Your main job, above any other consideration, is to make a good impression. The people behind the table will be making value judgments about you—as an actor and as a person. They will be judging you constantly, from the moment you walk in the door. Whatever happens in the room, when it’s all over you want them to remember you as a potential asset. So you want to present the best possible image the entire time you’re under their examination. Here are some tips.
■ Dress neatly, or appropriately. Just as the selection of an appropriate song is important in cluing the casting people in to your suitability for a role, your choice of outfit can also be an invaluable asset. Unless you want to be remembered as a slob or a perpetual adolescent, avoid ripped jeans and t-shirts when auditioning for more mainstream roles. By the same token, though, a suit and tie are probably the wrong things to wear for an audition for a Jet in West Side Story.
There are some people who, when they go to extremes of dressiness, look uncomfortable (you know who you are). Men don’t have to wear suits or sports coats and ties, and women don’t have to wear ball gowns or cocktail dresses (unless the role calls for it, of course). Dress neatly, nicely, comfortably, and flatteringly. Think “casual dressy.”
Remember, too, that you are there to sell yourself. Don’t be afraid to show off. This is the theatre we’re talking about, not a corporate board meeting. Your physical assets are part of the total package, so flaunting them is not something you should avoid.