By Marci Liroff

276429939_51da76025bPhoto credit: Kiwanja

Remember when you were a kid and you kept a diary next to your bed and wrote down everything you did and thought about that day? Those childhood habits were actually great training for what you should be doing as an actor. Tracking every meeting and audition is a great practice to get into.

I’ve been preaching this to my classes and my coaching clients for years now. They always come back to thank me and point out that this one thing has changed their perspective on their career. Sometimes what you do as an actor – the prep, the auditions, the sheer tenacity you put into your career to get an acting job – can be an intangible thing when you don’t actually get the job and you effectively have nothing to show. But, like I always say, “this is not a sprint it’s a marathon”. So much effort goes into getting the job and keeping a diary or a journal of all your auditions will help you see your progress in black and white.

I suggest you keep a notebook and write down every meeting and audition you have. List the people you’ve met and their position, the project, the role, what you wore, and what choices you made for your audition. Take short notes on what you discussed if you got into a chat with the director. When it starts getting busy during pilot season and you’re going on several auditions each week, and hopefully getting callbacks, it’ll be great to know exactly what you did on each audition that got you back in the room a second time because you’re chronicling it in your book.

You’re going to have a long and busy career and you will probably have a few different people represent you along the way. When you start a new relationship with an agent or manager, wouldn’t it be great if you could give them some actual tools to help you? You can sit down with them in your initial meeting and give them a list of people who are your fans, casting directors who consistently bring you back, and a list of those that you need an introduction. This way you can plan a strategy on which rooms you need to get into.

Actor friend William Mapother goes a step further using an Excel Spreadsheet.

“I keep an ‘Auditions’ spreadsheet in Excel. It has 6 columns: CD, Date, Project, Role (character name), Type (feature, pilot, recurring, guest), and Studio/Co./Network.  I use Excel because it allows me to easily sort the data to see how many times I’ve seen a CD, or to see how many appointments I’ve had over any period of time.”

Here’s the part I love. “When I book a job I change the font in that row to red.  Also, once I book via a CD, I make that CD’s name red throughout document.

Mapother continues, “I also keep another Excel spreadsheet in which I note lessons I’ve learned in various areas and make notes to avoid re-committing horrendous blunders. I’ve noted when circumstances before an audition have helped or hurt me – being hungry, working out, interacting with other actors who are waiting.  The purpose is to experiment and identify what helps me. “Another lesson came not from my experiences, but from reading.  One of Pixar’s rules:  Errors are inevitable, so make them ASAP.  Experiment early.  I noted this in my lessons as “Be wrong as quickly as you can.”

Is this something that you do already? Please share how you’ve been tracking your auditions and meetings in the comments section.

Glad you’re here!



  1. Totally LOVE this, Marci!
    Something I realize I’ve also done, besides keep track of meetings, auditions, casting directors/directors/prod I’ve met etc, is take daily notes of “what affirmed my path” moments, interactions, etc.

    Especially at times when you’re not feeling like you have a recognizable or possibly useful list of fans, or casting directors who know you (yet), it is important to take acknowledge the other ways the universe is cheering you on.

    Keep up your amazing blog! I’ll be following you now on twitter! @jennajai

  2. I like the idea of the excel spread sheet, which gives a bit more flexibility when needing to retrieve specific information regarding dates, times, auditions, etc… plus with the ability to insert your own comments about particular projects.

  3. Thanks for the tips! Even though I’m super organized I learned a few tips!

    Just wanted to share something that I do that other actors might find helpful. Instead of taking notes on what I wore to an audition, I take a photo and store it in a Evernote notebook (which is also where I track my auditions). That way I see my outfit and also how my hair and makeup was done and what jewelry I might have been wearing. When you are asked to wear the exact same outfit to the callback it’s helpful to have a photo that you can look at and style yourself from.

    Thanks again for another amazing blog post!

  4. Great advice. I started keeping an audition log a year ago and it has completely changed my approach to auditioning. It was illuminating in so many ways – looking back through the log has helped me discover what kind of audition prep works for me, whether new monologues get tangible results, and helped me keep track of following up with people. I love the idea of the excel spreadsheet as well, I’ll definitely try that soon!

  5. Marci! Great tips and I too use excel for auditions, it really helped me pinpoint how I’m booking, keeping track of CDs, assistants and feedback – even sometimes who was finally hired (for more prominent roles ) to see how they ‘went’ with the casting.

    I have another sheet: ‘Work’, with details like expenses, DP, director, dates paid and any commission paid which helps me track long-term and (knocking wood) repeat business!

    Looking forward to the next blog 🙂

  6. Thanks Marci,
    I also keep a Google docs Spreadsheet so I can access it from any computer or my phone. It is a super helpful thing. I also keep a column for “Callback”, “Booking”, and “Did I send a thank you?” I bold instead of red, but I like that. I also like the keeping better notes about how things happened.


  1. […] about doing research and diligent preparation for your upcoming auditions and jobs. In my article “How Keeping a Diary Can Help You Book the Job,” I talked about how noting your auditions and meetings in your diary–journal–Excel spreadsheet […]

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