A Hollywood casting director uncovers everything an actor needs to know from the audition to booking the role. (Partia) CHAPTER ONE The Five Elements of a Winning Audition One thing I find as a casting director is that the toughest thing I see talent do when they come into the audition room is struggle to keeping their dialogue real . I see it over and over again and the solution is simple. You can do this by using your energy. Talent must keep their energy up and keep the audition piece they are doing but cannot confuse the two. Energy is NOT over-acting! When you over-act, or push the dialogue, you push us away from believing your character. You didn t keep it real . When I see actors do an audition that lacks energy, I am ready to see the next actor waiting to audition; it s that simple. Energy is the emotional connection an actor brings to his or her character. So, how do you have great energy and keep the audition piece real or believable? By using the five elements I have come up with for this book and in my teachings. I love actors! They are an amazing breed of talent that wants to come in and just give us their all. Sometimes, by giving us your all, it looks like you are pushing your acting or which is what is referred to as overacting . Talk as you would talk in everyday conversation. Your energy is so important. You have to forget about the words on the script and bring your energy and emotional choice to the page. Actors will see the words on the page and think, Oh I have to punch that word -- that really is an important word! When that choice is made, the scene does not come out right because the actor is forcing a choice, not trusting their emotional choice to carry them through. Think of the famous line Jack Nicholson does in A Few Good Men when he yells, You can t handle the truth! . I would guarantee he was not thinking about punching the word handle or truth ...it just came out through his emotional choice. The words really do not matter it s what you do with them that count. The work has already been done for you by the writer. It is your job to bring those scripted words to life so that your audience (producer, director, casting director or whoever might be in the room) believes you are that character. When you get your sides, you have 5 things to decide: Who you are, where you are, what the conflict of the scene is, what is your relationship with the other characters in the scene, and what is your emotion choice or choices.