BE ON TIME: I know this seems like a given, but you'd be surprised to find out how many actors just have no sense of time. Audition time slots are limited, pass quickly and are scheduled at odd times like 2:50 or 10:05. When they call you to be there, be there early. Being late will definitely leave an impression, but not the one you are hoping for.
KNOW THE LINES YOU WERE GIVEN: First of all, I want to clarify that you are not the writer. Many actors feel the lines should be re-written, but that's not your role, and it's offensive to the actual writer. Simply memorize your lines. This might seem obvious, but there are too many actors who learn a few of their lines and then try to wing it (accidentally rewriting them) and fail miserably. Please spend the needed time preparing your lines. Don't just prepare what you’re going to say, but also how you’re going to say it.
LISTEN UP: Are you listening? .... really listening? This isn't high school, it's a job that's contingent upon people being able to take direction. So listen to what you are being told. Sometimes the casting director, writer or director will give you a bit of direction before or during your audition on a particular line. Listen carefully to what they’re saying and take the time you need to process it. Don't panic, if it’s during an audition, they will usually be happy to give you a few minutes to incorporate the new direction into the lines. So ask for it if you need it. They'll respect your effort more than you ignoring it all together.
HEAD SHOTS- KEEP IT REAL: It is incredibly annoying to get a head shot that looks nothing like the actor that showed up. Don't be that actor. Please, make sure your head shot accurately portrays who you are right now. If you’ve gained weight, cut or drastically dyed your hair, or aged, then you've got to make sure your head shot shows this. Your head shot isn't the one getting the job and you won’t either if you look totally different than the face people were expecting to see.
BE FULLY COMMITTED: Actors who dive into a reading can be really fun to watch because they are being totally genuine and transform themselves into a character. When you are able to fully commit to the scene you're playing, you'll show the casting directors that you should be considered above the rest because you perform with authentic passion and aren't limited by nervously holding back.
NO EXCUSES PLEASE: Got to be honest here, there is no real excuse that will defend you. As wonderful as your dog is, no one will care that you had to take him to the vet and that's why you were late. No one will care if there was traffic, you should have left five hours early. You 'just couldn't learn the script in time'... too bad. Better luck next time! Sorry that this may sound harsh, but the cold truth is that no one cares that these so-called emergencies popped up. Sure, life happens and sometimes things go wrong and in a normal world, this may in some cases be taken into consideration. But DO NOT depend on that. No matter what excuse you think you have to get you out of a particular situation, there are dozens of other people happy to take your place. So do your absolute best, not to need an excuse.
So. Write those down on a sticky note if you have to and hold your head up high. Come to The New York Acting School for Film and Television and let us know how we can help you further succeed in your career.