Auditions, Casting and Rehearsals:

Auditions will be held prior to each production. Audition notices will be published in the school newsletter, on the Betty Huff Arts Company Web Site, via email and on the school bulletin boards. All those who audition will be required to complete a performer contract. Those who audition must be prepared to do a vocal solo, readings or improvisations directed by the production staff as indicated on the performer contract. The publication of the Audition Notice kicks off the audition process. If, after reading the audition notice and accepting the commitment required for this show, you want to audition, you need to return the forms to the directors. You will be notified within a few days of the date and time slot.

 

Other Helpful Pages

audition samples

theatre terms

warm-ups

The Audition

I. PREPARATION

1. Know the Material: Know the show or types of shows you are auditioning for. You should always read the play before you audition (if you are short on time and there is a video or cliff notes these are better than nothing, but reading the play is the best preparation). The director might ask you a question about what character you might want to play. The more you know what the auditors are looking for the better you will be able to give them what they want. If you are auditioning for a new play or a play that is difficult or impossible to get, ask about the style of the play and find out as much as you can before you go in. Tailor your audition to fit the show. You wouldn't want to do a Shakespeare monologue if you were auditioning for musical theatre.

2. Know the Auditor: Know who you are auditioning for. Different directors have different likes and dislikes as well as styles and audition preferences. The more you know about these preferences, the more likely you are to have a successful experience.

3. Memorization: Memorize your prepared pieces. These should be memorized and worked on at least two weeks before your scheduled audition. Don't underestimate how your own nervousness will effect you.

4. Pre-Audition Audience: Work on your pieces with an observer before you audition. Someone with experience in theatre would be ideal, however if you can't find a teacher or director, it is still a good ideal to perform your pieces for someone who can be a third eye. Even if you perform for a friend or family member, it is important to try to recreate, in some measure, the state of nervousness you will experience during an audition. Do remember, however, to take any criticism from someone who is inexperienced with a grain of salt (even a parent). Listen, but if you are confused, trust your own instincts.

5. Clothing: Wear clothes that are appropriate for what you are auditioning for (however, never wear a costume). When in doubt, be neat and neutral. Never let your clothes be more interesting then you are.

6. Food: Eat a light and healthy meal before your audition.

7. Warm-up: Warm up your voice and body. All actors warm up differently. Vocal warm-ups might include tongue twisters, children's rhymes, old monologues or any challenging language that will warm up the lips and tongue. Physical warm ups can include stretching, yoga, or any form of light exercise.

II. MONOLOGUES/ SOLILOQUIES
1. Choosing Pieces: This is the actors lifelong struggle: to find a great audition piece that no one has ever done. It is difficult, but keep trying. Remember, if you love a piece and do it well, it won't matter if they have seen it before (there are a few exceptions to this rule- ask your teachers and drama expert friends for more info). There are many audition and monologue books available. Avoid books with original monologues (monologues written for auditions and not cut from a play).

2. Cutting: Most auditors like you to perform monologues from published plays (never your own material or material created for a monologue book). If you are doing a famous monologue get the play and see if you can't add an unexpected beginning or ending that will make the monologue more interesting.

3. Story Monologues/ Active Monologues: Avoid "story" monologues (monologues that tell a story) and look for monologues that are more active in terms of an objective being played on another character. The power of a good audition is generated by the active connection with a focal point. Find a monologue that will help you with this.

4. Two Pieces/ Transition: If you are doing two pieces, try to make them into a mini-play. Find two pieces that are very different and find a way to link them. Work/rehearse this linking time or transition as you would part of your monologue to make a smooth, seamless transition between one piece and another.

5. Focal Points: If there are focus points in your monologue (a person to whom you are speaking), place them above and behind the person or people auditing you. Never, ever, place the character you are talking to with you on stage. Make sure you are rarely or never facing profile. Never place focal points further upstage then the 45 angle created with you body as the apex as you are facing full front toward the audience. Also, never play your piece to the auditor. Remember that person is there to evaluate you not to act with you.

6. Chair: It is a good idea to use a chair when auditioning. You can count on all theatres having a chair available for auditions. If you use a chair it will become an instant set. You can lean on it, sit on it, walk around it to create an entrance or exit, stand on it, kneel on it, etc. Even if you never sit in your piece, it is encouraged to use a chair. It will also give you a point of reference around which to base all of your blocking.

7. Don't Apologize: Don't apologize or make excuses if you are not as well prepared as you would like to be, UNLESS YOU ARE ILL. If this is the case make sure the auditor knows that you are sick, but you didn't want to miss this opportunity.

