By Hanna Fridhed for Theatre; Just Because
Whether you have done it a thousand times before, or if this is your very first time, auditioning can be a nerve-wrecking experience. We get a lot of questions about how to nail your theatre audition, so we put together a handy list of things to remember!
You might be asked to perform a monologue, or a piece they’ve asked you to prepare in advance, or do a cold-read (reading parts of the script with it in hand). Whatever it is, practice and come prepared. Learn your piece, read it to friends and family, get feedback, then practice some more!
Make sure you know as much as possible about the show you’re auditioning for, and the part you want (if you have a specific character in mind). Read the script if it’s available, or the character list and synopsis. Do your homework!
The director is there to meet and get to know YOU! We know it’s easier said than done, but walk into that audition room as yourself - not who you think they want you to be. Knowing the character that you are audition with or for is important, but make sure that it’s authentic.
BE POLITE AND FRIENDLY!
Being professional and nice to the other actors waiting to audition, the volunteers helping to sign you in and the artistic team that you’re auditioning for is extremely important. Bringing a bad attitude, even if it’s outside the audition room, will get you noticed - but not in the way you would like.
When you’re in the audition room in front of the director, your nerves might get the best of you, and you feel the urgent need to get it over with and rush through your audition. Don’t! Before you begin, take a second and breathe, make sure your feet are grounded and that you’re ready. Get comfortable! We can’t stress it enough: remember to breathe!
If you make a mistake, it’s likely that you are the only person who noticed it. Don’t stop and apologize! Just stay in the moment, stay focused, and keep going!
When you’re delivering your monologue, song or reading - who are you talking to? A friend? The mirror? An audience? Your boss? Your delivery will be different depending on who you’re speaking to. How old is your character? Do they have injuries? What did they have for breakfast? Why are they saying what they are saying? These are only examples of questions, but the more you know and understand about your character, the easier it will be to be truthful to who they are.
When auditioning, don’t deliver your lines to the director or other people at the table. Find a spot slightly above and behind them instead (plant “the person” you’re talking to there, and speak to them).
When you’re performing your piece, it’s easy to let your energy out by pacing and fidgeting. Plant your feet! Every movement on stage has a reason, and it’s the same in auditions. Delivering your piece with your feet grounded and a choice behind your movement makes for a much more powerful audition.
After you complete your audition, the director may give you some direction and ask you to do it again. It might be weird, or difficult, but go with it! Do your best to incorporate the direction into your second performance. Don’t take it as a critique of your first performance, or think that they didn’t like it: the director wants to know if you can take direction! They might also be trying to picture you in different parts. Make a choice, and go for it!
When it’s done, you may be thanked and welcomed to leave. If so, great! That means that they have seen everything they need. Thank the artistic team, and leave remembering that the director WANTS you to succeed! Even the most experienced and talented actors don’t get cast in every play, there are many factors that play into a casting choice. Just relax and enjoy performing!
If you have a question, ask! An audition isn’t a test, this a chance for people to get to know each other. Above all, HAVE FUN!