Gary Mendoza’s Astounding Auditioning Advice:
Have Fun! Auditions should be like the production itself, and actors should be the same way. You should enjoy auditioning just as much as you enjoy the final product. So relax and get up on the stage and make me cast you!
I don’t expect you to know the story, but it does help. However, at the very least you should know the story of Peter Pan, which most people should unless they have been living under a rock which is buried by another rock.
Every role in the show does require singing, however I am not casting only singers. I am looking for actor’s, and if you happen to be able to sing then consider it a perk, but a lack of singing ability will not prevent you from being cast.
Have fun! (I’ve heard that somewhere before…)
Don’t be afraid to: be too loud, go over the top, be ridiculous, try something, take a chance, be bold, make a mistake, make me laugh, make me cry, have fun, etc…
When going into auditions, please remember that if I don’t cast you then it is absolutely, unequivocally, completely not anything personal! My job is to pick the best 12 people that I think fit these characters in this show.
I cannot be bribed, but I can be impressed. Bring it!
Channel your inner child!! This play is completely based on imagination, so your audition should be as well.
Think Pirates! Think Sailors! Think Orphans! Think Pineapples!
And finally, in case you have’t picked up on it…Have Fun!
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. You would never stand up and sing a concert without preparing it first. Do your solo the same favor. You should never stand up and do a monologue without preparing it… And there is no such thing as too prepared. Also with the internet as a tool – there is no excuse for not knowing something about the show you are auditioning for. Google it.
Say “Thank You” to the people you are working for and working with. They have a golden opportunity to cast you and stand next to you. Thank them for that. Don’t apologize to them with awkward facial expressions. We all feel the same way when we stand up there in front. Express pride. Die outside the audition door.
Leave your ego at the door. If you think you deserve it, I am here to prove you wrong — and I hold the cookies. I like to reward those that can do a good job. Not feature those that say, “Me. Me. Me.” And the role I see you playing is because I want to challenge myself and you…not because everyone knew you would get it.
Be flexible. Be willing to work on a project because you trust the director, enjoy the process and want to entertain an audience. THAT’S how you build a resume. Accept any and every role.
Practice in front of mawmaw and your friends and your cell phone video camera. Get the nerves out, check your facial expressions, make bold choices. And please decide what you are going to do with your hands. They tell a lot about your level of preparedness (see #1) and they annoy auditioners when you constantly slap your thighs.
Dive into the character. Don’t sing how you would sing. Sing “Mark” from RENT like you are Mark…from RENT. I am looking emotional connection, facial expression, and a physical choice. If the character is prim and proper – stand prim and proper. If the character is a hunchback, by all means – I need to see your hump. If your character longs for something, hope for it… and show it in your eyes.
Choose a song early and sing it often. Lyrics should be the least of your worries at an audition. Make physical choices driven by the character, but don’t dance around. Make gestures, but don’t spell it out for me. Change a rhythm or speak a sentence. Make it your own — driven by the character. Find your favorite audition song and sing here, there, and everywhere. Sing along to the Youtube accompaniment.
WATCH THE MOVIE EVERY LITTLE STEP. The full version is on YouTube. You see disappointment, growth, hard work, rejection and a CRAZY GOOD monologue that will leave you in tears….all in an audition. And you will learn a lot about life and a little about theatre.
When nerves are shaking you up – DO A CARTWHEEL. The physical exertion calms your nerves. And if you are willing to do it on stage in front of the auditioners, you’ve got nerve and grit…and then you’re willing to do anything.
Did I mention PREPARE. It shows.
Director Julie Generes’ Top 10 Tips for Auditioning for MacBeth:
1. Read the play
2. Be prepared to do cold reads from the script. No monologues required. Breathe, people.
I’ll make it as painless as possible.
3. Flip flops make me slightly insane. Please don’t wear them.
4. This version of Macbeth will include children from around 4-12 years of age.They will be
playing the real children in the show and also bats! The bats hang out with the witches. I never
tell kids they can’t be in a show, so if we get 4 or 40 that’s fine by me. While you can probably
keep your kids from even knowing the subject matter because of the Shakespearean English, be
advised that this show contains lots of fabulous murder and guts. Children rehearse usually one day
a week and then tech. Same deal as Midsummer, if your kids did that one. And yes of course there is
a dance number and song for them. Obviously! They just need to show up at auditions and do an
acting exercise as a group, which I will make as non-scary as possible.
