your confidence and bring unwanted negativity – damaging your ability to stand out and succeed.
As hard as it is not to compare yourself to others in your group audition, remember, you bring your own unique talents and abilities. What you offer may be just what a casting director is after, so focus on this to help you stand out.
Don’t modify your intended performance based on what you see within the audition, the only person whose opinion matters is the casting director so focus on them and give it your best.
Confidence is great, but it isn’t something that is demonstrated through speaking more loudly, talking over others or over-exaggerating facial expressions or movements.
Being the biggest, loudest and boldest personality in the room will make you stand out, sure, but not necessarily for the reasons you’d hope.
Casting directors know what they are looking for and can easily see through this type of false confidence. Your talent can be clouded by this behaviour, and natural performances adjusted to suit the narrative in question will always make a better impression.
During a group audition, the number of actors performing may be gradually reduced. This can indicate casting directors adjusting dynamics or may mean you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.
It is vital to remain positive and professional no matter the outcome. You may never know why you didn’t succeed on this occasion, but your attitude and response will be noted.
There are times when the original casting falls through and you are then considered for a callback. If you handled rejection poorly at the initial audition, this is less likely to occur.
This is why it is so important to remain positive, always express thankfulness for the opportunity and ensure your name is associated with utmost professionalism.
Preparing Yourself For A Group Audition
If performing an audition in a group setting fills you with fear, it’s important to find ways to overcome this and the best way is through group acting classes.
Most actors will have attended or will be attending group acting classes throughout their careers and for good reason.
Group acting classes provide you with endless opportunities for growth as an actor. You are constantly engaging with other actors, receiving direction from an experienced teacher and learning how to interact and adapt.
If you feel comfortable acting in a group class, then a group audition will be much less daunting and far easier to navigate successfully.
The Actors Pulse – Group Acting Classes Led By Experts
At The Actors Pulse, we deeply value group interactions as a foundational aspect of exceptional acting.
As the leading school for the Meisner Technique in the Southern Hemisphere, our focus is on developing a natural, instinctive approach to storytelling.
Through group classes, we teach you how to deliver genuine performances through shared activities, improvisation and plenty of practice.
You’ll receive constructive feedback and understand how to incorporate this guidance and become an adaptable and professional performer.
Whether you are just starting your acting journey or are experienced and seeking to further develop your skills, our classes can help. With both full-time and part-time options available that are designed to flex around your schedule, we are here to support you to achieve your career goals.
To learn more or to book a session in one of our sought-after group acting classes, call The Actors Pulse today at 0414 475 515.
Learn more about The Actors Pulse, the Meisner Technique and our classes.
Billy Milionis is one of the few Australians to have ever studied under the legendary master teacher, the late Sanford Meisner. Billy has also studied story structure and scene analysis techniques with John Truby and later at UCLA. He has also spent several years doing improvisation in Hollywood with the L.A. Connection. In addition, he trained in the technique of Stella Adler, Practical Aesthetics and Lee Strasberg’s method.