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15 Audition Terms You Need to Know

Learn these 15 audition terms to help your child or a loved one understand the industry. This article can also help would-be actors how audition works.

audition terms. If you or a family member intends to audition for a series, play or movie, we highly suggest that you familiarize yourself with the most commonly used terms in an audition.

Casting Director

A casting director is responsible for sourcing actors for roles. They discover talents by holding auditions or directly offering a part to a particular actor. Casting directors work with producers, agents, managers, network executives, and showrunners.


Think of this as the written version of a film, play, or show. You'll find the written dialogues or directions in the script.


A headshot is a clear photo of the actor so the casting directors and producers can see the actor's appearance. They can use it to help them decide whether or not they should cast the actor for a specific role.


The lead actor is a starring or primary role of a film or television. He usually has major scenes in a movie, play, or series.


Co-stars are minor characters in a film, play, or tv. They have a few scenes in a movie or star in a few episodes of a tv series.


The appointment is the scheduled time set by the casting director. This can either be an in-person or an online audition. Ensure that you always come in on time or, better yet, early for an audition.


You will often see monologues during an audition, and they can either be dramatic or comedic. A monologue is when a person talks for an extended period and can be an entire scene, especially in a play.


Keep in mind that not all auditions will have a reader. A reader reads other lines in an audition script when the actor plays an opposite character. If you prefer to have a reader, please make sure that he's good, as it can affect the quality of your audition.

Screen Test

In a screen test, actors are usually asked to audition using a studio camera setup. This usually happens after they submit a self-tape, and it can help directors decide whether to cast them or not.


Improvisation or improv is when an actor is asked to do an ad-lib when doing an audition. This can help the director know if the actor understands the materials.

Waiting Room

A waiting area for actors while waiting for their turns to audition.


Actors also have a resume, which lists all the work he has done and performed. It may also include special skills and talents the actor can use to land a role.


Also called a demo reel, this is a video of the actor's past roles. You'll usually see past clips edited into an attractive video that can help the actor possibly land a role.


Actors can also record their auditions using their mobile phones. They can recite or read the script and send the video to a casting director for review or consideration. They may be able to send this instead of doing a live audition.


A slate is an extra take that the actor can add to the beginning or the end of an audition. The actor merely recites his name and details about himself so that the directors and producers can get to him better, especially his personality. Slates are usually done using a normal speaking voice.

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