5. I will do a private audition for those who cannot attend the scheduled one, as well as for new
people to the theatre who are terrified. Auditions can be nerve wracking, and I want everyone to
feel welcomed and comfortable. I also don’t bite, contrary to rumors.
6. I am doubling a lot of roles, so that everyone has an amazing experience. No one will be just
“Servant number 1”, so please consider marking “any role” on the audition sheet. For example, the
role of “attendant” is actually going to be pivotal, and that person will also
be young Siward, who gets to fight Macbeth alone. The porter is doubled as Shakespeare (who will
give our curtain speech) and also Siward. Some smaller roles have been left alone because I have
had requests by people wanting a small role, which are sometimes hard to fill.
7. My phone number is 985-290-0760 for any questions
8. Please know all of your conflicts when filling out your audition form at the theatre.
Tentative rehearsal schedule will be provided.
9. I give bonus points to people who can pull off great acting. Like telling me I look awesome.
10. If your name is Larry Johnson, you will be asked to do a tap dance in a clown suit.
Director Joshua Brewer’s Top 10 Tips for Auditioning for The Wiz:
RESEARCH. Look up the show. The stage version is different from the movie and live televised production. Study the stage version, but don’t be afraid to add elements from other versions into your vocal audition if you want to.
REHEARSE. The music is available beforehand. Rehearse before you show up, even if it’s just in the bathroom mirror. Come warmed up and ready to create.
ARRIVE EARLY. If your Auditions start at 2 o’clock…… please be arrive at least 20 minutes prior to fill out your audition forms. We will begin promptly at 2 o’clock. It also gives you time to get the jitters out before seeing us.
DRESS TO IMPRESS. During your vocal audition, dress like it’s an interview. When it’s time to dance, please wear attire comfortable enough to move in; however, keep in mind that we are looking at how you move so please don’t wear anything over-sized. Ladies need to bring jazz shoes AND character shoes, men just need jazz shoes or sneakers. Your attire is the first thing we see before you even speak your name – make that first impression count!
BE HONEST. If you are only willing to play certain roles, please note it on the audition form. If you have conflicts, please note them on the audition form. Should you want to edit your audition form during auditions, you will be allowed to during the transition from singing to dancing.
FOCUS. It’s all about you. Focus on presenting yourself and your gift rather than worry about what the production staff is thinking. Also, don’t worry about the other performers at the audition – they are just as nervous as you are. Relax and set yourself up for a good audition. We are watching you be you on a bare stage – go for it!
FLEX YOUR MUSCLES. Play to your strengths. Google different productions of actors/actresses making the roles their own. Don’t be afraid to sing alternate notes or rhythms here and there as long as you make us believe in it. This is your 30 second solo-concert and we are all ears.
HAVE FUN. You’ll have your chance to embrace your dark side later this season, but for now – please smile! And if you aren’t having fun, act. 😉
KEEP GOING. If your eyelash falls off, if your heels break, if you crack on a note, if you mess up a lyric…… just keep going. We have been in your shoes and know what auditioning feels like, but you can’t start over during a show. Let your gift shine through no matter what.
SLAY. Just do it.
1. Look up the show. Learn a little about it so you will feel more confident at auditions
2. I prefer you sing something from the show. You will be asked to sing 16 bars of a song.
Bring sheet music if you are not singing from the show.
3. Please for the love of everything, do not wear flip-flops.
4. There will be cold reads from the script. Actually, more like lukewarm as the sides will be
posted on the SLT website ahead of time. Check them out!
5. There will be a dance audition. You will be taught a short dance and then will perform in
groups. Wear comfortable shoes (that are not flip-flops)
6. I like to be told how pretty I am. Good examples are “Wow, you’re really almost 50?!” It
gives me a good idea of your acting ability.
7. Try not to be terrified. Breathe. Contrary to rumors, I do not bite. Also, I have been where
you are. I understand.