8. Moment Before: Don't rush into your piece, unless the piece demands this. Give yourself an acted moment before you begin the text of your monologue.

9. Introduction: Always rehearse your introduction as if it was part of the monologue. It should be very simple and concise. If you are performing one piece your intro should be as follows: "Hello, my name is (your name). I will be playing (character name) from (play title)." If you are performing two pieces your intro should be as follows: "Hello, my name is (your name). I will be playing (Character Name #1) from (Play Title #1) and (Character Name #2) from (Play Title # 2).". When doing two pieces, always intro both at the beginning of the audition. Never summarize the plot of the play or the situation that your character is in during the monologue.

10. Pace: Keep the action moving forward. Almost all auditions are too slow.

11. Time: If there are time restrictions, carefully time all of your pieces so you are confident that you will not exceed the time limit. Don't forget acting is slower than reading.

12. Starting Over: Avoid starting over if you possibly can. Sometimes if you are way off track this will be alright, but it is normally better to try to cover your way through your dry or end the piece early if you have already done more then a minute.

13. The Journey: How is the character changed from the beginning to the end of the monologue? Is there an arc or journey that the character experiences? If not, identify one or change your piece.

14. The Objective: The center of all good acting is the ability to play an objective on another character. Even though it is artificial to be trying to get something from the back wall, it is extremely important to make sure you are always pursuing some objective constantly in the playing of the monologue.


III. COLD
READINGS

1. Read the Play: Be as familiar with the play as is humanly possible, given the amount of time you have to prepare. Reading is best, but videos can help when short on time and energy.

2. Look at Your Partner: Always look at the person you are reading with as much as possible, but never put the script down, even if you have the lines memorized.

3. Ask Questions: If you are unfamiliar with a certain aspect of the play or character, ask. Keep it concise and don't waste time, but directors like actors who are inquisitive and demonstrate their desire to learn.

4. Script Position: Hold the script low enough so that the auditors can see your face.

5. Bold and Creative: Be bold and creative in your choices at an audition. This is perhaps the most important element of an audition. Even if your choice is wrong, the auditor will remember the bold choice more vividly. Remember we are not trying to see a final performance, we are only evaluating whether you are a creative and talented individual ready to enter the creative process of production.

6. Light: Make sure you are in the light. Many theatres use minimal lighting for auditions.


ADDITIONAL
READING:

There are many good texts on auditioning. My favourite is a book called simply Audition, by Michael Shurtleff.           

 

Call-backs

Call-backs are given for a number of reasons. The directors usually want to hear or see more to determine whether or not you might be a fit for a particular part. It is important to come as prepared as if it was a regular audition. Often you will be given a specific piece to learn. Relax enjoy, but don’t get your hopes up. This does not mean you get a part, have a part, we just want to see more.

Casting

If you get a part, remember to stay humble. Many other actors may have wanted the part and they didn’t get it. They don’t want you to remind them that they didn’t get it. Also often the part you were placed in may not have been your first choice. You will be expected to state whether or not you accept the part. There are no small parts, only small actors. You do however still have the right to say no thank you and to sit out the play or musical you auditioned for. Working back stage or simply watching and supporting until the next auditions can often be better than accepting a part and having a bad attitude.

Once you have made your decision inform the director so they can get on with the show.


 

**Please note you should find a selection on your own that suits you. The selection should include both character and emotion. The selections should be about the same length as those below. You can choose a fairy tale, short story, piece from a script you know, novel etc. We will post more on the website, you can check there.

 

Female Parts
 THE WILD DUCK by Henrik Ibsen.

HEDWIG is a young teenager. Her father has just discovered that HEDWIG is not, in fact, his daughter. His love for HEDWIG and the wild duck that they nurture immediately turns to hate.

HEDWIG: Daddy! Daddy! Don't go away from me. He'll never come back to us again. I think I'm going to die of all this. What have I done to him? Mother, why doesn't Daddy want to see me any more? I think I know what it is. Perhaps I'm not Daddy's real child. And now perhaps he has found it out. I've read about that sort of thing. But I think he might be just as fond of me for all that. Almost more. The wild duck was sent us as a present too, and I'm tremendously fond of that, just the same. The poor wild duck! He can't bear to look at that any more, either. Just think he wanted to wring its neck. I say a prayer for the wild duck every night and ask that it shall be protected from death and everything bad. I taught myself to say my prayers because there was a time when Daddy was ill and had leeches on his neck and said he was lying at death's door. So I said a prayer for him when I'd gone to bed. And I've gone on with it ever since. I thought I'd better put in the wild duck too, because she was so delicate at first. And now you say I should sacrifice the wild duck to prove my love for Daddy. I will try it. I will ask Grandfather to shoot the wild duck for me.

