Hold the Phone: Tips and Tricks on Using Your Phone in an Audition

Using a cell phone in your audition

Film and TV auditions sometimes call for you to talk on the phone. This action alone can derail an audition and throw you off. So what should you do if your audition sides include talking on the phone?

I’m not a fan of miming in auditions because it opens up a whole new can of worms. To begin with, if you’re an excellent mime, your audition becomes about your fantastic miming abilities instead of what’s going on in the scene. If you’re a terrible mime, no one will understand what the heck you’re doing.

In most cases, miming is flat out distracting to your auditors because it breaks the illusion that what they are witnessing is real. The longer you can maintain that illusion, the stronger your audition.

Years ago, before every human being on the planet had a cell phone, actors would either mime or ignore the phone all together in their audition scenes.

Thanks to technology, things have changed. A cell phone is the most common item people carry. So folks expect you to have your phone close at hand, even in an audition.

The simplest and most effective way to handle a phone conversation in an audition is to just use your cell. It won’t seem out of place, and most importantly you won’t break the illusion for your auditioners.

Here are a few important tips when using your cell phone in an audition:

Make sure it’s off before you walk into the room.

If you’re using it in your scene double check because trust me, if your phone hasn’t rang all day it will ring just as you’re using it.

Handle the phone like you would in real life.

I’ve seen actors do some of the weirdest stuff with cell phones in auditions and it totally breaks the illusion you’ve worked so hard to create. For example, if you are calling someone in your scene, actually dial the number. If the character you are calling is a close friend or family member, put them on speed dial. Your auditioners will get it.

Don’t use the phone as a multi-purpose prop.

If you have a conversation on your phone early in a scene, don’t turn it into a television remote control or an Alien zapper later in the audition (even though we all know there’s an app for that).

Rehearse using your phone before your audition.

In my class series, Audition Game Pro, the most important part of the audition technique is to test your game. Do you need to wear pants with pockets? Will you pull your cell out of your backpack or purse? Don’t find out your idea doesn’t work when you’re in the audition room! Work those details out beforehand. That way you’ll be free to focus on what’s really important, your acting.

Don’t let the small detail of a phone call throw you off your game! Follow these simple tips and you’ll shine like the rock star you are in your next audition.

About Wendy Davis: Wendy starred for 7 seasons on Lifetime’s Army Wives. Founder of Acting Pros, she created the proven audition-technique, Audition Game Pro. Get more free acting tools and marketing tips at www.actingpros.com. Learn from the pros. Be a pro.

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