It's the end of year, which means another year of teaching performing arts is finished. Up next: January's round of auditions.
Daunting and necessary all at the same time.
I have sat through many auditions, mock audition panels, and audition workshops. Here are some tips and wishes for all of you out there getting ready to audition:
1. Enter the Room And Introduce Yourself Naturally. This is probably one of the hardest things to teach AND conquer as an auditionee. That whole first impressions cliche reigns supreme in the first five seconds of the audition. Control your professionalism and showcase your personality when you walk in the space.
2. Stand Behind Your Artistic Choices. Know the play, playwright, immediate circumstances, stakes, and anything else relevant to your selected text. Make sure that your performance doesn't exist in an isolated bubble, but rather, within the world of the play that you determined from the playwright's intentions. Most importantly, stand behind your choices, commit to everything that you do on stage, and don't take offence if a director's redirection takes you into an alternative world (remember: redirection is all about how you apply direct feedback and are able to work with creative prompts). Know the reasons behind everything that you do on stage.
3. Know the Meaning of Words and Any References of People/Places/Things. It is very obvious when the performer doesn't understand the meaning of the text/any references. Speeding up the pace only illuminates the fact that you understand what you are saying.
4. No Apologizes. Your voice is fine, everyone is getting over a cold, and what you did on stage was probably fabulous. As soon as you start apologizing, the memory of the performance is shaded by your apology statement.
5. Showcase Your Strengths. Your text selection should showcase your strengths as a performer. Going for a specific role? There should be something in the text that relates to the character you want to play.
6. Avoid Direct Eye Contact and Don't Involve Me In Your Scene. Now every director is different. I find it very hard to concentrate when you make direct eye contact and I'm part of your scene. It isn't America's Got Talent - and it's distracting. Please make sure you know who you are talking to and whether that person is in the room (or you're breaking the fourth wall). Direct your monologue to them, not me!
7. Don't Be Awkward At The End. If you don't have a legitimate question, don't feel like you need to ask something. Leave the same professionalism that you came in with at the start of the audition. Make sure to carry that professionalism all of the way out of the building.
When I'm auditioning, I'm looking for performers who are willing to engage with creative process work and collaborate with other company members. It is about building a story together, as a company, to tell our audience.
I wish you success for your future artistic endeavours.