Christina Giannelli / Columnist So, you want to be on stage? The first thing you’ll need to learn is how to audition. In this article I will let you in on some secrets that will help you nail that audition and make sure you leave a lasting impression. Trust me, if you follow these tips they will not soon forget you.
In preparing for your upcoming audition you’ll want to decide on the part you’ll be going for. Check out the list of characters and find which part is the lead, this is what you go for. You don’t fit the description given? Don’t think you really “fit” the part? Whatever, they got it wrong. You’re it. Feel no need to worry about looking for the character you’d actually portray best. Directors don’t really know what they want. There are several lead characters and you’re not sure which is best? Find a script and count the lines. Don’t worry about actually reading them though, there’s no need to be familiar with the plot or characters.
It’s a musical and you need to prepare a song choice? No need to think about this too much, just randomly pick any old song. The character you have in mind is a belter? Who cares. Sing anything you like, they should be able to tell. One thing you can always do is go into the audition the day of, when the person before you has finished ask them to hold up a minute. Now, grab their sheet music and sing whatever they just did. If you do go with your own song though don’t rehearse it too much. You don’t want them to think you’re too comfortable with the piece or that you put in too much time with it, it’s not cool. Same with sides if they provide them beforehand, no need to read through them, that’s just trying too hard.
You’ll also want to decide on what you will be wearing. This one is fairly obvious though….full costume. Extra points here if you bring in props as well. Say you’re going out for Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, try to find a small dog and basket to go with your ruby slippers, braids and checkered dress. They will love it. You want them to see you as that one character and absolutely nothing else. Ladies, you’ll want to make sure your makeup bag is full as well. You’re going to want plenty to pile on the day of, there’s no need for them to really see what you naturally look like.
The Big Day
The time has come for you to show these people what you can do. First impressions are so important and you need to make the right one. I see so many people at these things being polite and considerate, trying to show how easy to work with they are. Bullshit. You want them to know how important you are. You are hot shit. You know it and now they need to know it. I like to get this message out right off the bat. Kick that door open, storm in, throw your hands up and yell….”YOUR STAR IS HERE BITCHES!!!!”
There will probably be someone there to greet you with forms and/or sides to hand out. These are what we call the “little people”. They don’t matter, don’t waste any time being polite. Rip the stuff out of their hands and keep walking. Extra points here if they have some type of beverage on their table you can knock over as you pass. Don’t worry, they won’t tell anyone how rude you were, there’s no way it will be taken into account. If there is an accompanist provided they also fit into this group, no need on wasted manners here. Shove your music in their face and bark at them to play it right.
You want to make sure they also know how valuable your time is and how busy you are so if you find yourself having to wait, complain. Complain loudly and to anyone who will listen. If it goes on for more than just a few minutes, I’d force my way in. Just walk in, push aside whomever happens to be auditioning at the moment and tell them you have things to do and need to be seen immediately. It will force them to really take you seriously. It also looks really cool if you can refuse to do something they ask. They may want you to try some choreography or read for a different part, maybe just try something a little differently or give you some type of direction….just say no. Also, if you should be in the middle of reading or singing and they cut you off….call them on it! They’re obviously just being jerks and need to be put in their place. Tell them you’re finishing anyways or storm off. Extra points for any shouted obscenities on your way out!
And Now We Wait
But not patiently. They will probably have told you they’d be contacting you, they may have even given you an idea of when. You want them to know how much you want it though so you’ll want to begin calling and demanding to know what is going on immediately. Call, email, try to get some addresses and wait on their front steps. They will appreciate your persistence. I promise.
Now after all this you will probably be getting your part but on the off-chance you don’t you will want to handle it appropriately. The most important thing is that you take it personally. It is obviously a direct attack on you if you do not get cast. They are either blind, stupid, jealous or out to get you. It has nothing to do with you not being “right” or someone else being a better fit. There is no need to reflect on what you could have done differently or just move on to the next thing. You were robbed and the world needs to know. Write them an email bitching them out, demand to know why!! Tell everyone you know how much they suck, blast them on social media. Burn those bridges!! You don’t want to ever work with those idiots in the future and everyone else will see how right you are. Bonus points here if you can find the director’s car and key it. They’ll soon see their mistake. They may even call you to personally apologize and offer you the part now!
I hope that this wealth of information will be a great help to you in your performance ventures. If you follow these guidelines you will definitely leave your mark on the entertainment community in your area. I could leave you now with a long drawn out closing but really I think the only thing I need to say at this point is……
*******DISCLAIMER******* None of this is serious. You should most definitely not try any of this. But, if you do...please,please record it and share it with me.