Some people are naturally adept at capturing a casting director's eye, while others have to work a little harder at it. There's lots of advice out there about what to do at an audition, but instead, let's take a look at some things you should avoid doing, saying, or wearing.
1. Don't Wear Outlandish Clothing
Unless you're trying to get cast for Let's Make a Deal, wearing a costume to your audition can be a huge mistake. If you have a career that you want to highlight that requires a uniform or something crazy like a mascot's outfit, bring it with you if you must - but don't wear it. (The exception to the uniform rule, of course, is the military.) It's much better to mention your job or hobby and play it up verbally then to assault the casting folks with it visually. Now, if the casting call asks for an outlandish getup, then go for it with gusto.
2. Careful What You Reveal
Yes, we're still on the clothing thing here. Ladies, you don't need to don anything low-cut, and the killer stilettos will hurt by the end of a long day. Men, casual is fine but beachwear should be left for the beach. You can look sexy without being sleazy. There's no doubt that a little sex appeal goes a long way, but don't overdo it.
3. Don't Make Stuff Up
When you're in the middle of your audition and someone asks you to tell an interesting or funny story about yourself, it's only natural to get nervous and draw a blank. There can be a tendency here to make something up, or "borrow" a story that actually happened to a friend. Don't do this. Even if the casting folks don't catch on (and it's likely that they will), you're running the risk of getting on the show and being asked to repeat the story on television. Awkward! Instead, prepare your (real and true) story ahead of time so you're not caught stammering out the first thing that comes to mind.
4. Avoid the Oversell
Sure, you might think that you'd be the perfect contestant for the game show you're auditioning for - and you may be right. But pushing too hard is a turn-off. You know how it feels when you're out shopping and the salesperson (who likely works on commission) tries to push you into buying something you're not a hundred percent decided on? That's the same reaction you'll get if you attempt to oversell yourself during an audition. Definitely draw attention to your personality, attitude, and intellect, but don't come right out and tell them that they will be missing out if they don't cast you. There's a fine line between confidence and conceit... and they're looking for confidence.
5. Don't Chew Gum
In a blog post from 2010, Chad Mosher points out that eating or drinking during an audition is a no-no. Most people wouldn't dream of sauntering into the actual audition munching on a candy bar, but chewing gum is just as bad. If you're nervous (and most of us would be), you'll end up chewing rapidly, and possibly even cracking your gum. Are you wincing now at the very thought? You should be. Pop a breath mint in your mouth a few minutes before you go in, but be prepared to chew it up and swallow it (or spit it into a quickly hidden tissue) if necessary.
6. Don't Be Afraid to Be Yourself
The best way to make sure that your confidence is up and you're not afraid to flub your audition is to choose to just be yourself. Sure, you want to be your "best" self and showcase the greatest parts of your personality and charm, but don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Everyone is different, and that's a good thing. If you're not the right fit for that particular show, take heart -- you just may be perfect for the next audition that comes up.