The Audition Sides Mistake That Drives Casting Directors Bonkers

audition sides mistake electronic sides with border

Big audition mistake, BIG audition consequences.

Seems logical, right?


Sometimes the smallest audition mistake can have the HUGEST impact.

Like this one…

When it comes to mistakes in the audition room, after 20 years of casting, I've seen it all.

I've seen WHOPPERS that have dealt a crushing blow to the audition of the poor actor who made them.

That breaks my heart.

So I have tons of training for actors on how to avoid those audition mistakes and make stealth choices for a rich, complex, nuanced audition.

However, there are some small mistakes that can make a HUGE difference in your audition, yet DON'T require nuanced training by an audition expert…

Like the one in the video below, which you'll see in a sec.

Don't let the simplicity of this tip fool you.

Ignore it and your audition can go down the drain, costing you a job you might have booked.

Don't be a victim of of your own sides.


Good!  Watch this video and take this simple action on every audition…


In this video, you'll get the answer to:

How Can I Avoid This Simple Mistake With My Sides That Drives Casting Directors Nuts?


See, wasn't that easy?

Easy, simple, yet with the power to kill your chances of a callback if you ignore it.

Don't let something so minute crush your hard work preparing for an important audition.

You deserve to wow them with your talent, not bog them down with this silly mistake.

Wow them you must.

Book it you will.

(Yeah, I was having a Yoda moment.)

Your turn! Was that audition sides tip helpful?  Have you ever experienced the audition sides mistake in the video? Tell me about it in the comments below… :-)

You DESERVE The Red Carpet!


Did this audition sides tip 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!”

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33 Responses

  1. James Poule says:

    I’m not a newbie (exactly) but this was great.

  2. Mary Kay Riestenberg says:

    I’m a total newbie and appreciate ANY advice, thanks!

  3. Brian T Shirley says:

    Wonderful tips and I agree about the paper sides, makes sense!!

  4. Donald W. Flake Jr says:

    This tip really does help alot, just last week in my Acting/Auditioning Class, I performed a monologue and just as I was getting into it, i lost my thought and had to look at the phone, and lucky me the screen was locked…SMH

    Lesson Learned and Timely Tip. Can’t wait until the next!!!

  5. Tressielynn Kincannon says:

    I prefer to read off of paper, anyways! Easier on my eyes! I used to print out articles to read because reading it on a screen is just too much for me.

    I’m glad that this is something I can easily avoid! Thank you so much!

  6. Fab Talentnyc says:

    Another great but simple tip! Thank you! definitely going to pass this one on!

  7. Robert Sean-Riaz says:

    You’re kidding me right? People have actually taken an electronic device to read lines from? I’d never do that for the exact reasons you describe. Whoever has deserve to be spanked out of the Audition Room.

  8. Tiffani Hilton says:

    Love this! I often have other actors ask why I have paper sides, and besides just liking it more they truly are easier to read, stay focused, and make character notes. And it’s true, they often become a prop in some way. Great advice!

  9. Bj Wieland-Doucet says:

    Can’t understand using electronic sides for audition personally. I highlite my paper lines to help in memorization & keeping my place if I get stuck in audition.

  10. Camden Wade says:

    I have never used any sort of side before, I have always walked in to an audition with the material fully memorized, but I agree with how paper is better than electronic.

    • Hardy Awadjie says:

      Being off book isn’t always the best option and CDs don’t care whether you are or aren’t for an audition (hell, look at some of the big names out there and their audition tapes). What do you use for a prop? Or show that you at least have looked at them? CDs don’t simply want someone that can memorize and puke out some lines. They want the actor to be in that moment, live that life of the character and understand what is really going on.

      • Camden Wade says:

        Saying what is written or not doesn’t matter. It’s how you say it, how you convey your thoughts.

        • Hardy Awadjie says:

          Of course it matters! Why else would the writer have spent years on that script or the producer option it to be created or the casting director agree to bring you in for said role??? Memorization isn’t necessary. What if you forget a line, lose your place, if the reader forgets/para phrases one of theirs? Where is your prop (as discussed in the video)? Your mind of the character and script is already made up before you even enter the room because you’ve memorized the script and mechanically stow it away to regurgitate back to the reader word for word instead of living in the moment and letting it come naturally as if you are having a real, sincere conversation.

          • Camden Wade says:

            If you lose your place or forget a line, then you clearly didn’t actually memorize it. And your side may not even logically work as a prop in some scenes.

          • Hardy Awadjie says:

            And if the reader forgets a line, skips a part or rephrases something? Of course you won’t always use your sides as a prop, but you have them there to use even for simple gestures and to keep your hands occupied instead of fidgeting, in the pocket, at the side, etc. I would almost believe coming in WITHOUT sides is just as bad as electronic sides. So much can go wrong.

          • Camden Wade says:

            If you always walk into an audition with a side, you are training your body to rely on props to be there. Suppose you get the part, but you you rarely, if at all, use a prop. What then?

          • Hardy Awadjie says:

            Why would an actor use a prop if the scene doesn’t ask for it? Actors do not pick up a piece of paper and automatically think, PROP. Most of the time you aren’t using the sides as a prop. But as she said in her video, you can use them when and if you need them. If the part doesn’t require props then you simply just hold the sides to read from. I guarantee you walking into an audition room without sides looks worse to the CD than having them. Even after they have the courtesy to provide them in the waiting room for you to use.

          • Camden Wade says:

            Now we have come full circle in our discussion because I have never done an audition that needs a prop or even one where a prop would make sense.

          • Hardy Awadjie says:

            Motion capture and video game auditions can be prop heavy. Being off book though, has nothing to do with props and is just one demonstration of using the sides that you have with you as you enter the room. There is no need to be off book for an audition. Callback and even a screen test? Yes. But your ability to memorize won’t score you any points more than the guy that came in after you with his sides.

          • Camden Wade says:

            You must be talking about film acting. I’m talking about on stage. For every stage audition I have done, I have been told that we must memorize our material before hand.

          • Hardy Awadjie says:

            Ah yes! There is the confusion. Her video focuses on film auditions. Hence why I thought your comment was bizarre.

          • Camden Wade says:

            Well I have heard of instances when stage actors would be asked to NOT prepare any material and just do a cold read, but I’ve never done one before.

          • Hardy Awadjie says:

            I don’t mind cold reads. Some despise them though. Forces you to go in there in the moment instead of having time to prepare, analyze and breakdown.

          • Tressielynn Kincannon says:

            I’ve done a lot of cold read auditions for 24-hour productions (audition Friday night, get cast, scripts written over night, then rehearse and perform the next day; 10-minute plays)

            I’ve also auditioned for a few proper productions in smaller theatres with a cold read, but you’re right… Most stage auditions ask for prepared material. They want to see what you can do when you work on material and if you can memorise it. Otherwise, how do they know you’ll be off book for the production?

        • Tapstostrikes says:

          Yikes! Way off. Thats a fairly insulting thing to say to everyone else involved.

    • AmyJoBerman says:

      I always recommend having the sides in your hand (unless they tell you explicitly otherwise)…for similar reasons that I lay out in that video.

  11. Leah Lee says:

    I actually never even thought about the possibility of having electronic sides with me. Call me old school, but a great awareness to be that much more confident in my audition.

  12. Jealous Ones Still Envy says:

    I had no Idea what sides were. I have never been on audtion before but I now know that paper sides are best.

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