 

REAL
(this monologue is not from a play)
a monologue for a female
by Jimmy Brunelle

Most people think I'm weird because I volunteer down at the local homeless shelter. "Why do you want to be around those low-lifes"? It's just that one day, I was walking around feeling really sorry for myself because my mother wouldn't let me pierce my nose--everyone else was getting it done. Anyway, I walked by this wooded area that was really, really littered. Suddenly, this guy sits up from beneath all these cardboard boxes. I'd never seen anybody so dirty. Beard down to here. Hair down to here. It was his eyes though. When I looked into them, it was like the whole of existence just disappeared...except for his eyes. It was like I was seeing myself--but he wasn't me--but he was me. I just took off running as fast as I could. I didn't want to feel what I was feeling. Finally, something made me stop. I couldn't just do nothing. So, I bought him a pepperoni pizza, went back and just plopped it there in front of him like he was going to bite me or something. He said "Thanks, sister", and smiled. I said "you're welcome", and really meant it. Then I walked home--the long way. I needed to think. Up to that point, my whole life was a sham. For the longest time I pretended to be someone I wasn't--so other fake people would accept me. I finally saw someone for the first time...me. So, that's why I work at the shelter. There, I feel real.


 

**Please note you should find a selection on your own that suits you. The selection should include both character and emotion. The selections should be about the same length as those below. You can choose a fairy tale, short story, piece from a script you know, novel etc. We will post more on the website, you can check there.

 

Male Parts

THE LEAGUE OF YOUTH
A monologue from the play by Henrik Ibsen
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Collected Works of Henrik Ibsen, vol. vi: The League of Youth/Pillars of Society. Ed. William Archer. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912.

STENSGARD: What a lovely night! Listen to the music and merriment floating out over the meadows. And how still it is in the valley! I tell you the man whose life is not reconsecrated in such an hour does not deserve to live on God's earth! To build up, you know, we have to tear down first. I had a dream once--or did I see it? No; it was a dream, but such a vivid one! I thought the Day of Judgment was come upon the world. I could see the whole curve of the hemisphere. There was no sun, only a livid storm-light. A tempest arose; it came rushing from the west and swept everything before it: first withered leaves, then men; but they kept on their feet all the time, and their garments clung fast to them, so that they seemed to be hurried along sitting. At first they looked like townspeople running after their hats in a wind; but when they came nearer they were emperors and kings; and it was their crowns and orbs they were chasing and catching at, and seemed always on the point of grasping, but never grasped. Oh, there were hundreds and hundreds of them, and none of them understood in the least what was happening; but many bewailed themselves, and asked: "Whence can it come, this terrible storm?" Then there came the answer: "One Voice spoke, and the storm is the echo of that one Voice." I don't remember when I had this dream; several years ago. But the same shiver, the same thrill, that then ran down my back, I felt again tonight. Yes, I will give my whole soul utterance. I will be the Voice. And who knows how far the storm may sweep?

 

REAL
(this monologue is not from a play)
a monologue for a male
by Jimmy Brunelle

Most people think I'm weird because I volunteer down at the local homeless shelter. "Why do you want to be around those low-lifes"? It's just that one day, I was walking around feeling really sorry for myself because my mother wouldn't let me pierce my ear--everyone else was getting it done. Anyway, I walked by this wooded area that was really, really littered. Suddenly, this guy sits up from beneath all these cardboard boxes. I'd never seen anybody so dirty. Beard down to here. Hair down to here. It was his eyes though. When I looked into them, it was like the whole of existence just disappeared...except for his eyes. It was like I was seeing myself--but he wasn't me--but he was me. I just took off running as fast as I could. I didn't want to feel what I was feeling. Finally, something made me stop. I couldn't just do nothing. So, I bought him a pepperoni pizza, went back and just plopped it there in front of him like he was going to bite me or something. He said "Thanks, brother", and smiled. I said "you're welcome", and really meant it. Then I walked home--the long way. I needed to think. Up to that point, my whole life was a sham. For the longest time I pretended to be someone I wasn't--so other fake people would accept me. I finally saw someone for the first time...me. So, that's why I work at the shelter. There, I feel real.