BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

Whenever someone asks me for audition advice, there are two things I mention first:

  1. Know the character and context of your audition material.

  2. Have multiple pieces ready to go.

The first is pretty obvious. It doesn’t matter what monologue or song you’re auditioning with. Know exactly who that character is and what is going on in that moment of the text.

But the second is something you might be surprised more auditionees, especially college bound students, don’t know about.

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5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

I have been involved with theater fairly consistently since I was 10. In those resulting 16.5 years, I have appeared in musicals and plays as an actor, played drums in the pit, worked front of house, ran the sound board and done vocal coaching. But in January of 2016 I got the chance to assistant direct a production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which I also liberally co-adapted from the original G&S libretto. It was a wonderful experience, a chance to pull back the curtain and see the process of putting on a show from a totally different angle.

From giving notes to running some rehearsals, I was able to be involved in nearly every moment in our show. Being an assistant director (or working on the creative team of a musical) will make me a better performer the next time I step on stage and having been a performer absolutely made me a better assistant director. But the place my insights will be the most helpful happened while watching and judging auditions for the first time.

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Lying On Your Resume Never Works, So Why Are People Still Doing It?

Lying On Your Resume Never Works, So Why Are People Still Doing It?

Lying on your theatrical resume may have worked before the internet and social media, but it amazes me that today, people still do it. For such a small item, it's something that could get you cut from an audition more than your talent, because if you're dishonest about your experience, what else are you being dishonest about? How trustworthy are you if you were cast? Directors don't have time or patience to deal with these questions, so they'll cut you and move on. Even worse,  it's something that can ruin your reputation, which will never be repaired. 

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Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Last year I sat in on an audition for an upcoming community theatre production of Oklahoma. I was friends with the director and he wanted some feedback on how they run their auditions and organize their talent pools. 

As auditions began, something stood out to me. Depending on the role they were auditioning for, every man sang either "Kansas City" or "People Will Say We're in Love". Every woman who auditioned sang either "Out of My Dreams" or "The Farmer and the Cowman". There were even a couple of "I Can't Say No" and "Lonely Room" auditions thrown in as well. 

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10 Songs I Never Mind Hearing At Auditions

10 Songs I Never Mind Hearing At Auditions

There are so many lists warning you what songs you shouldn't audition with, I thought I'd switch things up and list a few that I'm always glad to hear. Songs not to avoid. But this is just to get your mind going. The best audition song highlights the things you do best, better than others. That's going to be different for every person.

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"You suck... She's prettier... You suck... You're not talented": The Destructive Inner Dialogue of an Actor

"You suck... She's prettier... You suck... You're not talented": The Destructive Inner Dialogue of an Actor

Over the last year, I've auditioned for at least ten projects. Out of all those auditions, I booked half, an unusually good ratio for me, but then again, I'm not in a super competitive area like NYC. No matter what city you're in though, auditions where you don't get the part start to take a toll on your self-esteem. Your thoughts begin to turn for the worst, and sound something like this: "You were terrible. Of course they didn't give you a callback (part, auditions, etc.)! You'll never make it in this field. Dad was right... I should take advantage of my English degree." And it goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. You're killing your chances with your negative BS, and I'm here to tell you why you probably didn't get the part:

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College Auditions from the Parent Perspective: Part 1

College Auditions from the Parent Perspective: Part 1

You think your kid is talented (what parent doesn’t, right?).  Maybe talented enough to make a career out of this music or theater thing.  But those careers are pretty unstable, aren’t they?  There must be a million actors waiting tables hoping for their big break and musicians working ‘day’ jobs so they can play with their band at night.  But maybe, just maybe--your kid could be the one to make it.  So you agree (maybe reluctantly) to look at college music and theater programs.

I’m a flutist and college music professor with over 30 years of teaching and playing experience.  In 2017, my older daughter decided to take auditions for collegiate musical theater programs.  While I am very familiar with how auditions work for music programs, adding theater to the mix brought new challenges.  I started reading as much information as I could.  I had several panicky moments--what if she had never taken tap dance lessons?  What about acting camp?  Should she ignore her school theater program for other opportunities in the community? 

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BFA Audition Advice....for Both Sides of the Table

BFA Audition Advice....for Both Sides of the Table

Now that we are towards the conclusion of the audition season for Musical Theatre and Acting BFA programs, I know that everyone involved may be a little stressed out. However, it's never to early to turn attention to the Juniors who are preparing for this process next year. As an audition coach, let me offer some observations to both students auditioning and faculty members who are adjudicating auditions next year. Hopefully, my observations will make the process a little less stressful.

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Five Things Your Headshot Should Say About You

Five Things Your Headshot Should Say About You

Oh, the dreaded headshot! I don’t know about other actors, but just the word “headshot” makes my stomach churn. I hear “headshot” but I see dollar signs and my crooked teeth. Headshots are many things to an actor- a tool, a representation, a business card in a sense. They are also expensive, annoying, and often misunderstood. Having just had my headshots redone, the frustration is fresh in my mind. While I was fortunate enough to find a professional, affordable photographer with experience in actor headshots, I was still reminded of how delicate the process is.

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