Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thank you to our BINGO Participants!

BoHo Theatre would like to say "THANK-YOU" to all who came to support "BINGO for BoHo" on January 29th at Cooper's Chicago. After all prizes were awarded, and Bingo cards had been cleared, BoHo felt a tremendous amount of thanks and pride for everyone who chose to show their support for BoHo and live theater in Chicago. Here are a few pictures of the fun! Hope you can join us next time.

There is still ONE MORE WEEKEND to see the show critics are calling, "a verbal and visual treat". Don't miss the opportunity to see BoHo Theatre's Production of Tartuffe at Theater Wit.

Bingo Players carefully await the next number.
Will we have a winner?
Friend of BoHo, Cassie Schillo came dressed
to the nines, representing
Steampunk at its finest!

BoHo Company Member and Tartuffe  Cast Member
Sean Thomas with BoHo Board Member Robert Turner

Tartuffe cast member, Saren Nofs-Snyder and her oustanding Steampunk attire were awarded with a complimentary BINGO card.

Company members Anna Hammonds and Mary Kate Robel enthusiastically
celebrate their Bingo participation.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Audition Best Practice: Top 20 for Actors (Part 2)

This post is Part 2 of 2 featuring the Top 20 Audition Tips for Actors. It was written by Stephanie Sullivan who serves as one of the Casting Coordinators for BoHo Theatre.

  1. Be prepared to talk about yourself! Give your monologue an extra beat or two to breathe at the end and do not be in a rush to exit the room.  When time allows, we may ask you a question about your resume or what you are currently working on.  Even if you aren't working on something, be prepared to talk in a positive way about something relevant (i.e. a class you are taking, a show you just saw, a trip you just took.)  We want to get to know your personality so avoid short answers that make us feel like you aren't interested.  This is your chance to show a side of yourself that is fun and relaxed!
  2. Make sure that your piece follows the guidelines set forth in the audition notice - especially when it comes to allotted time.  We all know it's difficult to do a one-minute monologue, but there is a reason someone might request this and is disrespectful of your auditors' and fellow auditioners' time.  I know people who will jot down specific notes about this.
  3. Read the play you are auditioning for!  Know the character(s) you are auditioning for and, if possible, try to show us that you are right for the part.  This does NOT mean showing up in costume.  It DOES mean, suggesting the part through dress.  If you know you are auditioning for a Victorian play, for example, do not show up in jeans.

  4. Be on time.  In fact, be 15 minutes early! Period.  We know that unexpected things will come up, but if you are consistently late to auditions, we will assume you will consistently be late for rehearsals and maybe even performances.  Give yourself time to find parking or plan your route.  Make sure you have a contact phone number on you in order to notify someone if you are running late. 

  5. If you find you will not be available for an audition, after you've already scheduled one, please be courteous and respectful in doing whatever is necessary to cancel that audition - for BoHo, this means going back to the sign-up page online and "undoing" your time slot in order to free it up for someone else. Unless specified, do not call to cancel your audition.  We get a lot of sign-ups and we do it online for ease and convenience.  Smaller companies do not have people working 24/7 to answer phone calls and your message may not be received in time.

  6. Never assume it's ok to just not show up to an audition if you have a schedule time and cannot make it.  I promise you that these are little things people notice and even write down.

  7. Always list ALL of your conflicts, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you.  If you are not willing to part with a conflict, you should make sure the casting director and/or director know this ahead of time.  "Being seen" by the casting director will very quickly become a negative if he/she wants to hire you but find out that you have conflicts after the fact.  Trust me when I say that it is better not to be seen if you cannot make yourself available, than run the risk of never being cast again.  There will always be more audition opportunities!
  8. Similarly, pay attention to all of the rehearsal dates, performance dates AND callback dates.  If you are not available for the callbacks, do not assume that you will be seen on a different day.  Scheduling audition dates/time require a lot of work and coordination.  Often times, we are working with several people's schedules, time constraints, and space constraints.  Sometimes we are paying a rental fee on an audition space.  The dates and times we choose to hold audition/callbacks are specific for a reason.  If you are not available for callbacks, make sure to ask if you can still be seen at the general audition. Most of the time, we will work to accommodate you in any way we can but this is a case where asking for permission rather than forgiveness definitely pays off.
  9. Do some research on the company you are auditioning for, and make sure to see shows that the company produces (you will learn a lot about their style.)
  10. Always be courteous to everyone you encounter!  You never know what their connection to this (or any other) theatre is.  Your behavior outside of the room is just as important as your behavior inside.
***Bonus: If you are not cast but have followed all of the guidelines and done your very best work, please do not take it personally. There are so many things that go into the casting process and all you can really do is focus on the things you know how to control.  The rest is out of your hands so have fun!

