Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, auditioning for a show can be an exciting and a nerve-wracking experience! Below you’ll find some tips, definitions and helpful hints to make the process go smoothly for you and give you the best chance possible of having a successful audition.
“I’m thinking about auditioning. What can I do to prepare?”
Read the audition info carefully so you know when and where the auditions will be. Make sure there are roles for your age and gender. Check the potential rehearsal schedule and show dates for conflicts. Learn as much as you can about the show- see if there’s a script available, read the book it’s based on, watch the movie.
“I don’t have any experience. Does that matter?”
People of all experience levels audition for shows. Lack of prior experience really doesn’t affect your chances of getting into the show one way or the other.
“What should I wear?”
Dress comfortably. It is not necessary to dress up to audition but it might not hurt to dress in a manner that reflects a certain role or type of role you’re interested in. It is never advised to wear a “costume” to audition (like wearing a little red dress to audition for the role of Annie). Wear comfortable shoes and clothes you can move in in case you’re asked to go through a dance audition- you might look nice in your skirt and high heels but your dance audition will be a disaster.
“What happens when I walk in the door?”
When you arrive at ECCT you’ll be greeted by an ECCT Board or Youth Advisory Council member at a podium. You’ll be given an info sheet that has info about auditions and a tentative rehearsal schedule to look at along with an audition form. The form will ask for basic contact info as well as your schedule conflicts and past performing experience. (Many people find it helpful to bring their calendars with to auditions so they can see whether or not there will be conflicts with dates.) When you’re finished filling out your form, you’ll turn it back into the people running auditions and wait to be called to audition.
“How many people will I be auditioning with?”
Auditions are held in front of the artistic director for the show and sometimes the musical director for musicals. You’ll be called in in small groups of 4 or 5 people to audition- it won’t be in front of everyone that’s auditioning.
“How do I know what part I’m auditioning for?”
When you audition for a show, you’re auditioning to get into the show, not necessarily for a specific role. You are welcome to indicate on your audition form if there is a certain role that you’re interested in or if you’d rather not have a large role your first time out. This may be taken into consideration but ultimately all decisions rest with the artistic director.
“How long do auditions last?”
The actual audition time for your group will be 10-15 minutes; how long you’ll actually be at auditions depends on how many people show up to audition. If you arrive close to the start you will most likely be done earlier than someone who arrives a little after the start time. Everyone could be done in 30 minutes; other times it might take a few hours to get through everyone.
“I’ve looked at the potential rehearsal schedule and I have some conflicts. What should I do?”
There is usually some flexibility with the schedule as everyone has busy lives. Not everyone will be needed at every rehearsal- it’s possible your conflicts will not really be conflicts once the final schedule is handed out. The show dates and the week leading up to the show are the most important. If you see a large number of conflicts then you might ask the director about them or you might decide that this isn’t the right time to audition.
“What is a “cold reading?”
This type of audition is used for non-musicals and consists of reading from the script with one or two other auditionees. There’s nothing to prepare for this type of audition. You can help yourself do a better job by giving the scene a quick scan before getting started, remembering which role you’re reading, following along closely so you don’t lose your place, talking clearly and projecting loudly and following any directions or suggestions offered by the director.
“What is a “one minute cutting from a show tune?”
If you are interested in a lead role in a musical you may be asked to prepare a “one minute cutting from a show tune.” This means to choose a show tune you feel shows off your voice the best and prepare one minute of the song- this usually means one verse and one chorus of the song. Pick the piece of the song that’s the most interesting or the most difficult- you don’t have to just start at the beginning. Your cutting should be memorized to show you’re prepared. You also need to bring your music for the accompanist that’s provided to play. Recorded music (like a karaoke CD) also works; singing a cappella with no accompaniment is usually frowned on.
“What is a “familiar song?”
Those auditioning for a chorus role will be asked to sing a “familiar song.” This might be “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, a holiday song, “Happy Birthday”, “Twinkle Twinkle” or some other song that everyone would know. For very popular musicals it might be song from the show that everyone would know. Music for this song will be provided when you arrive and does not need to be memorized when you audition.
“Will I have to dance?”
Not very often but check the audition info. If it says you’ll be asked to dance, only those being considered for dancing roles will be asked to go through the dance audition. The choreographer will teach you a short dance and you’ll have a number of times to learn and perform it with a large group for the choreographer.
“I’d rather help backstage or with some other tech theatre area. How do I sign up?”
You can do this at auditions as well. Just fill out an audition form when you arrive so we have your contact information and indicate on the form the backstage or tech areas that you’d like to help with. The appropriate crew head will be in touch as help is needed.
“I can’t make either audition night- what are my options?”
Give us a call at 715-839-8877 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can arrange other accommodations we will try. Sometimes this is possible; sometimes it’s not. But it’s always better to ask than assume it won’t be possible.
“How do I find out if I made it?”
The info sheet you’re given will tell you when the cast list will be posted. The cast list will be posted first on the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre page on Facebook; then on our website at www.ecct.org and then on the front doors where auditions are held. The cast list will also tell you when and where the first rehearsal will be.
“I didn’t get cast in the show. Should I try again?”
Most definitely! Maybe there was an unusually high turnout for a small number of roles. Maybe it was something out of your control- too tall, wrong hair color, too short, wrong age, too many of one gender showed up. Maybe you were a little too nervous and will do better the second time out. Never assume that you shouldn’t audition again if you don’t get cast in a show.
Still have some questions?
Drop us an email at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to answer them!