Skip to main content

"God I hope I get it"


Auditions, castings, workshops – they’re never the same and they are all a bit odd.

Auditions are a necessary evil of the acting profession.  I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who really enjoys auditions but we all rejoice when we get them and despair when we don’t.

For the uninitiated, I’ll describe the different types

A fairly standard audition
You have the script in advance, you read it, you prepare your part.  At the audition, you perform the scenes you were asked to practice in advance and possibly read from another part of the script, which because you are well prepared, you are already familiar with.

“Bring a monologue” auditions
Variety of reasons for these.  If it’s a Shakespeare play, they may want to see your grasp of the Bard as many people are not strong sight readers, especially with Shakespeare.  For other works, a monologue is seen alongside a script reading and can provide a bit of variety for the director.  Sometimes the script isn’t finished.  Sometimes, they don’t know what the hell they want so panic and ask you to bring a monologue.

Workshop auditions
These can be the most fun or the least fun kind of auditions. 

Best case scenario, you play some non-awkward games, sit in a circle and perform your monologue and everyone claps, you might do a structured improvisation, everyone is nice and throws themselves into it.  You leave the room feeling enriched and having swapped Twitter handles with half the group.

Worst case scenario, you have to play name games with 25 people you’ve never met, get up close and personal with someone with BO or everyone else in the room seems to know each other and so you feel ostracized from the get go.

Commercials auditions
Often quite fun, totally unpredictable and fairly baffling.

You often don’t know the brand you’re going in for so it can be a bit of surprise when you get there, the casting breakdown will say “well known high street bank” or “soft drink” for example.  You always have to fill in a form, always.  If there is a script, you rarely get it before arriving at the casting location so speed reading and practising some reactions in the corner are necessary.  Once inside the room, there are rarely less than 7 people.  Sometimes you’re introduced to everyone by name, sometimes you have no idea who anyone is, or why they are there.  As well as the director, casting director and camera operator there is usually someone on a laptop paying zero attention to anything that’s happening, someone who looks bored and someone who looks incredibly anxious.  The room is usually far too small for the number of people and someone will comment on the temperature.  There are usually discarded Pret or Starbucks containers covering every surface not already obscured by a Mac. 

Dance calls
Exactly like A Chorus Line but without the opportunity to tell your life story

Re-calls
They like you, but they’re not sure how much.

Being “pencilled” or “optioned”
They really like you but a big boss somewhere needs to decide who they like the best.

Heavy pencil
They really, really like you but they’re still keeping their options open

Release all pencils
You didn’t get it

You hear nothing
You didn’t get it

Auditions are stressful, high stakes situations for both the casting team and the actor.  The thing to remember is that everyone in the room wants you to be the one.  You, the actor, want the job and the casting director wants you to be right as then their work is done.

There are also many reasons why you won’t get a job, all of them out of your control – see this article in BACKSTAGE  So all you can do is prepare and do your best and then forget about it as soon as you leave the room.

Image result for audition quotes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Swellest of Mobs

Things I’m glad I lugged to Edinburgh: ·          My gym kit ·          My Kindle and other things to read ·          My denim jacket that takes a long time to dry Things I’m genuinely glad I took to Edinburgh ·          Comfortable shoes ·          Absolutely no smart clothes ·          Tupperware ·          My Tinkerbell travel mug ·          Two sets of headphones (the dog ate one) As ever, Edfringe was a long, crazy, tiring but fun month.   At the half way mark it seemed that it would never end and that I’d be destined to walk up hill for an hour a day (ok, half an hour, the way home was downhill). But it did and all of a sudden, I was fighting my way onto a train at Waverley and heading back to London. At the fringe in 2017 I had a solo show and mainly flyered on my own.   I had a lot of wonderful support from family and friends but if I wasn’t there, there was no show.   This year couldn’t have been more different. The Swell Mob by Flabbergast

Dive in, lose yourself

“Hi everyone, just to let you know, I’ve been cast in an immersive show and I’m heading off to Edinburgh in August” “Brilliant!”   “Congratulations!”   “Well done!”   “Exciting!” “What is an immersive show?” Ah.   Yes.   Exactly.   What is an immersive show?   After two weeks of R&D I think I can now answer that question. Immersive theatre is the thing at the moment.   With the huge success of companies such as Secret Cinema , dining opportunities like  The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience and the current birthday party phenomenon that is escape rooms – the audience for immersive work is huge.   Audiences are looking for a thrill.   An up-close experience.   Something a little different. My go-to for definitions is usually Google/Wikipedia.   In this case “immersive” is lumped in with “interactive theatre” with Wikipedia saying “... immersive theatre, which brings the audience into the same playing space as the performers, obliterating any walls that separate

Awake: Part 2 - The North and the South

Awake: Part 2 Edinburgh and Sydney If it hasn’t rained within 24 hours of arriving in Edinburgh, you must be in the wrong place.   I love the city, but boy does it rain. My show is being put on as part of the Free Fringe and as such my first full day in Edinburgh is spent helping put posters up in other Free Fringe venues.   This is actually really fun, meeting lots of the comedians and performers and checking out the other venues.   I also attend a session for people doing solo shows organised by EdFringe and meet some lovely fellow performers.   Over the month, many of us manage to support each other’s shows which was really wonderful. The venue for my show is new to the roster this year, I pop in to say hi and see the space and then all too soon it’s August the 3 rd and I’m out flyering for Awake .   It’s a mildly terrifying experience which does get easy as the month draws on.   Flyering can be draining, demoralising, humiliating and also engaging, hilarious a