Keeping it Reel

How to Prepare for Your College Acting Audition

So you’ve been accepted to all of your top college picks, you’ve created a financial plan with your parents, and you have one foot out the door. There’s just one tiny thing standing in your way. You still need to nail a few college acting auditions to get into some of your top picks. That’s not what you would call easy.

The good news? We have a few tips that can help you survive and thrive during this stressful time. Follow the advice below, and go into your auditions strong. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Columbia College Hollywood does not require acting students to participate in an audition 

1. Choose a monologue (don’t stress)

There is really only one rule when it comes to choosing your audition monologue/s: stay away from commonly used options.You don’t want to be the 34th person to perform a monologue for your judges. They will not thank you for making them sit through it another time. Choose something less common to give your auditors some variety.

Beyond that, you should try to choose something that shows your emotional range and that places you as a specific “type” of character. Your judges will be looking for the good-looking hero, the damsel in distress, and the nerdy do-gooder, you want to put yourself in a particular role and make them see you in that role.

At the end of the day, though, you should try not to stress too much about your choice. Pick something, and perform it well. If you work hard and have what it takes, you’ll be recognized regardless of what you perform.


2. Memorize, understand, internalize

After you choose a monologue, it is time to get to work. If you have a specific acting method you like to use, then proceed as you normally would. If not, there are three basic steps we recommend you follow.


  1.  Memorize – Memorize your monologue to a tee. You should know it inside and out. A few common things actors do while memorizing are: reading their lines out loud, writing their lines down, doing a speed through of their lines (saying them incredibly quickly from memory), and rehearsing lines while something is distracting them (i.e., music, someone else talking, television).
  2. Understand – After you have your monologue memorized, you should spend time trying to truly understand what each line means in the context that it is said. Read the whole play, do an analysis of your character, and research the setting of the play.
  3. Internalize – Lastly, you need to internalize your monologue. In short, internalizing your monologue means that you aren’t just repeating lines and mimicking emotions, but you actually feel and appreciate what your character’s situation. You become your character.

3. Watch yourself

Once you have mastered your monologue, it is time to do a critical analysis of yourself. Run through your monologue a few times in front of a mirror, moving through your lines slowly. Be aware of your facial expressions, your body language, your posture, your eye contact, and any odd habits you may have formed. Make sure that everything you are doing matches up with the words you are saying and the things you are feeling.

In addition to watching yourself in the mirror, recording yourself can also be helpful. This will give you the opportunity to review yourself outside of the moment and give you an idea of how you sound delivering your lines.

If you do both of these things a few times, you should be able to correct any bad habits you have formed or any inadequate choices you are making.


4. Perform in front of others (preferably an expert)

You are almost definitely going to be nervous for your audition, but there is a way to prepare for this nervousness. Gather your family and friends together and perform your monologue. Getting practice in front of a crowd will do you a lot of good. If you can manage it, perform your monologue in front of an expert actor or director as well. They will be able to give you REAL feedback and help you develop a stronger monologue delivery.


5. Practice your pleasantries

A common mistake many actors make when going into an audition is not practicing their slate. Slating is telling those you are auditioning in front of who you are, why you are there, what you are performing, etc. Think of it as your introduction. Your audition doesn’t start when you begin your monologue; it starts when you walk in the audition room. So rehearse what you need to say. Be confident, charismatic, and above all other things, be different.



Every actor has their own process, but whatever your process is, make sure that you take time to de-stress before you enter the audition room. Do some breathing exercises, remind yourself that your life doesn’t begin and end in the audition room, and have fun with it. Your judges want the same thing you do; they want you to succeed. All you have to do is show ’em what you got!


Here at Columbia College Hollywood, we don’t require our acting students to audition because our program isn’t just focused on acting, but the various areas of film. Students pursuing an acting emphasis with us will take classes like Acting: Advanced Technique, Acting for the Camera, and Script Analysis for Performers, but they will also learn about the art of filmmaking, giving them insight into the film world.

Want to know if our acting emphasis is right for you? Click below to take our Emphases Quiz and see if you have what it takes to pursue an education in acting!

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

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