Auditions sound scary, and often we feel under pressure and overthink our choices. However - it is important to keep in mind what they are really about: auditions are an opportunity for growth, a chance for you and the panel to get to know if you work well together, and a task which if executed well, requires preparation!
1. What to look for in an audition piece
a. A connection. Find a piece that resonates with you. Does it excite you, set you thinking?
b. Similar age. Don’t pick a piece that is far from your age range. It will often distract from the monologue/song/speech and make it feel unnatural.
c. Play to your strengths. You have around 3 minutes to share your work with us, so capitalise on your strengths.
d. Don’t spend an eternity deciding on a piece.
There is no “perfect” monologue, etc.., trust your instincts.
2. Preparing your pieces
a. Know your lines like the back of your hands. This will allow you to keep calm, play, be flexible. (If you get stuck here, do some research on line learning techniques)
b. Set out what your character wishes to achieve. Never just learn the lines. The most important thing to know is who you are talking to, what the relationship is, and what you want (your objective).
c. Don’t over think it. If you’ve done the work and learnt the lines, then don’t over- rehearse.
d. Adaptability. Make sure you rehearse the piece in different ways and in front of other people, or a camera. Try it in different ways – this process should be fun! Don’t take it all too seriously!
3. On the Day
a. Arrive Early. Check you know where you are going, give yourself ample time to get there, to be mindful and to warm up. If you need to find a place away from the crowds, do it. Do what you need to do to stay focused on the task, and don’t forget to breathe! Check you have copies of your pieces, scores, backing tracks, etc. Keep hydrated. Make sure you've had a good night's rest and had breakfast.
4. Walking into the Room
Remember that you can always audition again and that there is no need to put a huge amount of pressure on yourself. Look at it as an opportunity to learn. If you are in an audition with other creatives try to learn from their work as well, but be mindful not to get caught up comparing; you can only bring yourself into the room, and no one does you better than you do!
Joe Richardson, from the GSA panel, words it perfectly:
Work with others
In any movement workshop or similar, a willingness to work with others and collaborate is vital. This means leading and following as appropriate, observing those around you and noticing what’s going on. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to show your willingness to be a part of a creative team.
Make the space yours
For the time in which you are performing the piece, make the space your own - take ownership of it. “The space is yours, this is your room - you’re not renting it for two and a half minutes,” says Joe. Take command and show your confidence in the space.
If you’re directed, take it on
On the other hand, if you are given some direction or feedback, show that you’re open to it. Since trainability and adaptability are important to your success, don’t just ignore direction if it’s offered. Demonstrate to the panel that you’re willing to take the advice and/or critique and adjust accordingly - they may ask you to repeat a section of your material in a different way. Even if you don't nail their directions, showing that you are willing to give it a try is vital.
Don't be afraid of mistakes
“We’re looking for people who can be trained,” says Joe. So openness, being responsive and being adaptable are way more important than perfection. Even if you do make mistakes, it’s not the end of the world - show that you are willing to try again, keep going and work through it. The ability to be trained is vital in ensuring that you show yourself as a good candidate.
Just go for it
The panel will be looking to see that you are willing to go for it and aren't too worried about looking silly, or doing too much self-monitoring. Be ready to get stuck in to both your pieces and any other kinds of workshop or ensemble-driven auditions. Take chances, take risks, don't be another brick in the wall! Throw yourself in there!
Stay open, and simply treat it as another opportunity to do what you love, and a chance for growth. When you’re finished, thank yourself! What you did took guts, and you should be proud of that.
5. Finally, enjoy it!
JM Creative Director