Audition Preparation, Linda O’Day Young, 8.27.16
- Carefully read audition notice for info about rehearsal schedule and performance schedule. Make sure your child is able to commit.
- Make sure this is something your child wants to do. Be honest with him/her about the importance of managing time for rehearsals and for homework.
- Carefully read the audition requirements.
- If the audition requires a monologue, please find one that is from a play. (This is my personal pet peeve.) Make sure that the monologue is age appropriate for your child.
- If a song is required, pick one that best showcases your child’s voice.
- If a perusal script can be checked out from the theatre doing the show, do so. RLT allows folks to check one out for 48 hrs.
- If you have a script, help your child prepare for a cold reading by encouraging him/her to read it out loud.
- What to wear:
Although you never want to wear a costume to an audition, selecting something to wear with your character in mind is not a bad idea. If a girl is auditioning for a role as a tom-boy, wearing jeans is a good idea.
WEAR THE SAME THING TO CALL BACKS! Often a Director will make notes about the little girl in the red dress.
- Have a discussion with your child about audition behavior. Respect, kindness and courtesy are important qualities for an actor to have. Your child starts auditioning as soon as he/she enters the building.
- Review following tips with your child.
Accept the fact that it is OK to be nervous. Everyone gets nervous at an audition. Everyone! Even very experienced actors get nervous at auditions.
Even the Director gets nervous at an audition!
Breathe. This will help you relax and it will also give you the volume you need.
Be loud enough to be heard. Do not yell. Just take in enough air so that your words will have more volume. The audience needs to hear you.
Enunciate. Use your mouth, teeth, lips, tongue to form those words. The audience needs to understand the words you speak.
Be expressive. Understand the intention behind the words you speak. If I want to say “The potatoes are on the porch.” with the intention of surprising you, I would say it one way. If I want to say, “The potatoes are on the porch.” with the intention of making you feel sorry for me, I would say it another way. My tone would vary according to the intention behind the words.
Use your body: Communication is mostly tone and body language.
Be kind and gracious. Of course the Director is looking for talented actors but he/she is also looking for actors who are team players, actors who are kind to others, actors who are positive and eager to grow and learn. The Director is looking for a cast he/she will be happy to spend the next few weeks with.
Stay connected to your dream. If you are not cast, it does not mean that you should give up on your dream of acting. If you are not cast, it DOES NOT mean that you are a bad actor. It simply means that someone else got the part. There are SO many factors that go into casting that are truly not in your control. And remember, sometimes Directors make mistakes (or so I’ve heard). So, if you are not cast, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and audition again and again. Every good actor has learned that rejection goes with the job.
Audition whenever you can. It’s a great exercise and you might start to enjoy it.
Keep taking classes. Like good athletes, good actors always continue to train.
Auditions at Raleigh Little Theatre:
In the November, March and April Youth Theatre shows, no monologues are required. You may be asked to read something and then be coached as you read it again.
Bedroom Description (Young’s shows) You will be asked to write a 5-6 sentence description of your bedroom to bring to auditions. After you read it once, the Director may give you an objective. Read it again but this time make me feel sorry for you. Get us excited about seeing it. Call backs usually consist of cold readings from the script.
Movement exercises (Young)
The director wants to see if you can act with your body so be prepared to move.
You may be asked to sing a 16 bar vocal solo without accompaniment. Pick the song that best reflects your ability. The Musical Director may teach a group song and have you sing in groups.
Choreographer: He/she may teach a brief dance movement.
Notes from other local children’s programs regarding their audition processes:
Applause! Cary Youth Theatre
Our auditions are scheduled in groups: 8 in 30 mins or 16 in an hour. Appointments times are assigned through pre-registration (via me). No monologues are required; directors pre-select sides or scenes and participants choose something to read. Most of the time it’s a short paragraph/monologue from the script, but some directors prefer to have the kids read scenes. Each child reads, receives an adjustment, and reads again. Then the group participates in some activity together: an improv scene, reading scenes from the play, or other exercise.
If the play is a musical, after the readings, the group will learn part of a song + choreography and perform it several times together. After the group performances, kids who want to be considered for solos may perform the song/dance individually in front of the group.
We ask them to dress comfortably, to bring a current photo we can keep, and to turn in all potential conflicts. On their audition form, we ask for contact information, previous experience, whether they will accept any character/any gender role, etc. Details on web
NRACT Auditions: I give them 5 different scenarios like (Tell me about your favorite vacation, or Tell me about your favorite pet.) and then have them read from a story I have. And do it in different emotions. If it’s teens, I do have them do monologues.