AUDITION REQUIREMENTS: Pay close attention to whatever information is given to you about the audition requirements. Adhere to the requirements exactly, asking for clarification if necessary or possible. Do not ask for special exceptions or special treatment unless you have a legitimate disability.
DEADLINES: Pay close attention to audition registration forms (available online at least two weeks prior to a show’s audition). Get everything in early. If cast in the show, turn in your actor fee by the deadline.
TIMING: Arrive early, giving yourself plenty of time for transportation, including traffic. Make sure you have accurately timed your 60-second piece, according to the audition requirements.
YOUR LOOK: Dress nicely, as you might for a job interview. Anything distracting should be avoided, including designs, logos, cleavage, clothing that is too tight or too short. Make sure you can move easily and comfortably in your audition clothing, according to the movement you have prepared for your piece. Put together an outfit that you enjoy, that gives you confidence. Shoes should be understated, not too high a heel, not too noisy. Hair should be neat and out of your face. Make-up should enhance your features, not hide them or be a distraction. Basic cleanliness and hygiene must also apply. Subtle character suggestions may be part of your clothing choices, but do not wear a costume to an audition.
FRIENDLINESS: Good manners are a necessity at auditions. How you treat audition assistants, who may be Assistant Stage Managers in disguise, can impact whether you are cast or not. You want to develop a positive reputation and be remembered as a friendly person, whether you get the part this time or not. Be sure to thank everyone for the opportunity to audition.
MONOLOGUE SELECTION: Choose monologues from published plays, never from a “monologue book” that has monologues without play context, written as separate entities. Your selection reveals something about you—how much thought and care you put into your piece, how much you love Theatre. Do not choose the first dozen monologues you find on the Internet under “monologues + audition”. Choose a character that could be close to your age and read the whole play, picking up clues about characterization and context. Do not choose a phone conversation. Choose a piece that gives you an opportunity to show a wide range of acting skills and emotions.
MONOLOGUE PREPARATION: Score your monologue, making choices about structure: build, climax, denouement/resolution. Circle operative words and emphasize them. Begin memorization 3-4 weeks ahead of time. Consider the context of your monologue—what has this character experienced that might affect attitude or emotional vulnerability? Who is the character talking to, and where is your focus if that imaginary person is onstage during your piece? Make sure you know how to pronounce every word in your piece, that you explore variety of pace, vocal expression, emotional investment, facial expression, gestures, blocking. Physicality is great; energy in all forms possible, connected to the character, is a wonderful thing. Commit completely to preparing the best audition piece the world has ever known.
DELIVERY: Acting is energy! Using projection, vocal expression, physical expression, facial expression, gestures, projection and articulation, focus on the work you have put into this monologue. Working hard on preparation should give you confidence, not arrogance; a well-scored, carefully prepared piece will reveal itself if you remember basic skills of selective focus, expression and physicality.
THE SLATE: Part of your audition is how you walk onto the stage, the “vibe” you radiate as someone with whom others would like to work, as well as basic friendliness and good manners. Make sure that you walk into your audition position with energy, good posture, and a smile, stopping before speaking your greeting, name/number, role, play title, playwright. Take 3-5 seconds to transition from slate to monologue (silence), showing a contrast between yourself and the character you are portraying. Go back to neutral body position after you finish your monologue, completing your audition by saying, “Thank you,” and walking off with your head held high, a pleasant facial expression and an energetic walk, no matter how you think you did.
NERVES: Develop a personal warm-up routine before auditioning; this may include stretches, going over your lines quickly, articulation exercises, breathing exercises—anything that helps you to focus and prepare mentally. Be sure to eat something that your stomach can tolerate. Focus on your work and what you need to do to share the piece you have prepared with this audience. Do not focus on things over which you have no control, such as rumors, gossip, other people, or worrying about what the director wants. Be proud of your work, knowing you have done your best. This will give you something to be excited about, no matter what.
Provided by Zoe W. Dillard