Always Be Professional
One of the best recommendations I can give to aspiring theatrical students is to always be professional. One never knows who is watching. When an actor attends an audition, there are hundreds of people milling around. I have seen actors snap at audition monitors because they lost their place in line, or auditions were taking too long, etc. Usually audition monitors do not work for the theatre companies, but on occasion they do, and I have witnessed monitors reporting rude diva performers to the casting teams. Perhaps these prima donnas believe their talent allows them a higher status at auditions, but I know I personally would not want to work with someone who is disrespectful when there are plenty of courteous and humble actors out there looking for work.
At the large cattle calls in New York, it tends to be super noisy. When the audition monitor asks everyone to quiet down, it is wise and to your benefit to comply. Audition monitors are trying to speed up the audition process so as many people as possible can be seen, and when they are constantly having to repeat names for line-up, it does take time. When monitors become cranky and snappy, the audition becomes that much more stressful and a negative experience. Be the professional. Do not warm up loudly and sing through your material in the jam-packed holding room. Sit quietly, read a book, and focus on having a positive and worthwhile audition.
Do Not Take It Personally
If an actor takes not getting a callback or a job offer personally, they will drive themselves crazy. As I said before, there will be more rejections than work. In order for an actor to survive in the theatre world, they have to believe in themselves. Most actors do not understand how vital this is in the world of theatre and spend too much time searching for praise from others. When they do not obtain it, they feel exhausted and drained and begin to think negatively about themselves. The theatre world is challenging enough without being self-criticizing.
To achieve genuine confidence, you need to know who you are, accept it, and embrace it. You need to accept the way you look as well, as true self-love begins from the inside and not the outside. Ask yourself these questions. Is it possible for me to love myself when I put on weight or am having skin problems? Can I love myself when I have a “bad” audition? Am I a respectful human being? Do I live by good morals? Do I try my best and work hard? Your answers should be “yes.” Maintaining a positive outlook and being confident in yourself will give you the energy to persevere. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, perhaps you need to take some time to self-analyze and make some changes.
Another detail to keep in mind is that directors are looking to cast a show. They want you to do well so they can have actors to choose from. Remembering this fact will help ease your stress in the audition room. Also keep in mind that if you are not called back or cast in a production, many times it has to do with a factor other than talent. You could have the most beautiful soprano voice in the world, but perhaps you are too tall. An actor has to accept that there are always going to be factors out of their control and all they can do is present their best audition.
Auditioning is an Actor’s Job
Students need to understand that if they aspire to perform in musical theatre for a living, auditions are going to be a major part of their job description…and no pay is involved for that! In Part Four, I will discuss how the job of auditioning can be viewed as an “art.” I will also provide tips for other audition opportunities that aspiring professional actors should look into.