From Samuel L. Jackson's MasterClass

Auditioning

Don’t walk into a casting room thinking about the job; go in with the goal of demonstrating your skill as an actor. Sam gives you this and more time-tested rules for auditioning.

Topics include: Make a Lasting Impression • Don't Improvise Unless Asked • Rules to Audition By • Ditch Unflattering Resumes • Student Q&A: Auditioning

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Don’t walk into a casting room thinking about the job; go in with the goal of demonstrating your skill as an actor. Sam gives you this and more time-tested rules for auditioning.

Topics include: Make a Lasting Impression • Don't Improvise Unless Asked • Rules to Audition By • Ditch Unflattering Resumes • Student Q&A: Auditioning

Samuel L. Jackson

Teaches Acting

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I think actors, directors, and producers are sitting there waiting on the guy to walk in the door that they've visually seen in their minds in their movie. And if he's good enough, they'll cast him because it's the look that they want, because that's who they are, They're visual artists. When you go in a room, what you want to do is make a lasting impression. So no matter what you do when you go in there, you go in there, and you go in there with a vengeance artistically. Sometimes that can be extremely difficult because an audition is bullshit. I've been to those. I've been-- I auditioned for "My Cousin Vinny." I went in and auditioned. And the audition was seven words. Mud-- you got mud on your tires. Now, I don't know how you go in a room and you impress people by doing that. But you go in there, and that's when you go in there and hope you're the guy they were looking for when you walked in the door, because anybody can say that, mud-- you got mud on your tires. But there are some people who might go in there and say, mud? You got mud in your tires. Somebody'll do it wrong. And you hope that enough people go in there and did that wrong and you did it right that they'll cast you. But what you want to do when you go in that room is show them that you took the time to number one, learn that shit. Don't go in there with a piece of paper your hand reading it. Number two, you spent some time with it, and you want to know what's going on in that scene. That if you're connecting to somebody who's reading with you, then you connect with that person. Make eye contact with them. Be in that moment with that particular person. You also want to do it with a certain amount of energy and show them that you make choices, direct choices that mean something to that particular moment that you're acting in. That you're not just randomly throwing words around the room. That you're not just being loud or angry or crying. You know, take them on a roller coaster ride, go up and down, you know, start somewhere, have a middle, and an end. Know what that is. Know how you want to get there. Make them want to leave that room with you. Because when you're finished, you're going somewhere. And they might want to go with you because you're that interesting. Be that interesting when you go in and read. It's only OK to improvise in an audition if you're asked to. There's no need for you to change somebody's writing. They-- they gave you what they wanted to hear. Your-- your opportunity to improvise or fix something is after you get the job. You can say to the director, you know, I was sitting at home thinking about this and dah, dah, dah. It would sound better if I said it this way. And they'll either say to you know, no, do what's on the page, or let me hear what you want to do. But don't try and surprise people by coming in there proving to them that not only am I a great actor, I'm a brilliant writer. I changed your shit to make it better...

Get into Character

As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. In his online acting class, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.

Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I have learned to keep loving what I do and to be more than prepared always. Samuel worked his ass off and has taken the time to show us how he does it. So blessed, Thank you

I have improved as an actor. I know where I can grow now! Thanks Sam Jackson! You Are the Best! Have Fun in Captain Marvel :D

It was great! I learned so much from the class.

super entertaining, into the mind of a master. proacative, humble & in your face at the same time.

Comments

Joshua J.

Great session on auditioning. Such valuable information. I have struggled in my auditions specifically when asked to do a commercial. I recently was turned down by a agency and their reasoning was I didn't show enough range. Watching this class helped me on how to approach auditions in the future. Also loved what he said about just giving them your picture.

A fellow student

Great class; just realized i am an acting student. When i go for an audition then i am an actor. Right? I need to learn how to memorize a script. Thanks. "If I can change; then you can change. Everybody can change"

Debbie D.

Been awhile I auditioned or called on one. Remember many times being real uptight and not sure of myself, also offered couches, chases round the table, to remove my blouse, and out for hours like cattle. U gotta be inside it not outside it. Gotta remember how important it is to the audience to be entertained or involved. Makes life exciting.

Stephanie B.

Yeah it depends on the kind of work you like doing it’s a personality thing

CLAU

perfect advice samuel i had auditions for parts in theater too and most parts i got but i had failed to be santa claues as a christmas play that i did with a day program that i was in but i still got to play someone in the play the program had created a drama skit and i got to play a news anchor

George B.

If you don't get the audition then your either weren't right for the part or the casting agency weren't good at their job, simple as that, if you don't get the job, then there's nothing you can do about it, spend your time focusing on your next audition, not feeling sorry for yourself because you didn't get the last one.

Ocubox

If I were an actor, I would be flipping right now, that's such great insights! Be your best self and essentially, have no expectations of the job (you're not in control of who gets the job!), and give, and, don't be envious of your friends! Even when they're booking more gigs than you because, you'll soon become spiteful and could get really negative...Just do you, cause no one can be you. And what's great, when you're cast as yourself, you'll always be great!

Earl M.

30 years ago I would do exactly what you said in this lesson and I'd get the roles. Now in my 50's and starting over, I've been scared to death to audition, but this lesson has reinvigorated me to just be myself and "rock the house." Thank you!

Weronika K.

Love it! One of the best classes about acting on Masterclass platform. Thank you Mr. Jackson for sharing those tips with us!!

Kathy

Greatest Acting Instructor, Explains how to go to an audition and rock the house. How to feel good before, during and after. How to help another actor who might be right for the part.