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Firace
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bullet Topic: How to conduct auditions?
    Posted: 4/01/08 at 3:08pm
Ok all my homies out there. I need your help. I am about to launch a musical I just wrote. Since I am a neophyte at this..HELP!!!!!
I will tell you what I intend on doing and let me have it whether or not you think it is a good idea...be brutally honest!!! Here goes:
I am going to put the audition times and place on our email as well as local papers. Giving the details of what I am looking for, asking people to bring a song to perform, a script to recite and making it by appointment only. They can call my number and I will call them back and let them know what time to be at the audition.
I am giving each performer a half hour to audition which includes an overview of the play.

The audition if possible is going to be held at this real artsy coffee shop. The guy is letting us use it free to drum up business.

Please give me  any other advice you can think of...

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Nanette
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bullet Posted: 4/01/08 at 3:20pm
You might want to also ask them to bring a resume and headshot along.  Be sure, too, to specifiy what time of monologue you want (dramatic/comedic/classic/comtemporary) and length.
 
Good luck!
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jayzehr
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bullet Posted: 4/01/08 at 5:51pm
Is the coffee shop going to be open for business while you're doing this? If I was thinking of auditioning for something that would make me feel uncomfortable.
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B-M-D
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bullet Posted: 4/01/08 at 8:42pm
Ok an audition in a public location with customers coming and going?   If I'm understanding this correctly then this is not very considerate towards the auditioners.   And do you really need to give each auditioner a 1/2 hour to determine if they're right or not.  Way too much time devoted to each person.  So if you have 20 people audition that's 10 hours!!! 

And as a personal preferance I don't like private auditions or auditions closed to other auditioners.

BD

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Carol
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bullet Posted: 4/01/08 at 11:57pm
If you are looking to get  people out for auditions who have experience with other CTs,  you also have to look at how they conduct auditions.
 
For example, I know that in this area, no other CT asks people to come with a monologue prepared.  Almost all the CTs use sides from the script for auditions for straight acting parts.  For musicals, they may request a song, but it is often done acapella.  If we asked for monologues, or a prepared script, the turnout would be VERY small.
 
But whatever you do with actors, whether sides, or monologues, try to direct them.  Ask them to do it differently - let them know that what you are asking may not be the best way to do it, but you REALLY need to see if they can take direction.
 
The play that I am STILL directing ( cast in October, performance in Feb, selected for festival in March, and won festival and will be perfoming in May) has a very young, relatively inexperienced lead actress ( 18).  At the first audition she didn't read the part as well as another girl.  BUT  I watched how each took direction.  The girl I cast took direction - her performance improved and continued to improve.   She just won best actress in Western Ontario Drama League with only her second major role - because she can listen, and work on things - she thinks, she makes it her own.  All of this did not come out in just a cold reading.  Find out if your cast can grow!!
 
As a second aside, I'm not in favour of public auditions.  I don't think that you want an audience, since you are looking to ask people to take chances, move to an uncomfortable space.  I'm also not in favour of public rehearsals for the same reason.    I'm actually OK with having other auditioners there, but not just general public or a peanut gallery - which often happens with community theatre in this area.
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bullet Posted: 4/02/08 at 12:33am
I am a new director, but I just held audtions and felt they went fairly well. I am also an actor and know what I like at audtions. If you want a lot of people to show up, you hold an open call with requirements. Such as, be prepared to sing, dance, ect. It really depends on what kind of people you are trying to attract. It almost sounds like you are looking for professional types rather than community theatre people. Most non professionals do not have headshots, monologues, or songs prepared. Professionals do. If you are willing to teach a song or have them move regardless, that is quite different. Since it is a musical your first order should be to see if they can sing. If there is dancing and movement, this should be held as a group audtion to see how well they pick up steps or if they have experience. Having sides prepared is essential for non professional work. Monologues are ok, but can be extremely tedious, and time consuming. Having a song prepared is ok, but I think you will attract more people if you have an accompanist and some familiar show tunes. Also, do you have time for callbacks? Just my thoughts.

max
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jayzehr
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bullet Posted: 4/02/08 at 2:12am
Originally posted by Carol

If we asked for monologues, or a prepared script, the turnout would be VERY small.]


Same here.
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Nanette
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bullet Posted: 4/02/08 at 9:28am
I beg to differ ... I live in a very small town (less than 500), and the fewest we've had turn out for an audition is 20 kids.  For those who don't have something prepared I always have sides available, but it's often painful to watch them try and read, so I'll often have them recite poetry or tell a story.
 
As far as the headshot goes, it doesn't have to be professionally done.  A photograph works well.  I'll also bring along a digital camera and take pix of those who didn't bring a photo.
 
Same goes for the resume ... I'll have blank forms available for them to complete if they don't have something prepared.
 
I've never had a complaint ... yet!  ;)
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Gaafa
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bullet Posted: 4/02/08 at 10:24am
Actually I never require a monologue, party piece or anything prepared. Other than getting them to fill out the normal information sheet.
I posted this article sometime ago;-
Audition the actor, not the part;-
http://www.aact.org/documents/AUD1.pdf
Which is more in line with what I do & what we are about.
This is even for musicals & large cast productions.
I take all that has fronted up on mass or in large groups.
With smaller shows I audition them all together, or ask each in turn to enter to DSC & state thier name & exit the stage, I glean a lot from this!
I hate the allotted time slots & don't follow the usual formula's of most other groups, with ridged procedures, thought up to mimic proeatre.
 
      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}

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pdavis69
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bullet Posted: 4/02/08 at 10:24am
I dislike private auditions because I only get to see what that one person is doing.  I like to see how they interact with other potential cast members.  I have seen instances where a person one on one does very well however they do not mesh as well as someone else.  I realy need to see them reading with someone else.  I want married characters to work well together.
Patrick L. Davis
Fort Findlay Playhouse
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