Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top Ten Pieces of Audition Advice

The following is what I learned from watching the Theatre Bay Area General Auditions.  Take it with a grain of salt as I'm a fledgling casting director and may be full of shit.  Here's my two cents anyway:

Stephanie's Top Ten Pieces of Audition Advice:
1. If given the option, ALWAYS do two monologues.  There were quite a few people that I had dismissed seconds into their first piece who I absolutely loved by the end of their second piece.  
2. Time yourself.  I was AMAZED at how many people had time called.  It's much more appealing to have an actor complete their monologue with enough time to make a gracious exit than to see an actor push the time limit to 'really showcase their mad skills' before making a hurried and awkward retreat.
3. Strike your chair.  If you move it, then put it back where you found it.
4. The prologue to Henry V is brilliant, however, it is not an audition monologue.
5. Move.  This is a note I've had to take myself.  I was shocked at how much an actor's movement altered my opinion of the auditionee.  Take risks.  Use your body.  Make bold choices with your body in at least one of your monologues to showcase your control of your physical form.  It's amazing what a difference that makes.
6. Accents are cool.  But if you choose to do a monologue with an accent, make sure you're damn good at it and do not use an accent for your second monologue.  We need to hear how you really sound.
7. Dress your best.  That does not mean you have to wear a dress or a suit.  I found that it didn't matter really what the auditionee was wearing as long as they looked comfortable and confident in their clothes.
8. Soft feet!  Ladies, heels may make your legs look fabulous but Oi!  The sound of shoes on the wooden stage was ridiculous and by the end of the day my most frequent note was 'Shhhhh!'.  If you're gonna wear heels, rubber soles would be best.
9. Make sure your headshot and resume are up to date.
10. Final bit of advice...every rule can be broken.  Bottom line, if you've got the skills it's easy for a casting director to overlook the little mistakes.  Do not worry if you flub a line or forget the name of the piece you're performing.  It's all about the talent and if you've got that then you're sure to go far.

A side note...I'm so very proud of all my Tony N' Tina castmates who auditioned.  Honestly, you all represented so well and I'm proud to work with you.  Keep up the good work!

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