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Audition Communication Model: What Every Film Actor Needs to Know

By Faith Hibbs-Clark, CD 20+ years, founder of The Acting Science Method™

One of the primary tenets of The Acting Science Method™ is that "all acting is communication." But, let's take a deeper look at the subcategories of that tenet.

The basic communication model is as old as time and is made up of the Sender, Message, Receiver, and Feedback, but it wasn't studied as a science until the invention of the telephone. That landmark study was funded by Bell Laboratories in the late 19th century. Suddenly we were putting into words what our nanas had always taught us. Suddenly, as a result of this study, all that we knew about communication and understood as the wisdom of communication was now officially identified as the science of communication.

In my creation of Acting Science Method™, I took this basic communication model and adapted it to the audition environment. In this method, I call this the Audition Communication Model.

To communicate effectively in a film audition, you need to know your place in that audition communication environment and what your true objectives are. With twenty-five years of casting experience, I find that most actors are unaware of the communication process and tend to focus on things that don't matter much while ignoring other areas that are critical to their outcomes.

As a film actor, here are some of the basics that you need to know:

The Sender: Embracing Your Role as the Actor

When I talk about the sender in the Audition Communication Model, I am referring to the actor. You as the actor are the one tasked with bringing characters to life and connecting with the audience through your performance. While this may seem like a given, it's essential to realize that your role extends beyond just merely saying the words in the script or portraying a character. You are an integral part of the audition environment at large, shaping the narrative with your presence and interpretation.

The Message: Going Beyond Just Lines

Many actors tend to associate the message solely with the lines they deliver. However, the message encompasses far more than just dialogue. It includes the emotional depth you bring to your performance, the body language, the non-verbal cues you express, and the overall story you convey through your acting. By understanding that the visual, body language, and emotional elements carry significant weight in your portrayal, you can enrich your audition and captivate the audience on a much deeper level.

The Receiver: Shifting Focus to the Director

While many actors believe the casting director is the primary receiver of their audition communication, it's crucial to recognize that in fact, the ultimate judgment lies with the director. The director evaluates your performance, deciding whether you receive a callback or secure a role. By directing your attention toward how the director perceives you, you can tailor your performance to meet their vision and expectations.

The Medium: Adapting to Different Audition Environments

Finally, actors need to consider the medium through which their performance is judged – whether it's live in-person, a live virtual audition, or a self-taped audition. Each medium presents unique challenges and opportunities for showcasing your talent. Understanding how to adapt your acting to suit different mediums can significantly impact how your audition is communicated, received, remembered, and if you get booked or not. Adapting to your communication medium is just one of the many concepts I teach you in the Acting Science Method™.

In conclusion, mastering the Audition Communication Model involves recognizing and embracing the roles of the sender (the actor), understanding the nuances of the message (the story you tell), shifting focus to the right receiver (the director), and adapting to the medium in which your performance is judged. By honing these elements, you can elevate your auditions and leave a lasting impression on those who have the power to shape your acting career.

Remember, every audition is an opportunity to communicate not just with words but with your entire being. Embrace the art of storytelling, connect with your audience in a grounded way, and let your performance neural couple with the true decision maker. Through the power of The Acting Science Method™, your success is limitless!


Faith is a body language expert who specialized in deception detection before becoming a casting director and working in the film industry for over 25 years. She is the founder of the Communication Method for Actors, LLC & the creator of the Acting Science Method ™. 

-- Special thanks to Angela Clark for the adorable graphics

© 2019- This information is copyrighted, TM'd, and protected by law. Do not reproduce in any capacity without the express written permission from Communication Method for Actors, LLC.

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