How to Handle Audition Feedback

advice auditions Oct 05, 2021
how to handle audition feedback

When it comes to auditions – we spend a lot of time thinking about the lead up. You’ll be practising, practising, practising… until you can’t practise any more. The anticipation, excitement (but also nerves) take over your brain! 

Then there’s the audition day itself, a potentially stressful concoction of travel, hunger, panic and lack of sleep, combined with your internal pressure to show your best self. We’ve written some tips on being prepared here.

What is spoken about less is the post-audition process, and more specifically, how to handle audition feedback. Though uncommon, sometimes we’ll get post-audition feedback through our agent… and not know what to do next. Often I’ve looked at my feedback and just thought, ‘what does this even mean?’ 








Should you ask for audition feedback?

Asking for feedback is a catch 22. It can be incredibly useful for helping an actor understand if their casting is right, if their acting through song needs improvement, or if simply their audition skills need a little more focus. At the same time, it can be the opposite of useful – contrasting your previous feedback, rather confusing, and messing with your mindset. 

Sometimes, it doesn’t tell you anything at all. A vague sentence, such as ‘we went a different way’, doesn’t exactly help you understand yourself and improve for the next audition, it just reconfirms that you didn’t get the job. If you build yourself up for audition feedback, a sentence like this can make you feel a little worthless.  

With this in mind – should you ask for audition feedback?

A simple yes or no is all we ask for, but equally when you’re getting recalled end you’re going in and out 4,5,6 hell sometimes up to 10,11 times it’s only right we get feedback. 

And there is no harm in asking for audition feedback - If you’re in a position to handle it well. Try not to batter your agent for it (their job is to find you new roles, not dwell on old ones), but if the opportunity is there, then you may as well hear it. We talk a little later on our best practices for handling it. On the contrary, if you don’t respond well to feedback, then simply don’t ask for it, and better still, ask your agent not to give it to you should they receive it. Your mental health matters more than anything a casting director has to say. 


How to Ask for Audition Feedback

If you’ve decided you’re in a position to take on feedback, and you want to seek it out from your latest auditions, here’s the post-show etiquette for gathering your audition feedback.

Firstly, don’t contact the casting director directly. Make sure you go through your agent to keep it professional. This avoids putting the casting director in an awkward position and means you’re more likely to get a response. There are of course exceptions, so if you’ve had a session or workshop with a casting director and they have specifically said they don’t mind it, take note & of course proceed to get in touch. Majority of the time, (from experience) it’s best to go through your Agent.

Side note to this, it’s important to keep an open dialogue with your Agent. Half the time you spend so much time in your own head with what you expect and anticipate. The reality is, a simple phone call and conversation can solve everything. 


Tips for Handling Post-Audition Mindset

Firstly, if you’ve asked for feedback, you may need to accept that you might not get a response at all. Casting director’s main role is to cast – they’re not acting coaches and it’s not their responsibility to help you improve. You can ask, but it might not get you anywhere. 

If you’re waiting for feedback or not getting it at all, it’s critical you let that audition go and don’t let the anticipation of recalls & finals manifest into your everyday life. It’s exhausting otherwise. Auditioning is a huge part of our job role. Let’s start making the process an enjoyable one. Onwards and upwards!


How to Handle Audition Feedback 

If you’ve had your audition feedback returned, it’ll go one of a few ways. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have had feedback before that is verging on confusing. What can you even take from it? Sometimes this is the case, and if so, you simply need to let it go and move on. There’s no point dwelling on mixed messaging.

However, if your feedback makes some sense, it can still be disheartening - even if you wanted that feedback in the first place. Try to use your audition feedback to drive you, motivate you and help you improve, while at the same time remember that this feedback does not dictate you, your life or your future success. You might look back on it and think ‘meh!’ one day. Take it in your stride and action what you feel is appropriate.

If you decide to begin gathering audition feedback, keep tabs on the trends in their critiques. If there is no consistency, does it mean anything? If there is consistency, at least this is clear - what can we adapt? How can we grow and improve?


Where to Get Audition Feedback 

If you struggle taking feedback from your real-life auditions, or if you’re not getting the clarity you’d like, we’d highly recommend investing in services where your feedback and critique is prioritised. At Prep Your Rep LDN, we have plenty of courses, workshops and 1:1 sessions that can help you target your weaker points, and our membership scheme includes a monthly self-tape challenge with guest casting directors from West End shows such as The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins and Cats, providing personal and direct feedback each month.


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