It’s audition season at Artistree! This is one of my favorite times of the year at the studio. It feels like a fresh start for everyone where we get to see the growth of our students and meet the new, enthusiastic faces who join us as well. No matter what role you had in the previous show, the slate is wiped clean for everyone. I always look forward to auditions because no matter what the show is, someone auditioning ALWAYS surprises me. Casting is one of my favorite parts of the job, but it can also be one of the most frustrating, when I see students not performing to their potential due to lack of preparation or knowledge.
Therefore, I wanted to give a few tips on how to knock it out of the park on ANY audition–whether it’s your school play, here at Artistree or in a professional setting.
#1. The audition starts the MOMENT you walk into the room.
The casting team behind that table makes a judgment about you the moment you walk into the room. So be your very best, but NATURAL self. Be YOU! (Though a smile and pleasant attitude goes a LONG way.) You might give the best read or sing your face off, but if YOU as a person don’t come across as someone easy to work with, I can guarantee you’ll get passed over for the role. No divas allowed!
#2. Success = OPPORTUNITY PLUS PREPARATION.
Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. Don’t wait until the night before to start practicing your audition material. Do your research. Read the play. Know the soundtrack. Understand the characters. An overnight success in the business is rarely that. It’s a person who DOES THE WORK so when the opportunity presents itself, they are ready!
#3. Be nice to the pianist.
I know I’m a little biased on this one, but making the pianist your best friend is the smartest thing you can do. (Next to marrying one.) Be sure your binder of music looks clean and that your music is inside plastic sheet protectors. Make sure the music is in the RIGHT key and that where to start and stop are marked clearly. (Not everyone can transpose on sight like Peter Capelle.) And be nice. The person on those keys usually has as much a say in casting as anyone.
#4. Audition like the role is yours.
This audition may be the only chance you get to show the creative team what you’ve got. Don’t hold back. Give it everyone ounce of energy and excitement you have. Make them see that you’re the ONLY one they could give it to. Be confident and self-assured.
#5. WRONG AND STRONG!
I can’t tell you how many auditions (hello–can we say dance calls?) I’ve faked my way through because my face was selling it the whole time. If they ask you to do something you know you’re not very good at, who CARES! Show them your personality and let your inner light shine. And if you make a mistake, so what? Most of time if you don’t let on that you messed up, they will NEVER know. OR–they’ll be so impressed with how you recovered that they’ll cast you anyway.
And when it’s all said and done, remember–auditioning is subjective. A different casting director might cast things completely differently. If you don’t get the part, it doesn’t mean you’re not talented. It means that this time, they went in another direction. Be grateful you got to explore a new character and then (in the words of my friend, Christian Duhumel,) move on.com. I can assure you, your time is coming.