Some people come to Walterdale with experience as actors. They have their monologues memorized (contemporary and classical), they know a song or two, maybe even know how to dance and welcome the opportunity to improvise on the spot. Then there are others for whom the audition process in terrifying, alien, and incomprehensibly rattling. Walterdale is a community theatre, which means we thrive on the energy of both the experienced and the novice.
Everyone should feel comfortable to audition for a Walterdale show. And so, in the spirit of attracting all you potential actors who stay away only because of the rigors of the audition process, here are some helpful tips to bear in mind the next time an upcoming production catches your fancy:
1. Read the audition notice. Each show will require different things for the audition. This notice is constructed with input from the Director so it should give you an idea of what they are looking for. It will often outline what the casting requirements are for the show so you might want to assess if you actually fit the show. For example, if the only female characters listed are 30 and 60, then a 16 year old girl might not be suitable for that particular show. However, the ages given are generally how you “read” onstage, so it is possible for a 25 year old to play a 30 year old depending on the look. Some plays need a variety of types and ages, so even if you don’t fit a part exactly, come on out and give it a shot.
2. If the audition notice calls for a monologue try to pick one that best demonstrates your talents as an actor. As well, it should demonstrate that you have abilities specific to the needs of the play you’re auditioning for. If a ‘prepared’ monologue is requested, generally speaking the monologue should be memorized. A tip for monologues is to try the piece different ways. A director might ask you to try different things and if your delivery is identical each time, they might think you are not able to take direction. Keep monologues under 3 minutes in length. If you are uncomfortable or lack the time to memorize a monologue don’t worry – there will be selections available from the script to read at the audition. Walterdale welcomes people of all levels of experience.
3. If the audition calls for “cold reads” this means the Director will have a piece prepared for you to read at the audition. Frequently this is a piece from the script itself, but not always. The Director might want to see how you interpret a piece you have not seen before, so they may not wish for you to see the piece beforehand. Practice with other pieces at home so you have some experience.
4. It is a good idea to read the play before you audition for it. This will help you to select an audition monologue appropriate to the piece, and give you knowledge of characters in the play if you’re asked to read from it. Theatre Alberta puts copies of all Walterdale plays on reserve. Sometimes we are able to loan copies for reading, but this is on a play by play basis.
5. Be confident. Directors don’t give out parts; the right actors walk in and claim them. Know what you can do and take pride in it. That way if you don’t get cast you’ll know that it’s not because you’re not good enough, but because the director had a different type of person in mind.
6. Take a workshop! Periodically Walterdale has workshops for members in a variety of areas. We frequently have workshops specifically on auditioning. If you see one, take it and learn some tricks from professionals!
7. Have fun, and keep auditioning! Just because you don’t get the first part you audition for, doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually get one. Sometimes it is just a matter of the right part.
For information on booking audition spots or if you have any further questions, please email Artistic Director Anne Marie Szucs at firstname.lastname@example.org