The Dreaded Audition
In acting, auditioning is a necessary evil. While you are hard pressed to find a person who enjoys it, it's something all us actors have to grit our teeth and bear. Trying to impress a director or casting director while battling a major case of nerves is never fun, but going into your audition prepared and confident can give you the extra boost you need to take your audition from average to memorable. Whether your auditioning for theater or film, a little preparation can go a long way to getting you the part of your dreams!
Finding a Monologue
Being properly prepared is a huge factor in whether you give a great, or not so great, audition. If possible, get a copy of the play beforehand so you can familiarize yourself with the work's tone and setting (as well as the story of course). More often than not (especially in community theater), you will not be given a specific character to audition for, but will be asked to prepare a monologue. Choosing a monologue can be incredibly overwhelming, as there are so many monologues out there, but start by narrowing it down by gender. Next, look at the tone of your play. If it is a comedy, you want to show you can be funny, so choose a comedic monologue. If the play you're auditioning is dark and emotional, find a monologue that can show your emotion. If you can't decide what tone the play is, go for an monologue piece that can show your range of emotions. If you're play is a classical piece (Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" for example), choose a classical monologue that shows your ability to use the language effectively.
Unless specified otherwise, go for a monologue that is about 2-3 minutes in length. The people auditioning you are seeing a number of people in one day and may be on a time limit. Keeping your monologue to this length allows for enough time to showcase your talent, but isn't long enough for the casting director to loose interest.
Start working on, and memorizing, your monologue as soon as you can. The more time you have to prepare, the less likely you are to forget pieces of your monologue when you're nerves kick during the audition. You want your audition to be completely memorized by the time the audition date arrives, not only will you feel more confident if you are well memorized, but reading your monologue makes for a very weak audition.
Before you leave the house
When the day of your audition arrives, give yourself plenty of time to get ready. You don't want to feel rushed in any way. When choosing clothes, wear something that makes you feel confident, but that's also comfortable. Never wear a costume to an audition, so many people make this mistake. You are not trying to show how much you can look like a character, you want to show how you can become the character. Most people usually show up for an audition in a nice pair of jeans with a nice sweater or blouse.
Give your body a good stretch, and most importantly, get your vocal cords warmed up. You want the people you're auditioning for to be able to hear you loud and clear. Lightly humming, gradually increasing in volume is a great way to warm up, as is gently tapping and stretching out the muscles in your face with your fingers.
Try to avoid looking at your monologue the day of the audition, now is not the time to be making adjustments that may trip you up when nerves kick in. If you've prepared well, you already know your monologue and now is not the time to doubt yourself. If you absolutely must, just read through once and leave it alone.
All yourself enough time to make it to the audition location 15 minutes before you audition is scheduled. You may have forms to fill out, and it's just a good idea to give yourself time to settle in and relax for a few moments before your audition begins.
It's finally time!
Once you arrive at the audition location, fill out any forms you may be asked to fill out. There might be other people waiting to audition, and this is a great opportunity to meet some new people with the same interests as you. Speaking to the others is also a great way to avoid the nerves that sneak up the closer you get to taking the stage.
When your name is finally called, it's go time! Take a deep breath and remember to have fun. The people holding the auditions are in no way looking for you to fail, in fact they're hoping you succeed and wow them!
When you are asked to begin your audition, take a second if you need it to compose yourself and focus. Take a deep breath and begin when your ready. If you stumble on your monologue, try to keep going as if you didn't. The people watching more than likely don't know your monologue word for word, if at all, so they won't notice if you trip up unless you allow them to. Try not to rush through your monologue, and articulate your words.
Before you know it, you're time on the stage will be done and the dreaded audition will be over! Hopefully these tips will help any actor or actress feel a little more comfortable the next time they have to give an audition. The more you do it, the easier it gets, so break a leg!