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

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