Auditions at ACE are very easy, and have been said to be painless. The following 10 steps will make your audition a successful one with very little stress.
1. Read the audition notice carefully.
Most of our audition notices will ask you to prepare a "short, Broadway-style song." What that means is a song that has a verse and a chorus, that can be sung in your strongest range, clearly and with energy. We don't need the entire song! We listen to a lot of auditions and can tell very quickly if you have the kind of voice we are looking for. If we need you to sing more, we'll ask you to do so.
2. "No unaccompanied auditions."
We need to hear you sing with music. It is extremely difficult to assess whether you are able to match pitch without having music present. Please bring a karaoke-type CD, MP3 or Youtube video to sing along with or feel free to bring your own accompanist! Coming to the audition unprepared will minimize your chance of being cast.
You can't be too prepared. Our regular performers spend most of their weekends singing for hours at a time. They have a lot of practice and know how much energy it takes to sing for an audition. If you are planning to audition for a show, start practicing now! That way, when an audition notice appears, not only will you know what song you're going to sing, but you will have had plenty of time to build up your confidence with the material and can arrive at the audition ready to have fun!
4. Choosing the right audition song:
Make sure the song is age-appropriate. It's also a good idea to select a song that is appropriate for the style of musical for which you are auditioning. Avoid singing, folk, rap, rock, or any other song styles that would hinder your ability to show you that are able to perform the style of music required.
Choose a song that's in your range and easy for you to sing. Auditions make even a seasoned performer nervous. Choose a song you can sing even when you're under pressure. Avoid the big ballads and those crazy high notes unless you are certain you can do them well.
Whatever you do, make sure the song is something you enjoy singing. Having fun on stage and being comfortable is an important part of musical comedy.
5. Be on time.
If you're really smart, be a little early so you can see if there are any forms you need to fill out, or if there are any last minute instructions. Our auditions start on time with information about the show, given before anyone auditions. The process and the expectations for your auditions will be missed if you are late, and will hinder your ability to successfully audition.
6. Write legibly.
Since all of our communications are by e-mail, it is important that we be able to read your e-mail address and phone numbers. It would be most unfortunate not to be able to invite you to call backs for a role.
7. Be honest about your conflicts.
We need to create a rehearsal schedule that involves dozens of people. If we cast you with the knowledge of your ability to rehearse and then you tell us that you can't make rehearsals, it creates a problems for the entire production. Being in a show at ACE is a serious commitment of time, energy and imagination. Our rehearsal schedule is highly concentrated and shorter than most theaters in the area. Any rehearsals missed may compromise the success of the process and ultimately may cost you your participation in the production. Think carefully about how you want to spend the next four to six weeks before you commit to a production at Actors Cabaret.
8. Come with an open mind about what kind of part you expect.
Our directors do a great deal of work before the auditions, thinking about how to cast the play. Sometimes the unexpected part turns out to be the best part! In this theater, because the audience is so close, there is no such thing as a small part. All of our performers, especially chorus actors are expected to create fully formed characters complete with invented bits of 'business' and dramatic through-lines. The smallest part can often give an actor the greatest opportunity.
Be realistic about the role you would be best suited for. Wanting a role and being right for the role are often times difficult for actors to understand. While it is great to love a song that a particular character sings, it is not sufficient enough to list that role as the only one you will accept. Limiting yourself by this kind of thought process is not only foolish but many times can cost you a great experience in being in the production.
Making it to call back means that you have stood out among the rest of the people who have auditioned and are seriously being considered for a part in the production. Even if you don't get cast in the role you may have wanted. A call back is an excellent chance to make a good impression for the future. The most important thing you can do at a call back is to listen. The director, at this point, will give more insights and directions as to what he/she is looking for, expecting you to be flexible enough to commit to these insights. Soak up every word. You should be willing to take chances with how you present your skills. This is your chance to show your stuff, and the place where all your practice pays off. Be brave and have fun!
10. If at first you don't succeed. Don't take it personally! Really!!
Casting a show is hard. There are always tough choices to be made. The director is trying to match up their ideas for the characters in the show with the abilities of the actors who auditioned. If there is only one part for a twelve year old soprano, and a dozen twelve year old sopranos audition, there are going to be eleven disappointed twelve year old sopranos, no matter what you do! That's show biz!
If you arrive at the audition with a song you can sing loudly and clearly, one that you have practiced and can perform with confidence, If you have made yourself familiar with the play and are ready to be part of in any role. If you are willing to keep practicing and keep showing up, then you have a chance at performing at Actors Cabaret. Don't give up after your first few auditions. No good audition goes unnoticed. Often it is just a matter of time before matching the right actor with the right part. Performing at Actors Cabaret is a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. Good luck and break a leg!