Never auditioned before?
Have no fear, it’s not as scary as you might think!
Below you’ll find a few tips for a successful audition.
What to Prepare
Every audition is a bit different. Find out from the company you are auditioning for what they would like you to prepare. Some things you may be asked to submit, bring, or prepare:
- A headshot – this is a photograph (usually 8”x10”) of your upper body. This will help them remember you when they’re finished auditions.
- A resume – this is a list of your previous performance experience, performance training, and special skills (including accents you can do or odd talents like basketball juggling or kitten whispering). It doesn’t need to be fancy, and believe it or not, your weird special skills might come in handy! Here is a Resume Template you can download and fill in if you don’t have one yourself (you probably won’t need all of the headings here, but you can always make the font bigger!).
- A monologue – a short scene performed by one person. If they ask you to prepare a monologue, they usually want you to find a monologue from a play, memorize it, make some bold character choices, and perform it. Don’t bring your paper up on stage with you, but keep it in your pocket so you can look at before you go into the audition room.
- A side – this is a scene from the play you are auditioning for. If they ask you to prepare a side, they will send it to you by email or ask you to pick it up so that you can rehearse it in advance. Most actors like to memorize their side or at least get to know it very well, but unlike a monologue, you can bring the side with you on stage.
- A song – if you are auditioning for a musical, they might ask you to sing a song. Find a song that shows off your vocal range.
- A dance or movement piece – a very physical theatre piece or musical may require you to show off your physical skills. Be bold, but do your best to show off YOUR skills.
What to Wear
Wear comfortable clothing that you can move in, but that is clean and professional. This is like a job interview (but more fun). No need to wear costumes or bring props, but if you really want to bring a prop for your monologue (something simple like a cell phone that you need to make the scene make sense), feel free.
What to Expect in the Room
Once you are ushered into the audition room, you will be introduced to the director, assistant director, and perhaps the stage manager or producer. At this time, they may ask you to sit down and have a quick chat about you. Have no fear, they just want to get to know you a bit.
TIP: Be yourself. Don’t try to impress or pretend, but stay positive and polite.
After that, you will be asked to perform your audition. It might be a monologue or a piece they’ve asked you to prepare in advance.
TIP: take a second and breathe before starting your audition. Get comfortable. Don’t rush yourself!
TIP: After you complete your audition, the director may give you some direction and ask you to do it again. Do your best to incorporate this suggestion into your second performance, no matter how wacky or wrong it may seem. The director wants to know if you can take direction!
Next, you may be thanked and welcomed to leave. If so, great! They’ve seen everything they needed to see from your audition!
It’s also possible they may ask you to do a “cold read,” at which time they might give you a page from the play you are auditioning for and ask you to do a read of it on the spot. It means they are wondering if you are right for that character or for a character similar to it, so take a quick moment to read over it, make a bold character choice, and go for it! It’s your first time reading it, and they know that, so don’t apologize if you make a mistake. Have fun!
In some auditions, you may be asked to get up on your feet and move around with other actors, or show off your singing and dancing skills. Usually, you will know in advance if this is what they are asking.
The director WANTS you to succeed! He or she is hoping you will be the perfect person for a role!
If something doesn’t make sense, ask a question! This isn’t a test, it’s a chance for a few people to get to know how each other work.
Above all, remember to have fun! Even the best actors don’t get cast in every play, so knowing that, you can relax and just enjoying performing!