2 Audition Tips To Master The Last Minute Audition “Sides Switcheroo”

What is an audition “Sides Switcheroo”?  It goes something like this…

You get the sides.  You work really hard on them.  Maybe you get coached.  You've got this!  You feel good about your choices. You are thoroughly prepared and ready to go in and give it your all. The audition is just a couple of hours from now.  Lots to do before then…and suddenly your phone rings. It's your agent…

Guess what? There are NEW sides and they want you to read those instead of the ones you've been working on.  Ugh.


If you’ve been auditioning for a while, then you know what I’m talking about. If you're newer to the business, then it's best you learn how to master this now because it happens…often.

The old “sides switcheroo”.

Why do Casting Directors do it?

Do Casting Directors just want to mess with your head?  Surely they know how much effort it takes for you to digest the material, find your character, make choices and work on those sides.  Surely they know the kind of preparation it takes for you to go in and nail your audition….Right?

And more importantly, how do you deal with it when it inevitably happens to you?

Afterall, sometimes this switch can even happen when you arrive at your audition. They will literally hand you different sides right before you walk in at times.  What then?

What's the best way to master a last minute sides switcheroo and still nail the audition?

These are all VERY important questions because this happens often. And, unfair as it sounds…

REMEMBER THIS: Casting Directors expect you to nail it regardless of when you've gotten the sides. 

So you either learn how to master this common audition obstacle now, so you can book the jobs you should be booking, or keep missing out on callbacks you might have had in the bag.

So, I'm glad you're here and that you've decided to invest 6 important minutes in your acting career and watch this video so you can get those answers.



In this video you'll get the answer to:

“How Do I Kill It In The Audition Room When I've Just Been Handed New Sides?”


Now do you see why those 6 minutes were so important to your acting career?

Sometimes the simplest questions have very layered answers. When you only get look at the obvious answers, sometimes you miss out on the piece that can make the greatest shift for you in your acting career.

REMEMBER: Whenever you have an audition technique question, there's always an audition mindset answer    >>>Tweet This<<<

Now that you watched this video, you know:  

1.  One key way to be prepared in advance to handle last minute sides swaps with ease and grace.

2.  The actual reason Casting Directors switch sides on you in the first place.

3.  How you can mentally prepare for this potentially audition-killing moment and nail it anyway.

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Your turn! What happened the last time you got handed new sides at the last minute? How did you handle it?  Please share your experience in the comments below :-)

You DESERVE The Red Carpet!

Did this audition sides switcheroo VLOG help you? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you commented below and shared on Facebook

Amy Jo Berman - Acting Coach
Amy Jo Berman's Tips On Acting & Auditioning Blog
Email: Asst@AmyJoBerman.com

“I show actors how to be better, book more jobs and live The Red Carpet life!”

If you enjoyed this audition sides switcheroo VLOG, retweet and comment please.

22 Responses

  1. Susi Rivera says:

    Coming from a well experienced CD, this video shoul sink-in in every actor’s mind. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  2. Braidon Alan says:

    God GAVE YOU YOUR TALENTS! Remember that He will make you shine!!!!! He will make you known if that is His will. Also, HE is the greatest teacher! Trust Him to guide you and lead you to the right resources. Her teaching is amazing! Also, on thoughts…
    2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Lord has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind.”
    You have the power to control your thoughts. If you don’t like your mindset, change it! He has called you to this! Be happy! He only has good plans for you and your future! Thank you, Amy, for your awesome videos!
    Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.”

  3. Laura stinar says:

    Thank you so much for the video

  4. Katie Keenan says:

    Thanks for the video! I really liked the advice to be prepared for the thing you can’t prepare for. Improv is a really good way to do that – I think another good recommendation in addition to that is a cold reading class. Improv doesn’t deal in text, and so I believe these classes are also valuable :)

  5. SophiaLouiseRobinson says:

    Thanks Amy, I could have just listened to you for hours on this! I’d love to know more.

  6. Ronald Patrick Thompson says:

    More great advice!

