A Spotlight For The World Of Entertainers
AUDITIONS – How Flexible Are You?
...and I don’t mean, can you do the splits?!
The day is here and you feel so ready, you get there in plenty of time to fill out forms and stuff. You hand in your photo and 1page CV and fit in that final practise of your audition pieces to put you in the zone. After a long wait, because they seem to be running a bit late, but that’s ok, as it gave you even more time to be really ready, they finally call your name.
Shaking a little (or a lot) you walk in, smile and introduce yourself to everyone (and I mean everyone, including your pianist/script reader). If you are singing, you walk over to the piano and you make sure you explain in reasonable detail, the format and the correct tempo of the song to the pianist. (PLEASE make sure your song is easy to explain). They ask what song you are doing and then you hit them with the BEST 16-32 bars you have got (depending on what they require).
For the monologue you tell them the piece you have prepared and set yourself up in front of the audition panel, and you start when you are ready (not before).
You’re doing well, everything is perfect, when half way through they stop you. “stop, stop, do you have something else?” Oh!, yes, yes of course (because you always have more than one item prepared), you start again. All is going well, when you finish, they don’t even seem to be looking at you, just talking to each other, quietly amongst themselves. They finally turn to you and say – “thank you, can you stick around to read for a part?” Of course you oblige by staying and practise reading the lines they have given you outside in the waiting area, till they ask you to come in again.
Because you have studied the show/play you were up for then you understand the character they have asked you to read for. You’ve had a good ten minutes studying the lines and they call you back in. You read it, how you see the character, but then the director asks you to change your idea of the character for something totally different, does this throw you? Well of course not, because you know that they nearly ALWAYS make you change your perception of the character. So they ask you to read again and you portray the ideas that have been given you as best you can, and they say thanks!
Your heading down the stairs to leave the building when suddenly you hear your name being called, you look up to see the casting director asking you to come back inside for a moment. They tell you they want you to read for a completely different character. How do you cope with this on the spot? You of course, immediately switch your thoughts onto the new idea being thrust upon you and immerse yourself into a new direction, a complete ‘about turn’ and deliver what they want. They are all impressed with your adaptability. Whether you get the part or not you know you have done a great days work toward perfecting the audition process, and helping them make their decision of who they want.
The above scenario is quite a common one for most people going up for roles. If you are going for chorus the whole course of action can be quite different. BUT the purpose of the above narrative, is to drive home to you the importance of flexibility. The moment you freeze or reject or momentarily consider what they have said to be an insult, you will not be there very long and lose all chances and credibility of getting that job.
The idea, is to be around as long as you can to give them a better experience of YOU! Let them see your capabilities & adaptability in short your FLEXIBILTY – in thought and action.
Not many of us enjoy the audition process, but the more prepared, focused & flexible you are, the more relaxed you will be and enjoy the progression of the time you are there. Let’s face it, If you’re going to be there, make it ‘time well spent’.
A very wise person once said to me, “I always go to an audition with the idea that, even if I don’t get the part I would love to play , at least I get today to enjoy playing that role".
WOW! What a beautiful thought that is, I had never heard that said before. Looking at each audition as a chance to play so many different roles. You are literally getting the opening to perform those roles at least once.
ENJOY! (your next audition)
PS: I was so taken by what she said... I married her!
Director - Performers Hub
Ok! So, you’ve been practising for an audition all week, and you are so pumped. You’ve chosen your song/monologue carefully, to suit the piece you are trying for. You DIDN’T choose a song/monologue from the show/play because you know that is a BIG NO! NO! Nor did you choose a song/monologue from the composer/writer, BECAUSE you or your agent had NOT been told to do so by the casting agency.