Every audition will be a different experience for you. There are always some similar things that take place, but be ready and prepared for anything that happens.
If your audition is for a Union project, then you should have been given a specific time to audition. Typically, for non Union projects, an actor might be told that the audition will take place between certain hours, as opposed to a Union casting where the talent will be told an actual time. The reason why auditions for Union actors to have a specific time is because there is a Union rule that allows actors to only have to wait 1 hour for their audition. If the actor has to wait longer than 1 hour, then they will be paid. This helps keep the castings moving.
Typically an actor will sign in after arriving at the casting facility. Quite often this means having them write their name, contact information, their agent’s information (if they have an agent) and sometimes their Union number. This will allow the casting director to verify that the actor really is a Union member in good standing. If you are ever asked to write down your Social Security number, I would recommend that you not do this. You will only need to give this number out if you actually book the job. Then it is needed for tax purposes. Otherwise, I would not suggest giving out that information.
After the paper work, you will be asked to wait in a specific area. If you did not receive the sides (the section of the script that you will audition with), or the copy (the words to a TV commercial), then make sure you pick them up at the casting office as soon as you arrive. I would even suggest you get your sides before you even sign in. Once you sign in, you could be called into read. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the material.
After you have gotten the sides and signed in, I would suggest you find a quiet area and work on your audition. This is where your training kicks in. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are going to do in order to make your audition interesting and powerful.
When the casting director is ready, you will be called into read. Walk into the casting director’s room relaxed, and like someone who is really enjoying themselves. Always keep in mind; the casting director is rooting for you. He or she wants you to be great.
I would not shake anyone’s hands, unless they extend their hand to you. If you have any specific questions about the character, this is the time to ask. They are on a tight schedule, so this is not the time to discuss politics, world events or things going on in the sports world.
Be prepared, they might ask you what you have been doing recently. Don’t give one word responses. If it makes sense, try and frame your answer so that it has something to do with the role you are reading for.
Most importantly, no matter how well or poorly your audition went, always walk out of the room like you just gave the greatest performance of your life. And, really try and enjoy the audition. That enthusiasm and joy is definitely felt by everyone in the room, and will help your chances for booking the job.