If you’re trying to get into the world of performing arts, chances are you’re going to have to go through sometimes extremely long audition processes. Something we have noticed is that in a lot of cases, especially in our local area, there are some people who are unaware of these processes and exactly what they entail. What we have done, hopefully to make your auditions slightly easier, is put together a compilation of do’s and don’ts to take into account.
Take your audition material with you:
You’ve spent a load of time practicing your material at home and today is the big day. 9 times out of 10 you will not be able to audition with lyrics, sheet music or other prompts in front of you; unless you’ve been asked to do a cold read of a script. Having these with you when you go to the audition is more for you personally. There’s nothing worse than sitting right outside that audition space and freaking out because you can’t remember words to a song for example. That freak out is amplified by the amount of adrenaline going through your system so I find that if you have something related to your audition to read, you’ll usually calm down a little. In a lot of cases too, it makes you seem more prepared and that’s NEVER a bad thing.
Some auditions like to really throw you out of your comfort zone. In most cases a company will provide you with a sheet telling you what will be involved in your audition process but sometimes they either won’t or they will leave something out. Study the material you’re auditioning for and work out if they might take you for an off-the-cuff dance audition. You’d be surprised how many people go for an audition for shows like “Oklahoma” or “West Side Story” and not expect there to be a dance audition. Casting directors want someone they can rely on, so showing them you can be prepared for all situations gives you a leg up regardless of talent.
Also make sure you take everything with you that the audition requires. Usually you will be notified if you need to bring ID or other little things like that.
Be well presented:
There’s nothing worse than someone coming into an audition room looking like they haven’t showered in days or smelling like such. This is essentially a job interview, so treat it as such. Don’t get me wrong, ladies you don’t need to wear a big fancy formal dress and guys, you don’t have to suit up by any means. If you come into an audition wearing smart casual, or something subtle that the character you’re auditioning for might wear, you’re pretty set.
You’d be surprised how many people skip this. Despite the fact that this is just common courtesy, you never know who will remember you. Even if you don’t get the job that you’re auditioning for at this event, one of the panel or your peers from the audition may remember you and contact you about another role. Believe me this does happen and is the easiest way to network.
When you audition, we only want to see the character you’re playing when you’re performing your audition piece. Apart from that, we want to get to know you. You'll be working with these people for what can be months so seeing how you are off the stage is just as important as how you are on the stage. As nerve wracking as an audition can be, everyone there is a person just like you. Take a deep breath and engage with the panel, you'll stand out a lot more if you do.
Wing your audition:
For the love of everything that is holy, do not just come in trying to wing your audition. I repeat DO NOT COME IN TRYING TO WING YOUR AUDITION! You may think “Hey I know this show like the back of my hand, I don’t need to rehearse, I will just go and do my thing”, but I have a little secret for you… We can tell the difference between those who actually work for their roles and those who just hope for the best. Believe me when I say someone who comes in prepared will get the job over someone winging an audition EVERY TIME.
Repeat a previous audition:
If you’re going to be auditioning for a group you’ve auditioned for before, do not go in with the same audition material you went with the first time. We, and other companies will want to see you do something different each time. Not only does this help you grow but it helps us in thinking, “hey this person is auditioning for this, but she might be better suited to this.”
This of course does not apply if you’ve specifically been asked to perform the same audition but usually this doesn’t happen.
Don’t be disheartened:
Usually you won’t get through your whole song/monologue before you’re asked to stop. This is NOT an automatic no, but in fact our time restrictions don’t allow for much more than what we’ve seen.
Additionally if you are told no, please don’t take this and think you’re not good enough. While you may not be what one company is looking for, you may audition for the exact same show for someone else and be exactly what they envisioned. Never give up, the next opportunity may be just around the corner!