There I was, at my first professional theater audition. You see, up until this point all theater work was given to me without having to undergo a proper audition. While I was lucky, this did not prepare me for the real world of stage acting and the process it takes to actually get onto the stage.
The theater was massive, and we were called in three-at-a-time to perform our monologues (or a song) and one-by-one an actor would approach the stage while the other two would wait in the wings.
An older lady, with crazy hair and equally crazy eyes, was called first. She looked back at me, with panic over her face, and said, “I don’t know why I do this to myself!” Then shook it off, and walked onto the stage like the Miss America she once longed to be.
Watching her audition taught me more than years of acting classes. My brief interaction with her opened my eyes to what it takes to have a successful stage audition. Oh, she got the part, too.
The clothing you wear is vital in a stage audition, just like any other audition. It is best to always wear clothing that is comfortable, free from busy patterns, large logos or catch-phrases. Think business casual (with an emphasis on casual). It is always best to dress in an impressive, yet comfortable manner. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and well-kept. Do not wear sneakers, sandals or anything of the like.
Don’t Be Intimidated
It’s no secret actors like to talk – more specifically, actors like to talk about themselves; especially at auditions. I have several theories as to why this is, and I believe it’s primarily to pump themselves up, dash away their insecurities and to intimidate those around them. Whether you’re a young actor or a seasoned performer, it can be easy to become intimidated by those around you in the waiting room. Do not let this happen. Focus on your materials, your lines and your appearance – don’t let another actor take away your steam or add to your nervousness.
One of my first big stage auditions was for a national touring company. I was thrilled, and extremely nervous. As much as I tried to push my nerves down, it wasn’t happening. A fellow actor, much older than I, took notice of my shaking hands and sweaty forehead. With two words she somehow shook me from my quickly debilitating nerves, “Relax, Sweetheart.” It was then that I knew the only way I would make it through the audition was to simply, relax. As an actor, your nerves will always make an appearance; however, you must remember you are in control and can dictate when and how intense they may surface – remember that.