How To Ace Your Auditions – Glenn Williams
One question I often get asked is, “How do I get in a show at Strauss?” The answer is very simple: you show up to an audition! Auditions are the first step to being on our stage, and they are open to pretty much anyone, whether you’re a seasoned vet or have no theater experience whatsoever. Auditions may seem intimidating to anyone who hasn’t done it before, but it’s really not all that scary. In fact, auditions can be a lot of fun. Having been through several auditions myself, I thought it would be helpful to share what I’ve learned so you can know what to expect.
Before the Audition
Before going into any audition, I like to do my research. I’ll go on Google and search for any information I can find about the show: scripts or script samples, character descriptions, YouTube clips, you name it. This helps me to get a feel for the show and decide if it’s one I want to be a part of, and if so, what roles I might be interested in. If it’s a musical, I’ll open up Spotify and listen to the soundtrack to get a feel for the music. Your audition will go much more smoothly if you know what you are auditioning for rather than going into it blind.
During the Audition
When you arrive at the audition, you will first have to do a little paperwork. You’ll be asked to fill out a form telling us a little about yourself, what roles you are interested in, and what past shows you have been in. (Don’t worry if you don’t have any past theatre experience; every year we welcome newcomers to our stage, and everyone has to start somewhere!) It’s always a good idea to arrive about 5-10 minutes early to give yourself time to do this paperwork and get settled in.
The audition itself may vary depending on the show and the director, but for straight plays (non-musicals) you will most likely have to do some cold reading of the script. You may be asked to read for different characters to give the director an idea of which role is best for you. For musicals, you will also be asked to sing a few measures of a song. If you choose the song, be sure to bring two copies of the sheet music, one for you and one for the accompanist. If there is dancing involved, you may also be asked to do a little choreography, so dress comfortably!
Of course, not all auditions follow this same formula. Some directors may do things a little differently. I remember one audition I did for a dinner theater where the director wanted to test our ability to ad-lib, so he had us playing improv games like in “Whose Line is it Anyway?” You never know what you’ll be asked to do! The audition announcements will usually give you some idea of what to expect.
Finally, don’t worry about feeling nervous. Even the most seasoned veterans get nervous at times. The important thing is to simply relax and have fun. If the director sees that you are enjoying yourself it just might work to your advantage. Just don’t sell yourself short; you just might surprise yourself at how talented you really are!
After the Audition
For me, the hardest part of an audition is waiting to see if you got a part or not. Sometimes it may seem to take an eternity to find out. Keep in mind that the directors may need to take their time to choose just the right actors for the job. Sometimes they may have callbacks, where you’ll be asked to come in for a second audition so they can see more from you. Being called back doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a role; it just means that they want to see more from you so they can make the right decision.
When the cast is finally announced, it will either be posted in a public forum like the Facebook page, or you will get a call from the director. If you don’t get a part, don’t feel discouraged. Sometimes great actors are turned down simply because they weren’t the right fit for any of the roles. Remember that there will be plenty of other shows. Keep trying! You never know when you’ll find that perfect role. If you do get a part, congratulations! Get ready for the unforgettable experience that is participating in live theatre!
I hope you find this article helpful. Now go out there and tackle that audition with confidence! Break a leg!
Auditions for the musical Mamma Mia! are Sunday, February 24 and Monday, February 25 at 6:00 PM. You must be present at BOTH nights, as we will focus on singing the first night and reading and dancing the second night. Please plan to sing a song associated with the character of your choice and bring two copies of the sheet music. If you don’t have the music from the show, bring a song of a similar musical style to Mamma Mia!. Show dates are April 25-28 and May 3-4, 2019.