As soon as you decide to audition - start preparing! Preparation will vary depending on the show and what the director's want to see. But here are some general tips:
Choose a character or monologue that plays to your strengths and abilities. If you are very tall, it wouldn't be the best choice to audition for the youngest role in the show, for example.
Practice! Practice in front of a mirror so you can see your facial expressions. Practice in front of people and ask for feedback. Practice until if feels natural and easy. Record yourself practicing and play it back. If your voice, posture and gestures look the same as you speaking in real life, then you aren't acting!
Do research. What is the show about? What does the character want? To whom are they speaking?
Wardrobe selection. Dress appropriately and presentably. Wear clothing that shows your body shape and lines but does not distract. It is ok to imply what character you might want to be, but don't come in full costume. Example: Someone auditioning for Wizard of Oz and wanting to be Dorothy could wear their hair in two braids, but should not wear a blue and white checkered dress.
At the audition...
Remember, you are auditioning from the moment you walk in.
Be respectful and kind to everyone. It matters more than you think.
Look around you. Who is in the room? What are their strengths? How would you cast them, if you were the director? What can you do to make yourself stand out in this group?
Begin with a clear, confident introduction
Don't be afraid to move - you have your whole body and the whole stage to use!
Think about the words you are singing or saying and reflect on those emotions. If you connect with your material, directors can see that
If you mess up or forget words, keep going! Directors will respect your ability to pull yourself through. Don't start over unless you are asked to do so.
Pay attention to the other auditions in your group, especially ones you enjoy. What makes them great? Can you do more of that?
Be honest! About your abilities, your conflicts, your experience. Directors will appreciate it.
Don't make excuses. (I.e. "I'm sick," "I didn't have time to prepare," "I made a mistake," etc) This doesn't help your audition. Just do your best and leave it at that. If you truly can't be your best, you should wait to audition at another time.
- Have fun! It's cliche to say, but really! Auditioning is an opportunity to perform and be seen as something new. Don't hold anything back!
- DON'T BE BORING! Many people get great roles despite a not-so-great audition. The Director's know you are nervous and human. Personality and confidence go farther than perfection.
AFTER THE AUDITION...
Always thank the Directors at the end of an audition. Also, your scene partner, if you had one.
Be realistic about your expectations. Were you the absolute best you could've been? Are you the best choice for the role you auditioned for?
Remember why you love theatre and why you decided to do this show. The experience and fun you have depends on the director, the cast and YOU, it has very little to do with the actual role you get.
Happy with your part? Great! Now the work begins. Likely there are others who are less than thrilled with their casting, so show them -and your director - that you were the right choice for the role, with hard work and stellar performance.
Not happy with your part? Give it time. The cast list does not show what your lines will be, how much time you will be on stage or all the other fun things you will get to do. You won't know until you try!
Trust your Director. There is a reason he or she trusted you with the role you got. They think you will be the best for it!
If you are unhappy with your role, ask yourself, what could I have done better? What am I going to work on during this experience to make my audition better next time? Watch closely the actors who are playing the part(s) you wanted. What do they have or do that you can improve on?
An audition is a day. An impression can last a lifetime. Maybe you didn't get cast, or get the role you wanted. But if you made a good impression, the Director, the choreographer the Stage Manager those people will remember you. They may seek you out for other opportunities later on or recommend you to their colleagues.