Audition Nightmares


My friend Camber is an actress in NYC. She's trying to "make it big" as we might say. I'm very proud of her but more importantly I'm happy that she has a lot of fantastic stories to tell me about all the weird shit that goes down in the Big Apple. I'm sure you all know the hit TV show, Smash. It tells the story of a young girl trying to make it big in the NYC theatre world. My mother watched a few episodes and was absolutely convinced that this was the life that I was leading, including suicidal thoughts every time I don't get a role or a directing gig. I just told her it was highly innacurate and she should watch Canada's Slings and Arrows instead for a more accurate protrayal of the theatre life.


Back to my point. Camber and I were discussing on skype a few weeks ago about auditions. I wanted to know the "low down" on all the skeazy stuff people were pulling. I've seen some theatre people do some pretty shady shit at auditions, so I know NYC people had to be pulling Showgirl staircase moments... Sadly, Camber was very disapointing as a friend and said everyone has been very nice and even worse polite to her! What the hell, NYC? I'm very disapointed in you...


So, as promised to a reader who requested, here's 5 things you should never do at an audition.

(I have had the pleasure of witnessing all of these at one time or another. Don't do them - they make you look bad or worse - really tacky.)


1) Make a promise you can't keep
Whether it be promising to be at every rehearsal when you know you have your sister's wedding coming up or saying you can speak Dutch when you can barely speak English, don't lie. Everyone fluffs their resumes but you shouldn't lie on it. And don't commit to a project when you're not sure if you can do it - nobody wants to work with a person who's unreliable.


2) Bang someone
Self explanatory. Directors and actors who participate in the casting couch should be ashamed of themselves.


3) Sabotage another performer
I saw a girl at a regional theatre audition in the US cut the strap another girl's character shoes so she couldn't do the dance audition. Don't sabotage another performer, whether it be "misplacing" their sheet music or psyching them out. Get the part because you earned it not because you put tiger balm in their contact lens case. (Again, another thing I was witness to.)


4) Wear too much or too little
Don't go HK style with your glittered cats unless auditioning for "Golden Girls" the musical. Don't wear too much makeup or cologne. Also, don't dress like a common hooker. Have some common sense and have a friend or mother approve your wardrobe choices. Go basic and classic. Better to be safe than sorry...


5) Sing Andrew Lloyd Webber
Unless requested. Casting directors are sung his selections to death and probably by people who are more talented than you. So go with something different and less played. Be unique. I was told this advice in 2002 by a very famous casting person. His exact words, "I want to kill myself everytime someone sings Memory at an audition." Please don't make the casting person want to kill himself - you want him to like you!



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