At the Audition
Image courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress
You’ve done your homework. You’re dressed appropriately. You got in your car and drove to the audition space.
Let’s be honest. This is where it gets scary.
Now, it’s scary at your first audition for different reasons than it’s scary for subsequent auditions, but there are similarities. The big thing is that now you’re putting your fate into somebody else’s hands, and that can be a little intimidating. It’s OK, though. Take a deep breath and get out of the car.
The first thing on your first audition is that you’re going to walk into the building and not really even know where to go. No matter what group you’re auditioning with, there will be people around who will be more than willing to help you find your way. (Or at least there will probably be other folks auditioning who you can follow around!)
Most groups will want you to fill out an audition form, no matter how many times you’ve auditioned with them before. A good place to start is to look around for a desk or a table where someone is handing out and collecting these forms.
The questions on the form vary from group to group, show to show, even director to director, but will most likely include your contact information, a list of any scheduling conflicts you’ll have during the rehearsal process (which you’ve hopefully identified already), and a place for you to indicate if there are specific parts you’re interested in. If you’re auditioning for a musical, there may also be a question or two about your vocal range. Once you have the form filled out, turn it back in to whoever is collecting them.
This is where the fun starts. Once everyone’s forms are turned in, the production staff will organize them and start the actual audition process. Remember; this is what you’ve been getting ready for!
Over the next hour, or maybe two, you’ll be asked to do a number of things. If you’re auditioning for a singing part in a musical, you’ll be asked to perform the song you have prepared. You may sing away from the crowd with the vocal director and an accompanist, or you may get to sing in front of the whole group. You’re prepared, though. This is nothing to be nervous about!
If the show is a musical and there is dancing involved, you will likely be shown a simple dance routine by the choreographer and be asked to repeat it. Typically, choreography is done in small groups rather than individually.
Finally, if you’re auditioning for a speaking role, you’ll be asked to read a scene or scenes from the script along with other people who are also auditioning. If you’re interested in a specific role, you will probably, though not necessarily, be asked to read at least one scene as that character.
And that’s it!
Generally, the director, or a member of the production staff, will tell you when the casting will be completed. Depending on the size of the cast and the number of people auditioning, everyone who auditions may receive a call or only those who are offered parts may receive a call. One way or the other, when you leave you should know what to expect next. If nobody tells you, it was an accident, so feel free to ask!
Afterward, hang around for a few minutes. Community theater people are notoriously nice to talk to. Share the experience. And pat yourself on the back. You’ve taken the first step! Welcome to the world of community theater. We’re glad you came.
Back to Theater FAQs: Auditions