How to Audition for a TV Show | 5 Steps for Success

8696114399_7b222a9e35_hDreaming of making your debut on TV? Here, acting teacher Liz T. shares her tips for how to audition for a TV show… 

Want to be on TV? You’ll first need to get some acting training under your belt, and establish a strong knowledge of current dramas and comedies on TV. Then what? Here are your next steps…

Film Yourself

Because it’s TV, casting directors will want to see how you look and act on a screen as opposed to a stage in a live theater. At home, try filming yourself on an iPhone, Macbook computer, or other film recording device to see how you look! Sometimes how we think we look on film is very different than how we actually look! When you do this, think about these questions: Do you look comfortable on film? Or are you making a lot of weird facial expressions, such as blinking a lot, touching your nose, biting your lips, or raising your eyebrows? See if you have any habits that you can break before you step into the audition room!

Also, it is not recommended to wear white or black clothing in front of the camera, as this can wash your skin tone out. Wear something flattering and a neutral color; casting directors don’t usually like busy patterns or stripes.

Critique Yourself

If you are doing an acting scene either alone or with a partner in front of the camera, you want to make sure your speaking volume is accurate. You don’t need to speak too loud, as on a Broadway stage when you are trying to project your voice to the back of the audience; the camera and microphone should be able to pick you up at your normal speaking voice. But it shouldn’t be so soft, either, that they can’t hear a word you are saying.

Also, make sure you don’t look directly into the camera all the time, or directly at your scene partner. When you do your “pretend” filming experiment at home, notice where your eyes are most of the time. Are they rolling around, looking cross-eyed, or are they glued on one thing? They should look natural, with some movement, but nothing too still or sporadic. When you look at your reading, make notes of where in the scene or lines you should look at the camera and at your scene partner. Perhaps it is a romantic scene, and you are saying “I love you.” You may want to try two different approaches, one directly into the camera, and one at your scene partner. Think about these techniques. Study your favorite actors and see how they do it and what makes an impact on you!


Similar to movies, you will need to be part of the SAG-AFTRA Union (Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television and Recording Arts) in order to audition. If not, you can start by attending non-union auditions.

To join the union, you will need to start working in TV as an extra or stand-in. If a director hires you as a non-union actor in a role that is meant or contracted for a union actor, you’ll receive a waiver each day you work – and once you receive three waivers, you can then apply to join the union. If accepted, you will need to pay a union initiation fee of approximately $3,000, along with monthly dues. It is a very big investment, so make sure it is something you really want to go for! Being part of the union, however, will ensure that you are being paid and treated fairly on set, and you are also eligible for health and retirement benefits.

Finding Auditions

Of course, if you want to learn how to audition for a TV show… you’ll need to know where to find the actual auditions! Try websites and resources such as:

These sites mostly post auditions for big cities such as New York, LA, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago. Some of these websites will require a fee to join (it is worth it!). And some you can submit your headshot and resume online to the casting director, without having to audition in person.

Prepare Yourself

If you do receive an audition time slot, or are attending an open call, don’t panic! You will need to bring your headshot and resume to the audition, and also be prepared that it could take as little as under two minutes, or you could be in the audition room for an hour. Be prepared for both scenarios.

In the audition room, there may be one or several casting directors. Sometimes you will be given the script or “sides” a few days or weeks beforehand, or sometimes you’ll get it on the spot! If you are reading on the spot, it’s good to practice these types of “cold reads” before your audition. Find a friend, and test yourself reading lines or monologues. See what your natural reading tendencies and acting choices are.

When you walk into the room, be very polite and be yourself. Sometimes the casting directors will want to chat and have a conversation with you, but other times they just want to focus on the audition. Try not to distract them. In a TV audition, it will most likely be filmed. Sometimes they will send it to another casting office in LA or New York, so you must be as comfortable as possible auditioning with a big camera or several cameras right in front of your face!

If you would like to practice reading lines, work on your monologues, or learn more about how to audition for a TV show, I would love to start working with you today! Contact me through TakeLessons!

LizTLiz T. teaches online singing, acting, and music lessons. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!



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14 replies
  1. shania
    shania says:

    Hi, my name is Shania Haynes I always saw myself on tv in my head I have Acted in theater but not on tv I love Acting i am very dramatic, funny, and nice i see actoract on tv and i want to be like them one day.

  2. Victoria Mumbi
    Victoria Mumbi says:

    I am Victoria Mumbi a young girl in Kenya with an acting dream but am still in High School and am not yet an adult. My mother says that l should finish first high school but still l act at home alone and take some vedio with my phone. Right now l don’t have any support most especially my father but l still follow my acting dream. In 2017 l was able to be in a film which is RAFIKI but l wasn’t an actress l was playing as a camera person and director
    and all l wanted is to act but l wasn’t chosen in that department. Acting started when l was 6 but l didn’t realize till when l was 11. So what should l do leave it or still continue with it despite of some
    serious circumstances that are good to mention. So please advice me.

  3. Sammantha
    Sammantha says:

    I always wanted to become famous but it never happens every time I call Disney Channel they always say i will get back with you but they never did get back to me so this my chance to become famous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Becky
    Becky says:

    I love has been my dream BT HV got no assistance… I really want to b in the movie industry because i know am a good actress

  5. Zandile
    Zandile says:

    I’m an actress and I love being out there showing people what I’m capable of…. People around me always find me funny and some will tell how good I am on acting.. All I’m asking is just one chance to prove myself… Please thank you

  6. Manuela Lubrano
    Manuela Lubrano says:

    All my life I wanted to be a movies star , I had applied and paied for auditions I never got a phone calls , how and what can I do to be on movie

  7. Rethabile
    Rethabile says:

    I am a 19 year old who like to impress herself on t.v. or I see myself as an impressive person…So being on t.v. I loved so much since I was 8 years old so even now I still dream of that one day I will be one of the people on t.v.

  8. Sneha maileshwat
    Sneha maileshwat says:

    I want to act. It’s my dream to be an actress please help me in fulfilling my dream. I love acting it is my life without acting I can’t live


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