5 Helpful Tips for Attending Callbacks

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

July 30, 2018

Most of the tips you’ll find from experts and professionals about auditions also apply to callbacks: don’t be late, be quiet, and have your monologue ready to go. So what do you do differently when you’re called back for the show? Check out our pointers below!

1. If you’re given sides in advance, review them!

You should ALWAYS read the play before auditioning for ANY show, regardless if it’s a community or professional production. Sometimes sides are given at the initial audition, and if this happens, make sure your cold reading skills are up to par. (Read this article to improve those!) However, if there’s an additional callback on a different day, and you’re sent sides in advance, make sure to read them through multiple times so you’re familiar with the material (and so that you won’t be staring at the piece of paper the entire time). Reading through sides helps you establish character choices, too!

2. Bring extra copies of your headshot and resume just in case.

Sometimes theatres will keep your headshot and resume on file for callbacks, but more often than not, they’ll require you to bring another non-returnable headshot and resume in with you. Get multiple copies of these documents so you can have them on hand.

3. Wear the same thing to your callback that you did at your initial audition.*

If you wear the same thing to your callback that you wore at your audition, the director may remember you and recognize you more easily. (Read this article on tips for switching up your audition wardrobe.)

*However, if you dressed a certain way during your audition and the role you’re called back for calls for looking older or younger, consider wearing a different outfit with the same color scheme.

4. Don’t get complacent.

Congratulations on getting a callback! You worked really hard for this opportunity, but don’t think that means you’ve got this in the bag. You’ve still gotta work even harder for the honor of being cast. That means studying your sides in the audition room, thinking about character choices, and treating every moment as an opportunity to do better.

5. Be kind to your competition.

When you attend your callback, there will be other people there up for the same exact role as you. This isn’t a situation in which you should stare down your competition. Instead, stick to your own work and focus on yourself. If you meet or speak to another actor up for the same role, wish them broken legs and be friendly. You may make a new friend. And if you don’t get cast and they do, be sure to go out and support them, because supporting our friends and friendly acquaintances in theatre helps theatre thrive and survive.

Need some advice? We’ve got you covered.

Ashleigh Gardner received her M.A. in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies (with concentrations in Contemporary Film, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Gender Studies) and her B.A. in English Literature (with concentrations in Early American Literature, Victorian & Gothic Literature, and Feminisms), both from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright, a Shakespearean trained actor, a dramaturge, and a photographer.