When auditioning, picking the audition material is only half of the battle. A professional performer should always have a few items ready at all times. In a standard portfolio, an actively auditioning actor should have at least two monologues: one comedic and one dramatic. The performer should also have a few different song choices on hand, with specific sections of 16 and 32 bars bookmarked within the sheet music. Having this material prepared in advance means the aforementioned actor will be ready to go if an audition opportunity were to come out of the blue.
It has been previously established that when walking into an audition, the actor should be professional and friendly. However, there is much more to consider. With the knowledge in mind that the director has seen it all before, there are certain situations to avoid. For example, the “Can I start over?” line should be avoided at all possible costs. Not only does it make the director think the actor has not prepared properly, but it also gives the actor much more work to do in order to prove their requested second chance is even deserved.
The truth of the matter is, mistakes happen. What is more impressive than asking for a second chance is just continuing despite any missteps. In fact, it is more telling to a director if an actor is able to recover or learn from a mistake instead of asking to start over. It proves that a performer can keep going in a scene or song, despite having been dealt a blow to their confidence with a minor slip.
Another common mistake is trying to prepare for what an actor believes a director wants from them. This is not genuine. There is an evident difference in the style and dedication put into their performance. The last thing a director wants to do is cast a person who cannot or will not connect with the character. To avoid this, an actor should get to know the character they are auditioning for and find something in their own life that could help them connect with the emotions their character is feeling.
Auditioning can be a stressful process for aspiring actors. Mistakes will inevitably happen, but it is important to remember that each audition, good or bad, enriches an actor’s experience in the field and strengthens their potential. The tips an actor learns along the way leads them in the direction of the role they could one day get.
Photo Credit: Robyn Levy auditioning for Musical Theatre Club. Photo by Elizabeth Baummer.