[Warning: May not include tips on surviving tsunamis and other calamities if they happen during auditions.]
AUDITIONS. You wait in line for hours until finally, all the time and effort you’ve invested in honing your skills–the sweat, the blood, and the nerves–come together in a 2-minute routine. This is your chance to pour your heart and soul out to a small group of people who are sitting in one terrifying row and–quite literally–judging you.
You have two options: You can knock them off their socks, or you can fall flat on your face. It’s your choice.
Now, you probably disagree with that—audition results are obviously the judges’ choice, not yours. But there are especially talented auditionees who fail, and those whom you think look pretty average, yet surprisingly make it. There’s a very short distance between Pass and Fail, and it is your job to make sure that you travel as far as you can in the right direction before taking other factors into account.
So, hear ye, hear ye:
- You—play Bruce Lee? But you’re female! AND Jamaican!
Being extremely talented doesn’t guarantee that you’re the right fit. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the nature and genre of the production and, if possible, what roles are up for grabs. If you’re a brilliant actor who can’t carry a tune, you probably shouldn’t be auditioning for a musical. Or if the role you’re going for a basketball player role and you’re four feet tall—oh, you know what I’m saying.
- Captain Obvious says, Thou Shalt Comply With Thy Requirements.
Really, this doesn’t even need to be said. Yet inexplicably, a good fraction of applicants always neglect to bring a pen or their head shot, or leave a lot of relevant fields empty in their application forms. If a measly picture is too much, how could you possibly comply with the hectic rehearsal schedules?
- Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes!
Some productions feel there are requirements that are so obviously implied, they don’t need to be said. (Also, they’re testing your intelligence.) In case you fail that test, listen up: ALWAYS bring writing materials. If a dance number is involved, bring work-out clothes and shoes. If they don’t specify whether to bring your own music for a song/dance, the safest answer is yes. Prepare a copy of your portfolio whether they ask for it or not (if they ask you to fill out pre-printed forms, at least you don’t need to rack your brains for names and dates).
- If no one ever told you that wearing a Naruto costume to West Side Story auditions was a bad idea. . .
DO WEAR: Something professional (but not stiff) or smart-casual that shows your personal style. Something light and comfy, but with a cover-up or scarf in case the weather gets bipolar. DON’T WEAR: A frilly dress if you’ve always been a trousers type, or a leather jacket if it’s forty degrees out. Weird costumes like the ones in American Idol, etc.
- Avoid delusional choices.
Select your audition pieces to highlight your strengths. Stay away from “impressive” numbers that are way beyond your range. Experimentation depends on your time frame—a good choice would be something you’ve done (successfully) before and that you know by heart.
- Oil those joints.
Overconfidence will bring you down. Even veterans in the industry get warmed up. Stretch those vocal chords; stretch those limbs. If you’ve been out of practice, waste no time and get back in. Start doing so the moment you make the decision to join the auditions. Watch yourself. Listen to yourself. Video cameras don’t do white lies; they tell you about spinach in your teeth and awkward mannerisms.
Finally, think of it as a job application, because it is. Remember that you’re here to show your best side, which means it’s probably not the best time to be a prima donna with a list of demands (not that there’s any good time for that, either). Whether or not it’s strictly true, make the judges imagine you’re Chuck Norris, and that you can FLY—and only then might you win the chance to spend the next few months trying to live up to that awesomeness.
That said, auditions for FACEBOOKED! The Musical are happening tomorrow—this is an original musical by composer/scriptwriter Jude Gitamondoc and the rest of the OFFBEATS group. (I’m pretty sure there’ll be many mentions of them in future blog posts.) In the meantime, you can find out about musical (and audition requirements and whatnot) here.