Professional advice and guidance for aspiring actors.
There are lots of things you need to think about when you get an audition - who’s the casting director? Who’s creating the project? Who’s my character and why are they doing what they’re doing? But film and television is an aesthetic medium, so figuring out what to wear to an audition is equally important .
The wardrobe you chose for an audition can help you get into a role and the right clothing helps casting, directors and producers see you as that character. Think of it as another area where you can bring some more creativity to your audition.
Here are some audition wardrobe tips to consider while picking your wardrobe for your next film or tv audition.
The first audition wardrobe tip is an obvious one, but worth highlighting: wear something you feel comfortable in! Practice doing your audition in the costume before you make your audition tape and make sure you can move freely, so that any impulses you have in your performance don’t get stuck in restrictive or uncomfortable clothes.
DON’T SPEND A FORTUNE
Legally, a production/casting director can’t ask an actor to go out and buy specific clothes just for a film or tv audition… but let’s be honest, sometimes you’ll be imagining a piece of clothing for this character that you don’t already own and you really want to get it
It’s never recommended to spend a ton of money on any new audition clothes. Acting costs will start to add up and, at the end of the day, all that matters is finding something that makes sense for your character and gets the job done. If you’re keen to find something great for your auditions, thrift stores can be an up-and-coming actor's best friend!
Patterns can be very fun and can work well for highlighting specific characters, but be careful of tight stripes and small patterns: your auditions are being filmed, and sometimes small patterns and stripes can cause the moiré effect (looks like the pattern is moving!) and be a bit distracting.
Hot Tip: Test your wardrobe on camera before your audition to make sure it looks great and flatters you and your character.
Avoid wearing revealing clothing that draws attention away from your performance. If the character is supposed to be glamorous or sexy, then just make sure nothing could slip and reveal too much by accident. It’s important to keep in mind that while you may be okay with nudity or implied nudity for a role, a film or tv audition is an interview for a job. So stay true to your character, but keep it professional. If your character is supposed to be nude, a neutral colored shirt or bodysuit works great.
WHEN WALKING IN ANOTHER’S SHOES…
Many actors say that putting on their character’s shoes is the final piece of the puzzle for becoming their character. Shoes are the only layer between your character and the ground. The way a character stands and walks says a lot about where they hold their energy.
In a film, tv or commercial audition your shoes may never be seen, but shoes can really change a performer’s physicality in interesting ways. Just remember to practice in advance so you aren’t distracted by your shoes, or find out they make too much noise when you move on camera, while you’re auditioning.
HOW TO PICK COLORS FOR YOUR AUDITION WARDROBE
The rule of thumb is that if a color looks great on you and fits the character; then that’s the right color for your audition wardrobe.
If you’re self taping; keep in mind what color your backdrop is and make sure you don’t match it exactly, otherwise you may end up looking like a floating head in your audition tapes. If you’re taping at a studio or auditioning in person, the majority of backdrops are gray or blue, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing your outfits.
SHOULD YOU WEAR COSTUMES FOR YOUR AUDITIONS?
The real key to choosing a successful audition outfit is to “imply” the character with your wardrobe choices, but not to go as far as wearing a costume. Costumes can distract from an actor’s performance, while clothes that implies the character will enhance your acting audition tape.
NECKLINES GOES A LONG WAY
Since film and tv auditions are shot from the waist up, the neckline of a shirt does a lot. A deep v-neck might be all you need to imply a character’s seductive nature and a turtleneck can convey ‘collegiate’ or ‘conservative’. A solid-colored shirt with an interesting neckline can provide just the right amount of detail without distracting and will still be seen, no matter how tight the frame is.
To sum up, the wardrobe for your acting auditions can do a lot to convey your character. You want your clothing choice to be comfortable, clean (a little ironing can go a long way!) not distracting and familiar enough that you feel confident in your audition taping.
When figuring out what to wear to an audition, experiment with different clothes in your on-camera commercial acting classes. Then watch them back and see what colors and styles work best for your unique face shape, hair style and coloring.
And if all this stresses you out a little, just remember what matters most and will actually define your acting career is your performance. So study the LMM audition questions and exercises before you walk into that audition, feel confident about your work and blow casting directors away.