A future audition can lead to many emotions: excitement, hopeful, nervousness, scared, anxious, determined. With days leading up to the audition, it's hard to manage all these emotions in the most effective way. Anyone who is planning to audition for a part in a play, show, or any theatrical production should consider using these effective techniques to help prepare and reduce your negative emotions.
1. Engage In Intense Practice The Days Before The Audition
Like the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and this is especially true when preparing for an audition. In the days leading up, engage in intense practice sessions and recite all of your parts over and over until it becomes second nature. This is helpful to do when you have a friend to assist you or an audience to watch you practice; it will spike your nerves and make you perform like you would at the audition. Doing so over and over in front of your peers will also give you a sense of comfort to decrease your nerves and/or any embarrassment.
On the day of the audition, however, it’s advised to avoid intense reciting or performing any in-depth practice to give a fresh performance for the casting. Going over your material last minute is the same as cramming for a test, are you really going to feel prepared or rather rushed to not lose those last thoughts? You need to keep your character fresh, allowing yourself to think and feel your lines, not recite them.
2. Arrive Early To The Audition
Never arrive to an audition just before you are scheduled to perform.
Give yourself time to to allow for unexpected delays such as finding parking or traffic; why not reduce what stress you have by arriving on time and feeling prepared?
The best scenario is to arrive early (30 minutes to an hour) and have plenty of time to get to the location and mentally prepare.
Take advantage of the waiting room and arriving early because this is your time to get psychologically prepared. While you wait, I would recommend against engaging with other actors or competitors no matter how nice they are. This is not a time to be social. Being social can distract you from transforming into your character, and could lead to self-doubt from comparing yourself to the competition.
3. Dress The Part
The best way to show the director you are right for the character is to dress like it. Dressing the part allows the judges to see the vision come to life instead of relying on their imagination.
Study your character, learn their hobbies, interest and imagine how you feel they would dress to portray their beliefs and recreate your interpretation for the casting judges. You might even create something the director didn’t originally imagine, but loves! You don‘t get anywhere in life without taking risks.
4. Act Like You Got The Part
When you go to the audition, acting as though you have already been selected to play the character instills more confidence than any other emotion. Now don‘t confuse confidence with cockiness or arrogance; you still have to work for your part. I‘ve found that going in with this confidence helps performers appear more natural on stage, as well as more willing to break out of their shell and become the character.
5. Focus On Memorization And Becoming The Character
There are two primary things to focus on when preparing for an audition. The first is to make sure you have memorized not only all the lines to perfection, but to also allow yourself to transform into the character you are auditioning for down to their movement and dialect. Some characters have accents or speak with a noticeable characteristic. Others still may move in a certain manner or hold their posture in a particular way. Take care to memorize and practice these character traits so you will be completely prepared.
Once you have the character traits memorized, you must learn how to execute them in your performance. Essentially, you need to learn how to become the character.
Here are tips for memorizing lines:
1. Write out your lines. Just like we do for studying upcoming exams, note taking helps our brain absorb information. Visualizing the words helps your focus and allows your mind to connect with the lines you are writing.
2. Turn your lines into a song. This might not be for everyone, but song are easier to remember than speeches. By turning your audition into a song you can sing-along to it on your off days of from memorizing lines to ensure you are always thinking about your monologue and most likely it'll get stuck in your head; just like a song.
3. Audition and run your lines with someone.
4. Give yourself a break. Go for a walk, read, take a nap, go to the gym; other activities will give your brain a rest and allow it to actually process the information.
5. Know your line cues.
TIP: If you are really struggling with your lines, record yourself reading them and play that on a loop throughout your day. On your car rides, making dinner, at work, or even while you're sleeping. You’ll have them memorized in no time.
Anyone who has a love for theatre, whether they are an amateur or a professional, can benefit from these useful tips to help them be more successful. With some advance preparation and hard work, you might get that part you always wanted to play.