8. If I cut you off, do not panic. It may be that I have seen you in other shows and know
your fabulousness already. It could also be that you were so fabulous I didn’t need any
9. Be prepared to stay for a bit. In addition to the reading, dancing, and singing I do
callbacks the same day unless 300 people show up. Which never happens.
10. Please have fun and break a leg! I do not expect perfection at an audition. I prefer to see
eagerness, minimal conflicts, and enthusiasm.
1- Have fun; when you enjoy what you’re doing, it shows.
2- Prep according to the audition notice; if you need suggestions for a good audition song, call ahead or show up early to get ideas.
3- Research the show to get a feel for the mood & characters.
4- Keep it simple; but be memorable.
5- Leave your cell phone in the car (or at least ignore it while in the theater).
6- Be honest about conflicts, so that we can adjust rehearsal schedules in advance if necessary.
7- Speak loud and clear; no need to rush through your moment to shine.
8- If you stumble or mess up, keep rolling; don’t bring attention to it.
9- Be pleasant throughout the whole process, not just while you’re on the stage; show us that you can be both professional and fun to work with.
10- Be open-minded about accepting whichever role you might get cast in; but if there’s a role you won’t accept, let us know in advance.
Director Renee Saussaye, has these Top 10 Tips for auditioning:
- Act. Don’t just read.
Remember, you are auditioning to act in a play. Yes, there are times when simply being a cute little kid is enough, but for the most part, we are looking for actors. So many people stand before the director and read the lines they were given that when someone really tries to act out the part they make a big impression. And that’s what you want…to stand out from the crowd.
- Bring a photo.
You need to do everything you can to help the director remember who you are, and not blend in with the crowd. That becomes much more difficult to do if the director can’t place a face with the audition form. When you turn your photo in during registration it is attached to the audition form, so when we look at your form at the end of the auditions we can remember who you are.
- Learn a little bit about the play you are auditioning for.
The more you understand the play and the characters, the more you will be able to do with the piece of script you will be given to audition with.
- Take the time you need to prepare.
Remember Rule #1 – Act. Don’t just read. Once you are given your piece of script, take some time to get familiar with the part you are given to audition with. Don’t worry that it isn’t the part you want in the play. Parts will be assigned after the auditions. We just want to know that you have the ability to actually act. If you did your research and learned a little bit about the play, you can start to make some decisions about how to play the part during your audition.
- Slow down and enunciate every word.
One sure sign of nervousness is speeding through the lines. When you talk too fast it is harder to make sure each word is understood, and the emotion that should accompany those words does not come through. Slow down and make sure you say each word clearly.
- If you make a mistake, battle though it.
Even the best actors occasionally make mistakes on stage. But good actors know how to work through their mistakes without letting the audience realize that a mistake was made. One of the things we are looking for is poise. We want to know how you will react when things don’t go as rehearsed. If you fall apart during an audition, it doesn’t give the director much confidence that you will react well on the nights of the show. If you do make a mistake, don’t apologize. Don’t ask to start over. Just pick up from where the mistake was made and push forward.
- Try to come early.
In order to make the best impression, you should make every effort to come earlier. Not only are we fresher and more alert, there are also fewer auditions for the director to compare you to. The later in the auditions it gets, the harder it is to make an impression, and to have the director remember you and your performance.
- Don’t be too cocky.
No one is guaranteed a spot in a play. It doesn’t matter what other roles you have had, or what other theaters you have worked with. If we decide you are not the right fit for the role, you will not get the part. If you have good acting experience, and you audition well, you greatly increase you chances of getting cast. If you come across as being someone that is hard to work with, it makes it much more difficult for the director to give you a part. After all, who wants to take on a headache? I have seen quite a few actors walk into an audition because they just assume they will be given a part, and their audition is flat and uninspiring. Then they are shocked when they didn’t get a major role in the play. If you are taking the director’s time to go through the audition, you need to give it your best. Every. Time. If you have acting experience, we will know from the information on your audition form or your resume. And we do like to see some previous experience, but again, that does not guarantee you a part. It is not unusual that a person with no previous acting experience gets a good part because they blew us away in the auditions.
