Auditioning is an unavoidable reality of an actors career, often followed by melancholic days wondering why you didn't get the part. I try to self soothe by telling myself it wasn't meant to be, usually while I drink a couple glasses of wine and stuff my face with chocolate. Now that I've acted as casting director on a few different projects, I have learned a few things that I think every actor should know when heading into an audition.
Follow Directions. If in the submission directions it asks for you to list measurement, or availability, do it. The inability for people to read and follow directions listed in my casting calls has definitely lead to me not considering them for the role.
Always write a cover letter. Whether it's indicated as required or not. It's a small gesture that shows that your invested, even slightly, to the project and your acting career.
Show up on time, and with a good attitude. Life happens. Your train gets stuck underground, you spill coffee all over your blouse, you end up sitting in the waiting room at the wrong audition (all real life stories), but if you keep your auditioner informed of the situation and show up with a bright and positive attitude, it's usually going to be forgiven. Bringing good vibes to your audition is generally a good idea. It's probably been a long day for those holding the auditions. They've seen a hundred faces before you and will probably see a hundred after, but if you made them feel good while you're in the room, then you're already going to stand out.
Preparation is key. This is how you show the casting director and whoever else is in the room that you care about their project. You have to remember that these people have already invested a lot of time into this film. This is their baby, and by being prepared, you're showing that they can trust you with their baby.
Follow up email:
I always thought it was complete hogwash when they said it wasn't personal that I didn't get the role. It felt personal. It's me and my acting that you rejected. But it all became clear the moment I had someone read for a part who I very much wanted to cast, but could not, simply because they were not right for the role. They are an incredible actor, fun to work with, and fantastic personality, but because the roll required a very specific feel, I had to pass.
Now here is the thing, I kept this person on file and was able to cast them in something else where they were a better fit for the role. It killed me not to cast them the first time around, but it burned them into my mind so that when this other part came up, they were the first person I thought of.
So my advice is to handle your rejection with grace. Follow up with an email thanking them for the opportunity, because you never know what their next project will be.
Hopefully this insight will help you land the next part you audition for, or at least help the rejection sting a little less. Let me know!