Each actor has a different personal process to prepare for a big audition. Some have lucky rituals, some like to wear a specific shirt, some refuse to tell anyone about the audition until it is over. Different types of auditions also require special preparation, such as vocal and dance warmups for a musical audition. In general, though, following the tips below can help you prepare for any theatre audition.
Confirm the Logistics
Write down your audition details on a physical calendar or mark them in a note on your phone. Confirm your appointment with the audition coordinator at least 24 hours in advance, and make sure you understand exactly what you need to prepare. Decide how you will get to your audition and double-check how long it will take you to get there. Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early, especially if you do not know exactly where you are going.
Theatre people are, by nature, highly creative and often outspoken. They also tend to have large existing bodies of work. Research the director, the company, even the playwright to get a sense of their overall work and personalities. The more information you have, the more you will be able to make logical choices that can boost your chances of success.
Fit the Audition to the Show
Unless you are specifically instructed to do so, never take your audition piece from the show for which you are auditioning. However, it only makes sense to show the audition panel that the type of show is right in your wheelhouse. If you’re auditioning for a contemporary drama, choose a dramatic contemporary piece. If you’re auditioning for an edgy new musical, select something offbeat that will make the panel sit up and take notice.
Refine your choice of material according to the character you are most right for in the show for which you’re auditioning. If you did your research, you probably have a character or two picked out that you really want to play. Now do a bit of character study—what are her motivations? Why is he in that particular place at that particular time? What message does that character’s presence in the show give the audience?
Choose an audition piece that mirrors your chosen character as much as possible. This is important for every audition, but especially vital for characters that require special abilities such as physical comedy or a royal bearing.
Your audition piece should be just as well rehearsed as any role you have ever played. Even though the piece lasts only moments, it is your job to fully inhabit the character and live authentically in his or her world. If you are auditioning based on sides, try to get hold of a copy ahead of time. Perform a character study and a scene study as you would for any role, taking care to note physical actions, dialects, or other details that might be required. Prepare as well as possible, but always keep the side in your hand throughout the audition to avoid giving off the impression that your reading is a finished performance.
Get yourself completely ready to go the night before. Choose an audition outfit that is both comfortable and appropriate. It is fine to give a suggestion of the character, but full costumes are never the right choice for auditions. Double-check your transit time and directions. Put two copies of your headshot and resume, along with any sides, music, dance shoes, or other accoutrements into your audition bag. Then eat a healthy meal, take some time to relax, and get plenty of sleep.
Let It Go
On the day of your audition, drink lots of water and eat a good breakfast. Do your physical or vocal warmups before you leave, and allow yourself extra travel time. Use dynamic breathing, meditation, affirmations, and other techniques to keep your nerves in check. Once you are checked in, do any last-minute rituals that make you feel more comfortable, and then let it all go. When it’s your turn to audition, leave it all on the floor, confident that you are well-prepared and doing your absolute best.
Keep in mind that an audition is ultimately a performance. Share your work with the audition panel as you do with any audience, rather than thinking of the panelists as judges. Sometimes you are right for the role, sometimes you aren’t, but every audition is a chance to fine-tune your performance skills and make some valuable contacts.
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If you and your family are ready to enjoy the oldest continuously operating professional summer theatre in New York State,contact the Forestburgh Playhouse today at 845-794-1194 for more information or to buy tickets.