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Top 11 Audition Tips For Theatre Students

Audition Tips
By Michelle Bombe

A letter to my theatre students before their auditions: I know this is hard. I know you have your heart set on a particular role. You aren’t the only one. Here are some audition tips:

This business is crazy.  It isn’t fair.  Most of the choices are not in your control. Get used to this. It is the way of our world.

So what should you do? Focus on what you can control.

1. Preparation

Be crazy prepared. Read the play. Work your buns off on your audition. Ask to perform it for everyone you know – not for their critique, but for your benefit of feeling what it is like to say the words to an audience.  Tell the truth. Tell it again, harder. Remember, memorization is just the beginning – you can’t begin to become the character if you are still trying to learn your lines. Prepare.

2. Singing

Your voice is your instrument and you need to play it every day. Don’t skip your scales – that is how you train your instrument. Then tell me your story in your song. Don’t leave your storytelling skills on the floor just because you are singing.

3. Confidence

Own this. Walk out on the stage like you belong there. Show me. You have worked hard for this moment. It is yours. And it begins with saying your name. Practice this. I mean it. Say your name loud and proud.  Make me notice.

4. Attitude

Attitude is everything. Are you only interested in participating if you get the lead?  Find the door and don’t let it hit you on your way out. There is no place for that. Perseverance is the name of the game here. If you are willing to pick yourself off the ground time and time again and pop right back with a can-do attitude, then you might make it in this business. Know that you CAN grow and develop by participating in any way and make that participation count. Pay attention. Be present. You have much to learn from your peers and your director.

5. Let Go

Let go of attachment to the casting decision after the audition. You have done everything in your control.  Feel good about the work that you have accomplished and be pleased with a good audition. You will be doing this a LOT.  There will be plenty of times when you might be disappointed that you didn’t have your best audition. Make this a time when you will be proud of the work you have demonstrated.

6. Don’t Compare

Don’t compare yourselves to others. You will only survive in this business if you keep the focus on yourself. There will always be someone who has a faster path, a luckier break, or an undeserved credit. It is pointless, negative energy to spend any time at all discussing someone else’s journey. Stop yourself immediately if you start down this path. Trust me, it will lead to hell for you and those around you.

7. Keep your eyes open

Try new things. Where have you found success? Capitalize on that.

8. Ask yourself hard questions

Do you really love theatre? Or do you love yourself in theatre? If you truly love theatre, you can find a place for yourself. If you aren’t finding the success you want in acting, then try another area – directing, playwriting, design, stage management, production management….

9. Never stop working and training

If you want to be an actor, never stop working and training – find an acting teacher and a vocal teacher that you trust. Take dance classes. Keep auditioning.

10. Did you get cast?  

Congratulations. Now put the same amount of focus and preparation into working on the production.   Be a role model for others. Bring your best self early to rehearsal and ready to work. Leave everything else (including personal problems) outside the rehearsal hall. Be generous to your cast members and crew.   Trust your director and designers.

11. Didn’t get cast?   

Take some time to be disappointed. Of course, this is hard. Casting decisions are always difficult. Know that sometimes the choices are not even about you.   If you did your best audition, then you have to be pleased with that and let any second guessing go. Time is up. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get to work. Prepare for the next audition.  Make your own work. Devise a play with some of your friends, find a friend to direct a play you have always been interested in doing, write a play –  the possibilities are all there – you just have to apply yourself.  Come and see me. Let’s talk about your future. Let’s talk about possibilities. I want the best for you.

 

Also for Actors:

Some Tough Love From The Industry

Do You Want An Acting Career?

 

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