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First or Second Night of Auditions

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Acting
Forum Discription: Q&A about auditions, character development and other aspects of the craft
Printed Date: 4/17/24 at 8:34am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: First or Second Night of Auditions
Posted By: hobbyactor
Subject: First or Second Night of Auditions
Date Posted: 7/26/12 at 10:05am
Most of the community theatres in my area hold two nights of auditions. Auditioners can choose which one to attend.  An additional night for call backs is very rare.
As an auditioner, do you think it is better to go to one or the other?  Is there any advantage to going the first night, so that when the director first starts imagining the cast you are in the first group?  Or are you better off going the second night so that you were seen most recently when the director makes the final decision?  What about going both nights?

Posted By: Thudster
Date Posted: 7/26/12 at 1:25pm
I go the first night, because I think that's when they're really starting to look for people. I feel the people who audition the second night get the roles left over. Just a personal thought, but yeah. I do the first.

"Hey look! That's my dad up there whacking himself with silverware!"

Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 7/27/12 at 1:33pm
I tend to go both nights.  Two reasons - so I can see my competition, and so the director can directly compare me to all auditioners.

Thudster is right.  The directors are in casting mode from the first second an actor picks up a script and starts to read, and first impressions are always the strongest.

I usually ask the director if they'd mind me coming the second night as well as the first.  I've never had anyone, ever say, "No. Don't bother coming. This once was enough."

Posted By: vickifrank
Date Posted: 7/28/12 at 11:42am
Psychologists call the first impression "primacy" and last impression "recency".  in a way your question is which is stronger.  This question was asked in this post -
But why not do as edh915 suggests and get both effects? In addition remember that you want to be memorable, so do something different than the other actors (e.g. take a chance). 


The theater scrim people

Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 8/03/12 at 3:03pm
Saw somewhere recently, methinks it was about job interviews, they are more likely to hire the LAST interviewed and not the first.
 But having been on both sides of the stage,  I have many times seen some early auditions and put em in a role even before they are done, then I just can't get that out of my mind.
 Pick your poisen

Posted By: B-M-D1
Date Posted: 8/06/12 at 10:43pm
Speaking as a director it matters not a whit what night anyone auditions.  if you made an impression I will remember it.....good or ill.    However as an actor I tend to go the second night because in that mindset I'm under the mistaken impression the last seen will be the first remembered.

Dying is easy, comedy is hard.

Posted By: Rorgg
Date Posted: 8/09/12 at 11:58am
As a director, I don't really care when you come in, I use a pretty simple note technique to remember who stood out, and then try to use that as my primary guide, as memory can be somewhat unreliable.
As an actor, I tend to go at the start (schedule allowing) to show enthusiasm for the project if nothing else, but that's not written in stone.

Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 8/10/12 at 7:20am
Much the same as Rorgg - as a director I don't care when anyone auditions.  MY intent is to give everyone as equal attention and opportunity no matter when they show up to audition.  And like Rorgg I too have used a code system that as they audition I make notes (that no-one else can decipher) to "remind" me of who and what I saw.  And it doesn't matter when they show up - I give everyone an equal chance to do what they came to do.  And agreed - ENTHUSIASM for doing it is a big part of that though not the only thing, of course.
I recall when auditioning women for STEEL MAGNOLIAS one year, I had 90 auditioners - at least - I THINK it was 90 - could have been more.  And had I given creedence to "remembering people" and which day they showed up to audition or anything like that - I might never have found two of the characters I used for the show.  The VERY VERY LAST person to audition quite honestly (I said to myself)......had she been first I could have saved myself a whole lot of time.  She was PERFECT for Shelby and easily overshadowed everyone else.  Likewise, the first nite the Annelle character whom I watched audition, had never ever set foot on a stage, never done a show, had zero experience - WAS INCREDIBLY talented and the most natural non-actress I ever auditioned.  SHE got the role and was probably the best thing in that show but realizing and remembering that either of the two days we auditioned people, no-one came close to what she did.  And it didn't matter to me if she was there the first day or the second.  Actually she came both days and I paired her with other characters, tried her in other roles and she was the perfect Annelle.
Still doesn't matter what day they show up - I have ways of remembering that allow me to have a complete look at who is available or capable of doing the show and the auditioner full opportunity to show what they can do regardless of what day they show up.  One method that helped when I did King And I one year, VIDEO TAPE so I could remember them all - there were over 100 audition for that show (I used about half that number) so video tape in that regard really helped.  Tools - whatever they are - should be employed to give everyone the best chance of being remembered if they are memorable and right for a role in any show.  It's the fairest thing to do.

