Top 10 Secrets To Acting Your Audition
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, I've been essentially Marie Kondo-ing all of my possessions. This has included my binders upon binders of music. This is an exercise I strongly recommend for all musicians or actors who sing because let's face it: often us professional performers are either traveling or living in small apartments in big cities like New York. I realized that I had some notes written down from various Berklee professors, as well as my own research. Unfortunately I can't recall the exact source of these tips, but I just thought I'd repost this for anyone who may find this useful. I've modified these tips slightly because this list was geared to college students, but I think these tips could be useful for anyone. I'm not an expert so please take these with a grain of salt if they don't resonate with you. However, I personally have found these tips to be tremendously useful. I do not take any credit for these tips. Without further adieu, here is:
Top 10 Secrets To Acing Your Audition (Acting or Musical Theatre)
1. Do your research
2. Try to do auditions in person if at all possible because it shows more commitment.
3. Read audition requirements very carefully. Time songs and monologues to make sure it fits within time limits
4. CHOOSE APPROPRIATE MATERIAL:
a. Choose materials from published plays/musicals (not self written, not monologues from a collection of pieces, not from the internet, film, literature or TV if auditioning for a live theatre show)
b. Find material that is age appropriate (If you're a teenager, refrain from material that requires you to be husbands, wives, parents or grandparents. You get the idea :))
c. Avoid "performance pieces" (i.e. speeches about suicide, disease, death or standup comedy routines if auditioning for live theatre). Find pieces that allow you to be a character talking to another character with a clear objective or relationship
d. Find pieces that show your strengths and don't expose your weaknesses. (Example: if you're a great actor and dancer but not a great singer, chooses a simpler piece to sing)
5. Prepare music properly (in a binder, clearly marked, photocopied)
6. PRACTICE!! Preferably with a piano player, rather than a cast recording if at all possible so you know how it's going to sound when played with an accompanist. Also, have someone watch your audition and give you feedback. DO NOT BRING MATERIAL YOU'VE NOT TRIED BEFORE!
7. Dress "business casual" for the singing/acting portion of a musical theatre dance call.* Wear something that reflects who you are without being sloppy or overly formal. For men, dress shoes are preferable. For women, skirts should extend at least to the knees and hair should be away from your face, at least to some extent (half up half down is fine, but don't make the same mistake that I did and have hair in your mouth when you're trying to sing!)
8. OWN THE ROOM! Don't be shy when you walk into the room, enter confidently and say hello to the people behind the table. If you need a chair and there's one available, go ahead and use it. Take a moment to get centered and start when you're ready. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not go for a handshake unless the person behind the table initiates it. Stay approximately 6 feet away in the audition.
Hope this helps! Stay safe during this audition season :)
*Please note that this depends on the specific genre of the piece, but I think it's a good rule of thumb for more traditional musical theatre opportunities like Disney, cruises, cattle calls, etc. For new musicals such as "Dear Evan Hansen" or "Hamilton" you can probably modify slightly.
1. Can send "Thank You" note after the audition if you had a particularly meaningful experience.
2. Keep an audition journal so that you can hopefully learn from mistakes and constantly improve.
3. The greatest sin is to be unprepared. Most importantly, remember that your career is a marathon, not a sprint.