For most, if not all, actors, they spend a lot of time just waiting—for their next job or their big break. Before you get the job, you need to audition; and before you get to the audition, you need to do some waiting—in the holding room. Such a room is where actors who are looking to get a certain part sign up for a slot and prepare for the audition. There is no set time for the length of time that one spends in a holding room, as it would have to depend on the kind of part you’re auditioning for and how the specific audition is going so far. You may spend as short a time as a half hour or as long as several hours in there.
If you’re one of the lucky few who has been invited to audition for a part, there are a few things you need to know. Here are the things you should expect in audition holding room:
Audition Holding Room: What to Expect
1. It is likely to be overcrowded.
When going to an audition, don’t expect that it will be a private, one-on-one affair. You’re not the only actor out there looking for a job. Instead, expect the holding room to be overcrowded and filled with aspirants just like you who are also hoping to get the part. This is particularly true in case the audition is an open casting call, especially for non-equity ones. Keeping this fact in mind, you will have to respect the presence of everyone else who is there. Find a spot where you can prepare yourself and keep your things off chairs that might be meant for other aspirants.
2. Be friendly but don’t openly badmouth other people.
You never know whom you might be sitting next to or who might overhear you. So while it’s always a good idea to be friendly, you shouldn’t do so to the extent of badmouthing other people in the industry. You don’t know if the monitor who’s supervising you might be related or connected to the producer of the play you’re openly criticizing. You never know, so be careful.
3. There might be a line, so come early.
If you’re attending an open call that does not have an unofficial list, which is a specific list on which non-Union actors may sign up to be a part of the audition, there is a likelihood that auditionees will be required to line up in the order that they came in. For such instances, this will be the only way the monitor can keep track of the order of attendance. Thus, you should make it a point to arrive early for the audition. Not only will you be making a good impression on the casting agents, but you will also be giving yourself enough time to prepare fully for your audition.
4. There might not even be an actual room.
A holding room is a loose term that refers to any space in which actors who are attending an audition await their turn to be called by the panel. Sometimes there is an actual room; but in many other cases, especially in open casting calls, there might just be a wide open space or benches outside the audition room. So prepare yourself accordingly and learn to make adjustments for whatever you’ll encounter.
Things to Expect in an Audition Holding Room by George