Your loving casting associates,
Stephanie Sullivan & Rebecca Mauldin

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Audition Best Practices: A Top 20 for Actors

This blog is Part 1 of 2, featuring the Top 20 Tips for Auditioning

We have wanted to write this blog post for such a long time, and are so excited to share these little nuggets of information about auditions because, as fellow actors, we know that the task of auditioning can be both exciting and terrifying! Over the years we have gathered as much information as we can from other casting directors (admittedly, many of the tips and tricks listed below were stolen directly from Bob Mason.) If you feel confident in your knowledge of do's and don'ts, your job just got a heck of a lot easier!  If you can focus on the things you know how to control, you'll find auditioning fun and exhilarating - promise!

Below is a list of tips that will help you prepare for ANY audition, including BoHo's.

How to prepare for ANY audition - things you MUST do!
  1. Make sure your resume is stapled to the back of your headshot, and make sure it is cut to the 8x10 industry standard.  You can go to an office max, buy a ream of paper, and ask them to cut the paper to this size!  I have heard several times of casting directors who will throw away headshots that don't meet this standard based on the fact that it will not fit in their files.
  2. List any and all pertinent skills on your resume.  Be as specific as possible (what kind of stage combat, what kind of dance etc.)  Treat your resume as you would any professional resume. Be smart about which skills you choose to list! Quirky and fun talents are great, but "belching the ABC's" is definitely not.
  3. List all significant teachers and directors - it's a small world!  If we are interested in you but do not know your work, we may want to chat with someone who does!
  4. Select a monologue that shows your range - it needs a beginning, middle, and end.  Choose something that has a discovery and takes the auditor on a journey; make sure you have a point of view.  "Safe" choices are ones that lead to stagnant performances; even if your choice isn't what the director would go with, the important thing is to show you make choices!
  5. Select pieces that best represent YOU.  If the monologue is age, or race specific, pay attention to this - if you are 22, you will most likely not be cast in a "mother role," so avoid doing a "mother monologue."  Some pieces are not age/race specific and you can get away with a departure from yourself, but if the piece is from a well-known play, do not take that risk. 

  6. If you choose to do a monologue from the play you are auditioning for, understand the risk involved.  Some directors will be very open to this, and others will be turned off.  It's possible you may "wow" someone and even help shape their opinion of the character, but be aware that many directors will have firm opinions about a character prior to the start of the process and your take may be very different from theirs. 

  7. Never choose to address your piece to someone in the room.  If we feel we are acting with you, then we are not truly able to do our work and focus on you.  Also, do not choose to do your monologue to someone in a chair or on the ground - we want to be able to see your eyes!  Pick a spot just above the auditor's head either directly in front of you or on an angle (just make sure we are not looking at your profile the whole time!)
  8. There is no need to shake hands with anyone, unless a handshake is offered to you.  No one is trying to be mean here, but keep in mind that we might see 100 people in a day, which makes for a lot of handshaking!  There is also a hygiene issue to consider.... yes, I know that sounds gross but it's true!
  9. If you are introduced when escorted into the room, there is no need to re-introduce yourself - just the name of the character and play will do.  Also - please do not give us a play synopsis or any kind of exposition.

  10. Always be prepared to do a second monologue.  Think of "contrasting" more in terms of a different character, voice, point of view - not necessarily a different style or genre (though this is ok too.)  If you list that you're a singer, be prepared to sing 16 bars a capella.