EDWARDIAN PLAYERS AUDITIONS
KNOW THE SHOW
Search the internet, read the script, listen to the cast recording, see the show, talk with others - do everything you can to understand what the show is about and what may be required of members of the cast.
Know what parts are available and honestly assess how you may be able to fit in. Be realistic, think big, but don’t unnecessarily limit yourself. If you are asked what roles you are interested in, go ahead and say - but also be able to explain why and demonstrate what you know about the show. Don’t limit yourself to lead roles unless you truly feel that you don’t want to be part of the production unless you have a lead. The experience you gain in a supporting role (which are frequently more “fun”) or as a member of the chorus will help you in the future.
CHOOSE AUDITION MATERIALS WISELY
Choose a song and/or monologue having a similar style or character to the show. Generally, it is unwise to do something from the show for which you are auditioning. Your interpretation may not match the director’s. But something in a similar style demonstrates that you understand the requirements of the show and helps those viewing the auditioning to “discover” ways you can fit in to the production.
Choose a song/monologue that demonstrates what you do best. Consider the range, style, and dramatic/comedic content of your selection. Balance what the show requires with what you can do. Make sure you don’t exceed time requirements - it places the persons hearing the audition in the uncomfortable position of having to stop you just as you “peak” - and this can cause you to feel defeated before you ever even leave the room.
If you are allowed to use a recorded accompaniment for songs, do it. (It will be exactly what you practiced with.) Use iTunes to edit a track so that there is just enough introduction to get you going and it cuts out when time is up. Make your accompaniment the only track on the tape/cd.
Research your material so you can demonstrate that you understand it. Know what show it’s from, the character, and how it fits into the plot. Demonstrate what you will do if given a part in the show!
PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE!
If you truly want to be part of a production, prove it to the people for whom you are auditioning. Prove it to yourself. Prove it to the other members of the company. Many talented students haven’t make the cut because they were poorly prepared or prepared improperly.
In educational theater, dedication and willingness to learn are frequently more important than talent and experience. Lack of experience should never deter anyone from auditioning. Lack of time or desire to prepare should. Put the same effort into preparing your audition that you will put into the role. Your goal is to give the best performance possible - not only for the show, but also for the audition.
Too many students try to “go it alone.” A vocal/dramatic coach can give you suggestions and help you see things in different ways. Even advice from a more experienced or former cast member can be valuable. You are not obligated to take the advice, but you’re a fool not to seek it and consider it.
When the show goes up, everyone performs from memory. Auditioning from memory only makes sense. But many students don’t do it. Don’t wait until the last minute - as soon as you choose materials make memorizing a priority. If you procrastinate for auditions, you will procrastinate for the show. Memorization boosts confidence, and confidence boosts stage presence. So just do it - as early as possible.
Practice in front of a mirror. Video record yourself. Have “mock” auditions (audition for your parents, friends, pets, enemies, anyone or anything that will sit still long enough for you to perform). Experiment. Try different things. Get feedback. Consider it. Analyze what works and what doesn’t.
Practice daily. Practicing is a process - one of refining your performance. If you don’t practice you won’t demonstrate your best. If you want to do your best you have to put some effort into it. If your effort is misguided, that’s one thing, but lack of effort is inexcusable. Would you give a part to someone who didn’t want to do their best?