Audition Etiquette

  • Always respond to a request for an audition by returning the call or email, whether you are interested in the audition or not. If you are busy, you still need to respond.
  • Let the theatre know if you are unable to attend audition especially if you have already told them that you are coming.

Selecting an Audition Piece

  • Look for SHORT pieces. If you choose two extremely contrasting one-minute monologues, or a one-minute monologue and a one-minute song, you will have more time to make your pieces as strong as possible - and guarantee that you come in under time.
  • Choose material that you UNDERSTAND, with characters appropriate for your age range and physical abilities. Always read and study the entire play to better understand the monologue. Understand your character's focus.
  • Choose monologues with a CLEAR OBJECTIVE and which are self-explanatory, that will tell your listeners everything they need to know in advance.
  • Choose CONTRASTING pieces. If you sing, try to make sure your monologue provides a different mood. If you choose two monologues, show your range. There are different ways to "contrast" as well as the common: comic vs. tragic and classic vs. contemporary options. Think about other types of contrast such as: physicality vs. stillness, opposite moods, opposite character types.

Things to Avoid When Selecting a Monologue

  • Avoid dialect.
  • Avoid imitations of other actors.
  • Avoid monologues that you have performed in production, unless you are willing to change them dramatically for the specific requirements of the audition.
  • Avoid stand-up comedy, or pieces written for specific actors.

Preparing For The Audition

  • Do your homework. READ the play many times for clues about location, time, speech patterns, actions, intentions, transitions and objective. Understand every word of the monologue.
  • Avoid props, other than things that might ordinarily be worn (glasses, watches, hair clips, etc.). Limit furniture to a single chair.
  • Place the (imaginary) character you are addressing downstage of you, and toward the audience. Keep eye contact with that person specific and consistent. NEVER place yourself with your back to the audience.
  • When doing two or more pieces, find the order that makes you comfortable, then consistently rehearse them in the chosen order.
  • Rehearse your transitions from introduction to character and from one piece to the next. Transitions are the place where most actors fall apart.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Show the piece to as many people as possible. The more comfortable you are doing the piece, the more comfortable you will be at the audition.

Performing the Audition

  • Arrive at least a half-hour early so you can check in and take time to warm up. If possible, check out the audition space in advance so that you are completely comfortable with your surroundings.
  • If you are performing a song, bring clean and clearly marked sheet music. Be sure the music you give the piano player can be cut down to 16 bars, if necessary.
  • Remember that your audition begins the moment you step into the theater. Be confident, pleasant and positive with everyone. When you get into the performing space, find your light and arrange your space before you begin speaking.
  • Keep your introduction brief. Include the name and the titles of the two pieces, as well as the authors' names. Don't just launch into the monologues, but don't explain them beforehand. Let the monologues speak for themselves.
  • Don't apologize if you make a mistake during your audition. Simply pick up where you left off. By doing this, you won't draw attention to your mistake.
  • If the timer calls "time" - stop immediately! Thank the timer and the audience, but get moving.
  • ALWAYS thank the auditors, and NEVER apologize for the audition. Don't telegraph that you think you blew it!
  • Leave the stage at a measured pace. There's no need to run away (even if
    you went over time).

Appearance for the Audition

  • Wear neat, comfortable clothing. No shorts, mid-drift revealing tops. Don't show excessive cleavage.
  • Don't wear a costume. Your outfit can suggest the character such as a high-collar blouse for a period piece, but don't get all dressed up.
  • It's appropriate to wear day time make-up.
    Make sure your hair is clean, brushed and out of your face.

Good Luck!

*These tips have been extracted from several sources of audition materials.