Horror Film Audition Tips

by on March 7th, 2015
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So you’ve finally done it – you’ve booked an audition for a horror film. Throughout my career as a working actor, horror film auditions are my personal favorite. These auditions allow you an opportunity to portray interesting characters in otherworldly scenarios. While there are certain rules that are universal for all auditions, if you are getting ready to audition for a horror film, you should follow several tips cultivated throughout years of professional experience.

Character Development

Unfortunately, most horror movie auditions provide their actors with audition sides either a couple of days before the actual audition or on the day of the audition. Because of this, you may not have ample time to cultivate a deep and true-to-life character; however, this does not mean you must give a dull and lifeless performance. When reading your audition side, look for cue words to help shape your character.

One of the most important tips when auditioning for a horror film is to not use typical or stereotypical approaches to a character. Of course, you will likely have to act afraid or menacing – depending on the character you’re auditioning – but, instead of using typical horror acting style, display your fear or menace in a unique way. Alter the pitch of your voice, use your body and face to showcase your fear — and play around with the inflection of your voice. Be unique, take risks and remember – it’s always easier to pull back your energy, but harder to push harder.

Acting Based on Horror Genre

How you should deliver your lines is solely based on the horror genre. Are you auditioning for a stereotypical slasher flick, or is it a psychological thriller? Will you be acting alongside a serial killer or a monster from outer space? While the exact techniques used will vary on the horror genre, you should always strive for delivering a natural, unique and believable performance. One of the best ways to be prepared for a horror film audition is by watching all types of horror films within a wide array of styles. This will help build your arsenal of instant character choices if you are required to do a cold-read.

Less is More

I remember sitting in on a casting session for a horror movie. It seemed every single actor was skilled in delivering over-the-top performances. There was screaming, yelling, crying and I swear someone messed themselves in the middle of his audition; however, the one audition (and the person who got the role) was someone who delivered a haunting performance that did not rely on vocal power, but internal conflict and quiet character choices. When you’re auditioning for a horror film, remember: less is more. If you feel the urge to scream a line, think about it. Would screaming be the only way to deliver the line? Why not try a different approach? Deliver a performance that is not stereotypical to be memorable.

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