How To Ace An Audition!

Written by Michael Lin


GET THERE EARLY
I generally like to get to my audition with at least 15 minutes to spare. This gives me ample time to travel there and leave time for the unpredictable nature of public transport. It also gives me time to warm up and get in the zone mentally for the audition.

I once had a final recall for a musical and my agent had told me it was at the venue I had previously auditioned at. I got to the said venue, approached reception and asked them which studio the audition was in. He had a confused look on his face… Luckily, he was in the loop and knew where the final round was but it was a 30 minute journey away and it was due to start in 15! I called my agent and explained that the info he sent me was incorrect and he apologized and called the panel that I would be a little late getting there. This is a one off situation, but it could have been a lot worse had I not been there a little early.



IF MATERIAL IS GIVEN TO YOU, BE PREPARED AND BE OFF BOOK
Michael Lin as Artful Dodger in
Faust's production of Oliver! (2004)
It is essential that you’re fully prepared for an audition and have rehearsed what you’re going to deliver in the room multiple times to avoid any surprises and to be clear on your performance. It’s all good memorizing the lines sitting at home in the front of the telly, but actually getting up and simulating a performance/audition scenario in practice is the only way you’ll feel comfortable going into the room.

Even if you are one of the best performers in the room, if someone was on par with you with their performance AND they were off book (i.e. performing from memory rather than reading from the script), the panel is going to be able to judge a performance better from someone off-book compared to you still holding the script. They’ll most likely choose the person without the script because it shows initiative and ability to pick up material. If you still really can’t memorise it for whatever reason, then do your best to perform to the panel whilst subtly referencing your material. REALLY try and remember it though.



DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS…
This applies to a dance round audition or script reading. If you’re unsure of a dance move whilst learning the routine, what count the routine happens on, or the dynamics of the movement, clarify what that is for your brain so that you can execute the number without doubt.

If it’s a reading and you’ve been given material to read on the spot, after a cold reading, if you’re unsure about the text or the intention, clarify what that is for your understanding. The panel will most likely be able to pick up on whether you truly understand what you’re saying over just saying the words on the paper.



… HOWEVER, LISTEN TO THE CORRECTIONS, WHOEVER ASKS THEM, AND APPLY THEM
Assuming you’re in a group, a question may not be asked by you, but could have been addressed by someone else in the room and may actually apply to you too. When a creative does clarify what that is they’re hardly going to want to explain it again for everyone because you asked again. This could frustrate them or create a negative impression of you. Show that you’re attentive and take the notes on board, even if you don’t’ ask them. Sometimes you may not be the best candidate initially, but if the panel gives you corrections or direction and you take them on board effectively, it shows you’re able to adjust and is a strong indication that they can work with you easily.



THE PANEL WANTS YOU TO DO YOUR BEST
The panel is looking for someone that’ll do the best job in their eyes under their direction. This is quite a hard process for them and sometimes this can take a long time. When they set up auditions, they want to see you at your best and want to make the process as comfortable as possible for you so that you don’t feel the psychological stress and perform at a level you’re not happy with. They’re not trying to make you slip up or hope that you mess things up. Of course, you’re not going to want to mess up the tiniest thing, but if you do mess up a little, it’s not the end of the world! Don’t be too hard on yourself.




Michael Lin leading a specialised musical theatre workshop for our members in August 2018



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