Jun
16

Audition Preparation and Performance Tips

admin Advice

Here is some advice and guidance for those who are preparing their audition monologues for our upcoming auditions in November. There are usually many more applicants than available places so preparation and hard work is required to be successful in securing an offer. Having seen many auditions for places at Sydney Theatre School in the past eight years, and also having auditioned many applicants for other drama schools and professsional productions, I have identified some problem areas and issues that commonly arise. Here are my top ten tips:

1)  CHOOSE AN APPROPRIATE PIECE

• A character or role you are likely to be cast in (ask others for their opinion if they know the play)
• A character close to your age, type, gender, physicality etc.
• Avoid using accents unless specifically requested

2)  PREPARE THOROUGHLY

• Read the play and identify the character’s objectives and actions
• Look up the meaning of words you don’t understand (esp. with Shakespeare)
• Check correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words (esp. with Shakespeare)
• Over-learn the lines and perform the piece for someone prior to the audition

3)  WARM UP PROPERLY BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

• May not be time or room to warm up at the venue
• Control your breath especially if you are nervous
• Project your voice (by using resonance – not shouting)

4)  TREAT THE AUDITION AS A PERFORMANCE

• Don’t stop during the audition unless asked by the panel
• Request a prompt or ask to hold the script only if you must (signifies lack of preparation/confidence)

5)  KEEP IT SIMPLE

• Keep still unless movement is required (don’t wander aimlessly)
• Don’t lock yourself into patterns. Be flexible and in the moment

6)  DON’T BE INFLUENCED BY OTHERS

• Don’t change anything if someone does the same piece as you in a different way.
• Trust your own instincts

7)  DON’T APOLOGISE OR MAKE EXCUSES

• The panel is not interested in reasons why you are under-prepared (eg sickness; family issues, work commitments; holidays etc)
• NEVER admit you were not happy with your performance (they might have liked it!)

8)  DON’T BERATE YOURSELF IF IT DOESN’T GO WELL

• Remember there is no such thing as a perfect performance or audition

9)  BE CONFIDENT AND POSITIVE BEFORE AND AFTER THE AUDITION

• Have confidence to be yourself
• Aim to project a friendly and professional demeanor
• Answer questions honestly and directly

10)  LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE

• Evaluate your performance and identify what worked and what didn’t and why
Mark Matthews – Head of School and Course Director