Where do you live on the gamut of "feelings on auditioning?" Love them? Dread them? Patiently or impatiently wait for the next one? We get it!
Here at The 5 & Dime, we love the audition process—it is a way for us to get to know actors, meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and have a wonderful time finding casting solutions for the production-on-deck.
We sat down with 5 local directors to gather their tips for auditioning—Kerri Hicks (5&D: August Wilson's How I Learned What I Learned), Lindsay Curry (5&D: Constellations, Topdog/Underdog, Sweat), Caryl Butterley (5&D: Fahrenheit 451, A Picasso, Founding Member of The 5 & Dime), Bradley Akers (5&D: 'night, Mother, The Walls, The Harvest, The Thanksgiving Play, Managing Artistic Director of The 5 & Dime), and Ron Shreve (5&D: All New People, A New Brain, Company, Falsettos.)
1. Do Your Research
“'Winging-It' and 'Going in Blind' are no longer viable options when it comes to bringing your A-game. Know the role, know the show and know who you are auditioning for. A quick search on Google or YouTube will give you all the info you need for past and present productions of the show and the theatre."
2. Come Ready to Work
"It’s easy to get side-tracked at auditions, especially when you are surrounded by friends and familiar faces. Directors want to work with you, just as much as you want to work with them. So, stay focused, be present, and be an expert in collaboration! Decorum goes a long way for directors and actors." —Lindsay Curry
3. Make Strong Choices
"When given sides to read, make a choice regarding what the character wants in the scene and give yourself a strong action to play. It will show what you can do as an actor, and lets you focus on the scene and not audition nerves. A good director will ask you to try something different if your choice doesn't align with how they envision the role, but meanwhile you've been able to give them a good sense of how you work and the thought you will put into the rehearsal process." —Caryl Butterley
4. Communication is Key
Communication in the audition room is a great way to show the team that you’re committed to the process. This involves asking questions of the director, being honest about your conflicts, being honest about what role(s) you are willing to accept, and being willing to have a conversation about a character, your choices, and the show. Auditions can often be seen as an experience of “I get the side, I get up to read, I leave.” By focusing on communication, you are emphasizing that this will be an honest, open, and collaborative working relationship.
5. Be Your Most Authentic Self
"Walking into an audition room tends to make actors start performing as soon as they walk in. Be your most authentic self first and let directors see the magic of your “performance” once the monologue starts. It is often this transition that reveals the magic of your art."
Directors want to be able to cast you!
You are wanted in that room—don't let anyone tell you differently. Auditions are sometimes matched with an atmosphere that's cold, tense, or scary... but at the end of the day, the director wants to be able to cast you. Remember that as you show up (physically and emotionally.) Relax, breathe, and be willing to play because you may be the casting solution the director is looking for!
We hope to see you at future auditions at The 5 & Dime and around town!