Standing on stage, alone, with all eyes on you for the next couple of minutes – it can be an exciting and also nerve-wracking time. It’s the moment many of us love and the moment you have a chance to shine and showcase you were born to play a certain part.
What a lot of musical actors don’t realise is that the people below – the director, stage manager and choreographer or whoever else is there, wants you to succeed. Each and every new individual they audition could be the star they’re waiting for and you could be that person. So, always go into an audition with a positive mindset and show them you’re the best you can be.
There are plenty of ways to do things properly and unfortunately some ways not to do things. So, we’ve compiled a list of things to avoid. Not doing these things will result in a more dynamic and positive audition and improve your chances of getting the part.
A real basic here, but you’d still be amazed at the number of actors who think they can get through an audition by not reading the work in question. Read it, practice it and act it out with an actor friend in advance.
Like any interview, showing up late is a big no-no. Arriving later than you’ve been told, looking like something the cat dragged in won’t land you a part. Be professional, show up on time and inappropriate dress. Bring your CV and a headshot for those casting and if it’s a musical theatre piece, your music sheet.
Choose the right sort of monologue, not just one you feel like doing. If you’re doing a Tennessee Williams play, don’t do a monologue from The Importance of Being Earnest. Fit the monologue with the piece in question.
If you’re going for a musical piece, you need to remember that the audition is not just about showing off your voice, but also the flexibility and style. Be wise in your selections and decide on a work that gives off a feel similar to that of the part you’re going for. If it’s a darker part then perhaps something edgier if it’s lighter-hearted pick something to fit.
Don’t show up with a steadfast character in place – be yourself. Arriving with a very strong character in place will ensure that you’re a hit or a miss as the director may have a completely different vision of the character to you. Less is more and showing up with some subtle nods to the character at hand is often a far better bet as nobody is alienated.
Subtle choices of hair-do, clothing, accessories or make-up can have a big impact but also offer a level of flexibility that heavy characterisation doesn’t.
So, keep these theatre school tips in mind and get ready – you’re going to be great!