There are many stories of actors who landed roles by making famously bold audition choices.
Here’s one such story:
When actor Michael Dorn went to audition for the role of Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he walked straight to the back of the room and stood there, ramrod straight and unblinking. He did not smile, speak, or sit. When called, he marched into the room, scowled, and shook the interviewer’s hand sharply. Afterwards, he gruffly thanked the director and walked out. He so inhabited the character that they simply had to cast him: he was the only actor *being* a Klingon warrior. He was Worf.
That’s a bold audition choice. Making bold choices like Michael Dorn can set you apart from the competition.
Or it can get you the title of “crazy actor” and thrown out of the office…permanently.
So how can you go bold without going bad?
Here are three Bold Audition Rules to help you decide if your bold choice is a good one:
I can not stress this enough! Don’t go so far out of the norm that you insult the production team. Remember, these are hard-working people who are giving you their time and energy. Respect it.
2) Justification in the script.
You have to be able to justify your choices. They need to be grounded in the facts of the show or the script. The Star Trek script called for true characters from a different world, so Dorn’s choice reflected that. Remember that your choices should also be grounded in the text and not just randomly wacky for the sake of being bold.
3) Don’t be gimmicky. Be authentic.
Casting Directors can spot a gimmick a mile away. They can tell when you’re trying too hard and it won’t get you the role. Michael Dorn was being Worf, and therefore was authentic.
Go boldly…but go smart.
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