- Audition often.
One of the biggest obstacles between you and getting cast in a play is your nervousness. Nervousness makes you more timid. It makes you rely on the script in your hand too much, so you end up reading and not acting. It makes you talk too fast. It make you less memorable and more likely to get lost in the crowd. The best way to overcome your nervousness is to practice. That means auditioning more. If you don’t get the part, shake it off as a learning experience, and when the next show rolls around, go out and audition again. The more you go through the process, the easier it becomes.
- If you don’t get the part, don’t argue about it.
The decisions about who to cast and who we have to say “no” to are not always easy. There is a lot of discussion about who does and who does not get a role. If the director decides that you are not the best fit for this show, please respect their decision about what they feel is best for the show they are directing. It doesn’t always mean that you had a bad audition, or that you’re not a good actor. It just means that you were not the best actor for this part in this show. Arguing leave a bad impression on the people that cast the shows. You will not change anyone’s mind. All it does is make it more difficult for the director and producers to cast you in a future production. That being said, it is appropriate to ask what you could do to improve so you have a better chance of getting into future shows.
Director Larry Johnson, has these Top 10 Tips for auditioning:
- BE PREPARED. This is an audition! Knowing your material shows us you are serious about the role/character you are singing for. It will definitely make you less nervous, and when you know your material, you perform better.
- HAVE CONFIDENCE. This isn’t always easy, but I want to see the “BEST YOU” I possibly can. Hold your head high, smile, and plant your feet. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count! DO NOT FAIL, FIND YOUR GRAIL!
- SHOW US YOUR PERSONALITY. It’s always great to see who the person is in their audition. It gives me an idea of what it’s like to work with you and shows you have character. This does not however mean wearing a suit of armor to the audition should be your first choice of wardrobe.
- TRY NOT TO MAKE EXCUSES. I don’t need to know that you’re sick, tired, or that you ran a marathon to get to the audition. Mistakes are expected, so don’t focus on them. Instead, focus on showing off what you’re capable of. When it’s your time to shine, work through whatever is in your way and SPARKLE.
- BE HONEST ABOUT CONFLICTS. Come prepared to write down your schedule conflicts during the production period. If in doubt, put it down. Be honest and clear. Misunderstandings can cause trouble later.
- IF ASKED TO MAKE A CHOICE, MAKE ONE. Your ability to take direction, respond to change, and make strong, clear choices when put on the spot shows me you’re willing and capable to “PLAY.”
- DON”T BLOCK OR CHOREOGRAPH YOUR AUDITION. I really want to hear you sing and look at your face. I’m looking to see how engaged you are in the song and listening to your voice. Movement is often very distracting, so keep it simple. Showcase your ability to act through your voice. This is an audition, not Dance Dance Revolution.
- REMEMBER WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE. The production staff and I want you to succeed. Don’t fear us, embrace the fact you have an audience and PERFORM.
- DON”T GET OFFENDED. If you don’t get to sing your whole song and someone else does, if someone gets to sing two songs, or if you don’t get a call back, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. It simply means the production staff and I have seen and heard all we needed to.
- HAVE FUN! Yes, it’s an audition, yes, it’s serious, and yes, it’s stressful, but guys…it’s SPAMALOT! I can’t wait to see everyone at auditions….so ready, set, GO GET PREPARED!
AUDITION TIPS FROM DIRECTOR OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Director Laura Mauffray Borchert has these Top Tips for Auditioning:
- Read the audition notice to know what’s expected of you.
- Be honest about your time constraints. If necessary, we can tweak the rehearsal schedule a bit if we know about conflicts in advance.
- Research the play or read the script to get a feel for the characters and mood of the play.
- Be open-minded. Your personality, look, style, and such might fit better in a different role than you had in mind.
- It’s not necessary, but if you’re available, show up for both audition nights.
- Be pleasant and get along with the other actors that you might be working with for the next couple months.
- Leave your cell phone in the car; or, if you must have it in the theatre, please leave it turned off or on silent.
- If you mess up a line, continue on and don’t let it affect the rest of your audition.
- Speak loud and clear; no need to rush through your moment to shine.
- Have fun. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it shows.