Petra Siniawski has been the UK Associate Director of Wicked for the past seven years. She has been responsible for overseeing the casting of both the West End and touring productions of Wicked. Petra has previously worked with ICMT Principal Kenneth Avery-Clark on two West End productions; Ragtime and The Producers.
Today our students at ICMT London had the privilege of working with Petra where she spilled some insider audition tips from a casting director’s perspective.
Some of her tips:
Come into the audition room prepared and confident (don’t apologise).
Don’t give tons of choices to the panel, just pick one and go with it. If they want to hear something else, they will ask.
Downfall for many actors is usually not the singing but the acting through song and connection to the material.
The first round of auditions is often filled with new people or people they have not seen before, just to see who is out there. They may be ‘new to the scene’. It will be no longer than 5 minutes long.
Don’t have attitude in the audition room, ever!
If you are recalled and are given script to learn and you have only had it for a day or two it is fine to ask the panel to use the script. If you have had it for a week then they expect it to be off book.
For a first round try to sing something that really shows off your voice as best you can. The panel need to get a sense of whether you can sing or not first and what your range is. Some character songs don’t show this, and it just frustrates the panel as they then need to ask you to come back to sing something that shows more voice (unless they don’t have time or just don’t ask).