  7. […] I came across this article, today. I found it to be extremely relevant, because something similar happened to me yesterday. Enjoy. Audition Curveball […]

  8. Carol says:

    Absolutely agree it’s all about mindset! I once booked a feature with an ice cold read. Literally ice cold. They had lost the actress for the role and I went in and met the director. He handed me a page in the script and said, “here, read this”. I was like, ” oh, you mean right NOW! Ok, no problem.”… The thing to remember is that if you go in and they’ve changed everything that everyone else will also be getting the revised sides too. It’s still an even playing field… But I do have a question: if CDs do this because they are getting the changes last minute why don’t they stick up for their actors to the producers and tell them that the best auditions come with preparation, and then push the auditions back? Sure, I get that that might be a logistical pain in the butt, but that’s the other side of it! Why aren’t CDs *demanding* to producers and directors who may not know any better that we really should be given more time? There’s a reason it’s actually a SAG rule that we get the sides at least 24 hours in advance. Thanks so much for the video!

  9. Bruce Clifford says:

    Thank you Amy for the advice! I think it’s important us as actors and even more importantly as human beings we remain open to whatever comes to us. We can not perform very good if we are operating from a closed off expectation based view. If we keep our minds and hearts open we can better deal with the things thrown our way rather than panicking and rushing through what is thrown at us. Stay Open!!!! :)

  10. Mi Kwan Lock says:

    Thanks Amy for this video!
    I think that being opened, able to adapt to any circumstances, (even on the set when something happens, we have to take note of that!) is very important in our job. So I keep training with cold readings to get used to NO-TIME for preparation auditions and I think it helps a lot to be connected to yourself and really listen! ;)

  11. Well I had a commercial audition where I went in for one part and ended up auditioning for another part and got the job. I had to improvise and dance a bit for the audition and was just myself. Went with the flow and just had fun.

    I was in LA over a year ago April and was on a workshop with Crystal Carson who has this awesome way to deal with lines in an audition. I would check her out and her technique. I plan to go take some classes with her in this technique of hers.

  12. anvliav says:

    I love it when they do that. It’s more spontaneous and fresh.

  13. Hank Meleski Jr says:

    Another awesome video Amy, thank you. I haven’t done as much as a lot of the others on the feed, I’ve done a few feature scenes and about 20 or so extra days but the change happened on every one of those shoots, lol. After the first couple I started to just show up get in the character they want me to be, know my lines, if I have any and then with each take I listen to what the director is asking of everyone, what he is trying to get from the scene and then just go with it, so far they have liked what ever it is that I did so that’s good, lol
    I think the biggest thing is not to get in your own head, be part of the whole happening, if that makes any sense to you. I try to have as much fun with everything as I can.

  14. YourJazzman says:

    Hi Amy, this happens, like you mentioned, all to frequently. But not only with casting directors and auditions… I’ve performed in and directed original plays, and this happens as the rehearsal process is going on. The writer, who is present during the rehearsal, will see that a line, or segment or music or a song lyric (or a whole song) isn’t working. So what do they do, they re-write. It’s all part of the creative process and actors simply have to get used to it, expect it (like you said) and accept it. Be excited about it. It gives the actor a chance to think outside the traditional preparation box and explore options that might have never been available before. It may shed new light on a character or situation within the story. Grab the opportunity… to play, to improvise… and run with it. (Bruce from OC)

  15. Roberto Montesinos says:

    Great post AmyJo. I especially love your explanation on mindset. To be honest, since I’ve been doing this a while, I love when the sides get changed up. Improv class (your suggestion) really helps this area out because the fun of not knowing is emphasized and developed. But usually, it’s the same character, so I look at it as an opportunity. I did an episode of Southland where the audition sides were a two page monologue and on the day, a new script and the monologue was rewritten into a heated two person scene wit Laz Alonso and the script was much better and so much more fun to play. The writers are working on re-writes right up to the camera rolling sometimes, hence the opportunity to practice for that situation when it comes and it will come. And I’ve been drilling the mindset note you gave me a few years ago ever since – “I Belong.” Gracias!!

  16. JACKIE PENN says:

    Thanks Amy. I work with TCD Studios and often get thrown this situation. If the story doesn’t change I’m fine. However, if the story changes improv is definitely needed. This reminds me I should be getting back into an improv class.

  17. Ken La Kier says:

    Liked the post. It’s good to remember that you can change your thoughts to the positive and know what’s happening on the casting director’s end.

  18. Hanna-Lee Sakakibara says:

    Thanks for this video. I agree 100%. I think a big shift happened for me when I spent a morning being a reader for a casting director. Being on the “other side” of things, really gave me a lot of insight on the process. I noticed that many of the actors were expecting something to happen at the end of their audition, this need for affirmation that they did well. I recognized a lot of the things I do when walking into an audition. It was also inspiring to see the actors who thought on their feet. It wasn’t about whether they nailed the lines, it was more their long term work and approach showing up for them.

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