"Almost famous"

Posted By: jayzehr
Date Posted: 8/10/12 at 2:52pm
Originally posted by TonyDi

when auditioning women for STEEL MAGNOLIAS one year, I had 90 auditioners - at least - I THINK it was 90 - could have been more.

Man, I wish we were getting those kind of numbers at auditions. That would be a good problem to have. ! I've also used videotape and/or cameras in recent years just to remember everyone's name.

Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 8/13/12 at 7:49am
Originally posted by jayzehr

Originally posted by TonyDi

when auditioning women for STEEL MAGNOLIAS one year, I had 90 auditioners - at least - I THINK it was 90 - could have been more. 

Man, I wish we were getting those kind of numbers at auditions. That would be a good problem to have. ! I've also used videotape and/or cameras in recent years just to remember everyone's name.
Well to me that was a couple of flukes - I mean 90+ women for Steel Magnolias...!!?? I mean, indeed.  It was a GREAT problem to have.  And likewise for the King And I - over 100 including at least half that number were kids of all ages, dancers, actually limited numbers for the leads?  Wonder WHY that was.  INTERESTING as I recall.  Although the leads were superb all the way around.  Actually found out that the woman who played Anna - I had sung with in FLORIDA about 35 years prior - she was like 18 or 19 at the time and a great voice back then.  It was amazing to be 1000 miles away and run into someone who I had done a world premiere religious cantata with that many years ago.  She sang in the choral parts, I was tenor soloist.  Blew me away.  Actually her sister was on the board when I interviewed for the director's position and came up to me afterwards because my resume indicated shows I'd done when I was young, in Tampa - where these ladies lived.  Then she informed me who she was and who her sister was and I was floored.  Actually we apparently went to the same high school - she was behind me several years but the gal who was on the board showed me around the theater before she told me who she was, and then started singing my High School Alma Mater song - needless to say I looked dumbfounded.  Then she told me who she and her sister were.
Amazing the time and distance can revisit people you might have known many years before.  Karmic - sort of.  But anyway - yeah it was a UNIQUE problem to have in both Magnolias and King - and actually cannot recall having had those numbers before or since.  I think perhaps the most I've had for any show might number in the 20's - mostly women, hard as the dickens to find MEN to do shows especially in heavy men's shows when needed.  And you get a lot of 20 somethings that you TRY to fit into roles that simply just push the boundaries of believability - but when the choices are slim and you're working for a company who hires you and you don't have the opportunity to CHANGE the show to fit the needs of who auditions insofar as age ranges occurs - well it's tough.  But it would be nice to have a lot of people who do shows to audition. Just doesn't happen very often.  Few times in my experience.  Actually we did Secret Garden - I wasn't directing it...but rather was IN the show PRE-CAST as the father Archibald - and THAT director had maybe 50 or so show up to audition.  So it does happen occasionally.  I guess perhaps it could depend on the show and the popularity.  Annie, Fiddler - those big chestnut shows draw large crowds normally.  Back when the musical theater company - the big one in town - was still in business - it wasn't unusual to have 70- 75 people show up and in many cases shows they did had nearly that many in the casts.  Maybe it's the area, the interest level generated or what I don't know.  It's just fond memories to have been lucky enough to have those numbers when I was much more heavily involved in past years.  It's another good idea for a "chapter in the book" when I write that memoire!!

"Almost famous"

Posted By: hobbyactor
Date Posted: 8/13/12 at 9:27am
Thank you for all the suggestions!
For my latest audition, I ended up going both nights.  I went the first night and felt like I read ok, but didn't really nail it.  The director encouraged everyone to come back the second night, so I did.  I wasn't asked to read again until well into the night, but when I did, it went very well. 
My efforts paid off as I was cast in my first choice role! 

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