How To Hit An Audition Curveball Out Of The Park

Watch out.  It’s coming.  And if you’re not careful, it will knock you out.

Audition curveballs can hit you hard.  And they’re not only painful, they can KILL your audition.


What Is An Audition Curveball?

Audition Curveball:  When a Casting Director (or Producer or Director) says or does something at your audition that you weren’t expecting and hadn’t planned for that could possibly throw you for a loop and tank your audition.

Different Types Of Audition Curveballs

  • They give you a different role to read than the one you have
  • They tell you that they’re only doing scene 2 and you prepared scene 1
  • They tell you they’re only reading scene 1 and you prepared all 5 scenes.
  • They give you an entirely different direction than the way you rehearsed.
  • There’s some guy in the room giving you direction and you don’t know who he is.
  • They tell you some important piece of information in the room that changes your entire interpretation of the role
  • They ask you to use an accent when you prepared it without one
  • They ask you NOT to use an accent when you prepared it with one
  • They ask you to improv something

The list goes on and on.

As someone who’s held hundreds and hundreds of casting sessions, I can tell you, the list of possible curveballs is endless.

Why Casting Directors Throw Curveballs At Your Audition

Understand this — No Casting Director sits there, twirling their mustache, thinking of sinister ways to mess with the mind of an actor by coming up with crazy audition curveballs.

Casting Directors are your allies. They want to help you nail your audition! >>Tweet This<<<

But curveballs happen because change happens.

…Because you’re unpredictable.

…Because acting is fluid and malleable.

…Because you’re a unique artist and no two auditions are like.

It’s just the nature of the art.  Things shift.  We adjust.  We hope you do the same.  Period.

How To Deal With Audition Curveballs

There are several ways to deal with audition curveballs.

CLICK BELOW to watch this video audition tip to get my recommendation on how you can deal when this happens to you.

Did that help?  Feel a little more relaxed about your next audition now that you're inoculated against the dreaded audition curveball?

Your turn! Have you ever had a curveball thrown at you in an audition?  What happened??  Please share it in the comments below :-)

You DESERVE The Red Carpet!

Did This Help You?

Did this VLOG on your Audition Curvballs 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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16 Responses

  1. Marcia Shapiro says:

    When I was about 24 years old, I met Michael Schulman at an open call. He recommended me to a well known casting director, who called me in to read. I assumed the role was for the ingenue, but it was for the lead, who was exactly my personality.
    I had a rough time dealing with this, as my family decided to visit for my brother’s birthday, and even though I mentioned my important audition, they came anyway. It unnerved me, and what I should have aced fell through the cracks. A year or so earlier, I got a message which was on the message board for an ingenue audition with the same CD. I had gone to visit my parents over the weekend. When I got back, the role had already been cast, and a girl who was supposed to be my friend remarked, “That’ll teach you to go to Philadelphia,”.

  2. Scott Parkhurst says:

    Very great advice! Just as you said, you want “them” to see that you don’t get fluster under pressure and that you can be relied on when it comes to filming. Time is money. For me I enjoy auditions and rather have fun with them then be afraid of them! I always get a Dir.’s call back cause I think I just go in knowing I’m going to get the part and if I don’t, I don’t take it personally!! You can’t! Means you just weren’t that person for the part. But you will be for the next role…I promise you that!

  3. Marla Simone says:

    Great advice. Reclaiming your nerves in an unnerving situation.

  4. Tim Parrish says:

    Great stuff Am Jo! Release the expectations to a large degree and accept the mystery challenge ahead. It’s kind of funny because you can most definitely get multiple times more curveballs when you actually book the job.

  5. April Sinclair says:

    I heard about an audition at the last minute and I flew across town after wrapping one film to get to the audition. I grabbed the lines and started reading as fast as I could. When I was called in there was another big time director sitting in on the auditions and he recognized me from my very first film. Exciting yet more nervous now. I usually read with contacts in but had glasses in and my eyes refused to adjust to while looking up and down. I felt super awkward. Then…the curveball…I was asked to leave the room and when I come back in I had to tell my 7yr son that his dad just died. In real life (they didn’t know this)…my dad just past recently and I had to tell my 7yr old son that his Papa died. Well….no shortage of tears for that scene. It worked to my advantage and I nailed the lead role in the film.

  6. Oh I went for a non-union commercial when I lived in Vancouver. I just went with what they asked and rolled with it. I was selected for one part than asked to try another part. Did what they asked and didn’t realize it was called a curve ball. And booked the second part instead. One of my proudest auditions!

  7. Tyler Bowe says:

    Great stuff Amy. Thank you :-).

  8. Steve Drucker says:

    Hate curveballs. I think it is a move by the CD to try to throw me out of character like they are playing with a toy.

  9. Lisa Marie says:

    always great advice!

  10. This happens to me EVERY time I go to a casting. I can’t think of one time where I haven’t been thrown a curveball – that’s just how it is. I’ve learned to go with flow, but I know a lot people really freak out about this.

    I say take it as a complement that the CD or the director wants to see more of what you can do.

  11. Barry says:

    Yes, a couple of weeks ago while auditioning for a national the CD gave me a good take-away from the first take, then told me to make an adjustment in the pacing of my delivery. I think I held on to the dialogue, but I’m sure I dropped some of the physicality of the piece. I wish I could’ve taken a moment to assimilate, but I was feeling the pressure of the clock and those waiting in the hallway behind me. I embrace the chance to do it again and view it as them rooting for me to get it right, or better. Thanks Amy Jo!

  12. Heather D. Benoit Schexnider says:

    I try not to think of it as a problem but an adventure. BRING IT.

  13. Robert Sean-Riaz says:

    Yep. This did happen to me earlier this year at an Audition. I went in knowing the lines and how I was going to deliver the lines and did so on the first take (no stuttering, no mistakes) but then the CD/Director asked me to do it again another way (Being Seduced). The second time I stumbled over the Dialogue and didn’t do well…

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