Acting Auditions – Difficulties and Obstacles Make Your Character Believable

July 26, 2012 · Posted in Entertainment 

There is no question that the majority of people wish to avoid a state of conflict and drama. It can inevitably lead to anxious feelings, fear, and chaos. However, during an acting audition, conflict is essential to delivering an impressive reading. In order to have a good audition, it is necessary for an actor to find the conflict within a story and within a character.

The majority of persons and characters have internal conflicts between desires and feelings. External conflicts can also permeate a person’s life in the form of struggles between man and God, fate, the world, and Mother Nature. And, of course, relational conflicts exist as well. When an actor reads for an audition, he or she is only given the bare framework such as a story overview and the lines. Every story and character has interior conflicts, with some being harder to uncover than others. It is the actor’s job to find the hidden conflict and give it life in their audition.

Conflict is always interesting. Conflict provides an element of depth and movement to a story and character. Once the desires and needs of a character have been discovered by the actor, obstacles are inevitable. That is life. All obstacles in our lives must be manipulated or overcome until they cease being hurdles and become collaborators. “Midnight Run” is a perfect movie to consider. Robert De Niro plays a bounty hunter who is responsible for the capture of Charles Grodin’s character. Jack (De Niro) is driven to find his bounty, Mardukas (Grodin), so that he can receive the bounty money. Jack is met with a number of conflicts including his personal insecurities, rival bounty hunters, and the infamous Mardukas.

All of the answers may not be provided to you in the material provided to you at the audition. To strengthen your acting audition, you may need to create a character yourself, one that has conflicting desires and needs. In this way, you will be more likely to grab onto and hold the auditor’s attention and make the performance more real for the viewer. Far worse than creating the “wrong” conflict is delivering a performance without any emotion and depth. If you are able to flesh out a character in this way, your auditions are sure to be more successful.

Make sure that the conflict you create is multi-dimensional. The average character will have several different desires and feelings that are in constant struggle with each other. If you are looking to make a good impression on the auditor, ensure that you portray this in your reading. The lines being recited are not nearly as important as the character that is created by the actor.

Although your character may be the only live person in the scene, there are doubtless other hidden forces affecting his or her life. To have a successful reading, you as an actor must know how to draw these emotions and circumstances out of the text and take the character to the next level. There is another thing to remember about conflict. A small amount of comedy should also be present within any conflict. Even the largest conflict will contain some levity. Neglecting to add comedy will make the reading unwatchable. In short, conflict and comedy are both an integral part of a successful and impressive reading.

Kirk Baltz has been a acting coach for more than 15 years. Kirk helps actors of all levels get the roles that they desire. You can read more about improve acting auditions at the actor’s intensive website.


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