Auditions for Musicals

Acting the Scene
Acting Auditions and Scenes in
• Facts
– Auditions usually last an average of 1 minute
– Everyone listening to your audition WANTS to like
– Everyone is there for 1 reason: to cast a musical
with a creative and talented cast successfully
– Whether you get a part or not, only you know if you
did your best
– Always remember - getting a part (or not getting a
part) is not a comment on whether you are talented
or not. Many times an actor that is ‘right’ for one
show is not ‘right’ for another.
• Problem
– How do you slow down 55 seconds to appear
talented, easy-going, articulate, and perfect for the
– Auditors may ask anything of you, but you are not
allowed the same privilege
• Solution
– It is hard to appear talented if you have not worked
on your audition
– If you appear confident you will appear more
– If you seem like you can “go with the flow” a
director will be a lot more apt to cast you
• Confidence
– Well groomed
– Appropriately dressed for your audition
(dance, singing, acting might not be the
same outfit)
– Speak or sing to someone as if they are
intelligent and perceptive
– Know what you are doing
• Music should be prepared correctly for the
• Song (or monologue) deeply committed to
• Monologues are Essential
– Once a director has meet you on paper
they want to see your personality
– Keep in mind that using a monologue for
the purposes of auditions is artificial
– They should never be longer than 2
minutes - and sometimes they are as short
as 1 minute (or 2 one minute contrasting)
– A monologue on a page is always longer
when performed
Monologues continued
• Have a variety ready to perform
• Once you’ve found a play/song/book or
film of a writer you enjoy find out what
else they have written.
• What if they don’t write in monologue
format? Figure out the style of the
playwright (fast paced and clipped,
graceful and expressive, ect)
Type and your monologue
• What type of role can you play?
• If the casting call doesn’t limit who is
auditioning don’t limit yourself
• TV is usually much less likely to cast
against ‘type’ than theatre or film
• If you can read the script in advance let
that lead what monologue you prepare.
Monologue Books
• A good starting point but for many (lazy)
actors this is also their ending point
• Look in these books for ideas but don’t
think you are ‘done’ once you’ve found
• This should be a lengthy process - as
long as it takes to find your song.
Types of Acting Auditions
Cold Readings - Given a scene or monologue from the actual
show to briefly prepare and then perform. It may be an open or
closed audition room.
Monologues - Generally in MT you are not asked to have a
prepared monologue, but it never hurts to be ready to do one…
especially when it comes down to you and one other person.
Callbacks - A combination of the above - you will be put into scenes
or songs with others being considered.
Audition Procedure
• Ushered into studio, theater, sound stage, etc. at the exact
time of the audition.
• Give auditors resume and picture
• Stand/announce
– Your name
– Title of selection
– Name of character from selection
• Do not “set up” scene - most directors will be familiar with
your material
• When finished allow 5 second pause and give a courteous
“thank you”
• Don’t apologize for anything
• Wear appropriate clothing (singing, dance, and acting are
• Be kind, courteous, and positive to EVERYONE you encounter
AT ALL TIMES-- you never know what the director will be told
after the fact
• Fight your nerves - auditors WANT you to be good and if you’ve
prepared you should deliver
• Take water (only) with you
• Don’t be surprised if the auditors stop you in the middle or
before you finish your song, dance, or acting piece… it simply
means they have heard what they needed to hear
• Treat every audition as the opportunity to share your talent and
learn more about yourself as a performer and your skills - not as
a statement of your ultimate talent. A variety of factors go into
whether an actor is cast in a role (or not).
Monologue Advice
• Like the song – make sure it takes the
character on a journey and has
something at stake. \
• Read, REad, REAd, READ
• Like songs watch things that are so
popular everyone is doing it.
• You can find monologues from other
sources, but be careful here.
Monologue Guidelines
• Keep it in the present – stay out of the
• Leave Dreams for sleeping
• Avoid Rambling Monologues
• If it’s not working drop it
• Don’t write your own monologue
• Keep it active
• Match the monologue to the job
When performing
• Establish the environment – limited
movement is good
• Who are you speaking to?
• Don’t look down – but also don’t look at
the auditors (same as singing)
• If you happen to forget your lines – keep
going (ad-lib)
Acting Audition Essentials
• Know the title of the play and who wrote it.
• Know who your ‘imaginary other’ is and ‘see’
them when performing.
• Find your staging area when entering the
• As you finish let your last ‘note’ play out.
• Say “Thank you”
• Be prepared with at least 2 other monologues.
Scenes in Musicals
• Need to lead up to songs
• Are usually compact and short in length
• Will often only be 2 person scenes (with
exception obviously)
• Gives information that is necessary for
the plot to progress
• Was not ‘cut’ for a reason
Acting in a Musical Scene
• Requires the actor to make bold choices
• Requires excellent scene partner
• Requires an actor to have strong
• Requires an actor to learn lines word for