This one goes out to all those actors attending large combined auditions this season. Whether a summer stock/educational theater type gathering (i.e.Strawhats, NETC, SETC, Midwest Theatre auditions) or a regional theater consortium (i.e. Unifieds, StageSource, etc.) these large auditions can be a fabulous opportunity to make an impression and begin relationships with several theaters, casting offices or productions companies at once.
How you make the most of an audition like this is up to you, but I’d love to share an outline of the process I use with my power group clients. When followed completely, these steps have led to dozens of bookings and callbacks.
Research (8-10 weeks before audition)
Once you’ve decided on which audition you will be attending, and have registered, determine if a list of attending producers is available. Who will be there? If a list is not available, is there one from the previous year? Begin to research each company- check out their website. What shows/projects are in their upcoming season? Do a few companies stand out as specific to your skill set and current level? Do you have relationships with any company? Do you know someone who may be able to introduce you ahead of time, or whose name you may be able to mention in a callback situation. Create a target list of the companies you’d specifically like to begin relationships with. This research may continue through the next couple months as more info (i.e. season announcements) become available.
Preparation (4-8 weeks before audition)
Based on your research, decide on an audition piece(s) that will showcase you in the best light possible. If a company is producing a play that house your dream role? Find a piece that that play and stand out! Brief comedic pieces typically work best on these busy auditions days. Work your pieces with an acting coach (I have some availability if you're looking for a coach), and make a plan to perform your audition piece(s) for several small audiences (handfuls of friends/family) before audition day. Is the audition time? If so, be time be sure to make proper cuts so you are well under the time limit. If callbacks take place on the day of, be sure to have a range of back-up monologues/songs ready to go. If you are a dancer or move well decide on fab dancewear, and jump into class, if you're not in one already.
Postcard Reachout (2-4 weeks)
Now that your audition pieces are ready to go and you are clear on which companies you’d like to pursue, reach out to the companies on your target list with a brief postcard introducing yourself (I like the TouchNote app ), your website (if you have one), and what day/time they can expect you at the audition (i.e. “I look forward to auditioning for you at UPTAs in Chicago on Thursday afternoon, January 27.”)
Ensure a full night’s sleep the night before the audition, then begin your day bright & early. Make time to fit in a quick workout (if your audition is not super early). Complete a full physical & vocal warm-up before you arrive at the audition site. Bring healthy snacks, water and whatever positively fuels you- maybe headphones & music that pumps you up and cools you down. If callbacks are a possibility at this audition be sure to bring several headshots, resumes and other promotional materials you might like to share. Bring something to take notes in, as you’ll want to remember actors, directors, volunteers and producers you meet. Check-in well in advance of your audition time, and do whatever you need to ground yourself. Deliver your audition with the best of who you are. If callbacks come up that day, remember “they already like you!”
Follow-Up (1-3 days after audition)
Be sure to follow-up on any callbacks you may have received as well as any companies on your target list with a heartfelt hand-written thank-you note. As you build an Industry Contact List, be sure to include the directors, producers, casting professionals you met at this audition and loop them into future updates you send out.
You've got this! Break a leg and let us know how it goes :) Head on over to the #GlobalActors FB Community and fill us in.
With Joy & Inspiration ~ Elise
the global actor