There are many benefits to being both a director and an actor. I'm always telling my colleagues that both disciplines constantly feed into one another, and that I'm lucky that doing one continues to help me think critically about my ability to do the other
I am currently in pre-production and I've been running casting calls. I am learning a ton of do's and don'ts to be aware of when I start auditioning in earnest in the summer.
1. DO know the name of the role you are auditioning for. It seems obvious, but wow, some people don't remember the name of the role they are coming in for and it makes (director) me wonder "Wow, do you even care if you get this role?"
2. DO think about the costume. It seems like the simplest thing, but it's amazing how many people don't, and worse, they come in a costume that is so completely wrong for the role it's distracting. For example, if you are auditioning for the role of an uptight mother, don't show up in a mini-skirt and Converse. If you are going for the role of a rich playboy, don't show up in your Subway uniform (even though I appreciate that you are trying to make the audition time work for you).
3. DO NOT ASSUME. If you don't understand something from the sides, ASK. Sides are notorious for being vague and I can imagine how off-putting it is to walk into an audition with an interpretation of a scene you don't fully understand. Imagine thinking that your brother was your husband, and your mother was your father based on a few lines of out-of-context dialogue. As a director, I not only appreciate, but welcome questions that serve to make the performance better. Not only does it show a thoughtfulness toward the character that goes deeper than just memorizing the lines and stage directions, but I also believe that the more you know, the better you can get it right the first time (and the less work I have to do).
I don't pretend to know everything about everything, and I can honestly say that I've learned so much from all of the lovely people who bravely come in and read for a part. You continue to make me a better actor and director, and for that, I thank you!