The playwright spent thousands of hours working to apply the perfect words, rhythm, and punctuation to his or her piece, therefore if you trust the playwright and simply read the words, you'll find a healthy chunk of your job as the actor has already been taken care of by the playwright.
Trust the director because you have no choice. He or she might not know what they're doing, but they usually have final say on who gets the role, so you must set your mind to not worrying what the director might be wanting to see from your audition. If an actor who auditioned before you tells tall tales of what the director told him to do in his audition, don't listen. The director might not have liked that person and could have been telling him a tall tale of his own. The more you think, the more complicated auditioning will become. Bottom line on auditioning as it relates to the director is, you can only control what you bring to the reading, so bring it, and trust the director likes what you bring.
Bring yourself, period. If you read this column on a regular basis you know it's part three of a multi-part love story about a little actress named, Veronica. When Veronica tried out for the role of Curley's Wife in, "Of Mice and Men" she brought herself, period. I don't mean she arrived alone, I mean she played herself in the reading, and she won the role. That's all anyone can do. That's all the big stars do.
Think about Russell Crow. I like watching him, and I'll say, in each role be plays, he always Russell Crow. In "A Beautiful Mind," he played an economics genius who suffers from schizophrenia, and in that part he was, Russell Crow. In "The Gladiator," he won an Oscar for his role, a role very different from his Beautiful Mind role, but yet, as the Gladiator, Russell Crow was, Russell Crow. I just saw his latest movie, "State of Play," in which he plays a journalist. I would have known him anywhere in that role, because he was, Russell Crow. In, "3:10 to Yuma," he played a worn cowboy bandit, as Russell Crow. He's up next in "Robin Hood." Do you wonder if he's going to actually be Robin Hood, or will he still be Russell Crow, playing Robin Hood?