Tips & Tricks from the ACT I Presidents

So you've decided to audition! That's exciting, and we'd love to have you! Maybe you don't know where to start, though. Or maybe you've done this a thousand times but you just need some extra help to add to your audition.

We've put together this page to be a permanent list of ideas, resources, and hints that you can use to make sure that your audition is the very best it can be. You'll also find a few bits of advice here and there that could really come in handy if/when you've been cast!

Before the Audition Date

  • Read the audition information thoroughly. This really can't be stressed enough. We put a lot of thought into how we construct the audition information, so take it seriously! You may find clues as to what we're looking for as well, but you'll be at a disadvantage if you don't read.
  • Choose an appropriate monologue. Super important! While it's tempting to choose something melodramatic and deep, that just may not be appropriate for the show. You wouldn't choose a monologue about the loss of the love of your life to audition for Peter Pan, would you? The hardest part of choosing a monologue is actually finding a monologue. We always get a slew of people asking for advice and for links after audition information is posted. Unfortunately, we can't give specific suggestions in terms of which exact monologue to use. However, below you'll find a list of some of our favorite places to find monologues.
    1. Books are an excellent source of monologues! Find something similar in theme, tone, or character to the part you'd like to try.
    2. Television/movie monologues are always an interesting choice!
    3. Poems.
    6., -- This is a super clever option! These websites are where we get many of our scripts, and they both offer excerpts of every show they have available. Perhaps you can find one with similar characters (or even another version of the show being done) and use something from it for a monologue! It may take a bit more effort, but effort pays off!
  • Memorize! This may not seem like a requirement, but there is nothing that shows your ability more than a memorized monologue. When we ask for a prepared monologue, we're looking most importantly for people we can trust to learn their lines and perform them comfortably. If you don't have your monologue memorized, what does that tell us?
  • Practice, practice, practice! It shows!
  • Musical Auditions. Be sure to choose a song that fits -- both the show and your voice!
    1. Phantom of the Opera is never a good show to pull from.
    2. We've heard songs from Wicked and Hairspray so often that they no longer have much of an impact! Try to choose something a little different.
    3. In the same vein, however, don't choose something just because it's different! Make sure it fits your voice.

Audition Day!

  • Wear something appropriate! This extends both to decency and to show appropriateness. Whether there is a dance audition or not, be sure to wear clothes and shoes that you can move in! There most likely won't be time to wait for you to change, so consider that when choosing your outfit.
  • Be loud and energetic. Use the stage! Every single one of our most memorable auditions was performed by someone who moved around.
  • Make an impression! Remember, this is your 1-2 minutes to shine and make yourself stand out. Some auditions may have forty+ other people vying for the same part, so you've got to make yourself special!
  • Fill out your audition form honestly. I don't mean to include correct information about yourself and your acting history, though that's also important. Pay attention to the big questions. If you aren't able to commit yourself to the show if you don't get the part you want, then indicate as much on the audition form. ACT I has a zero-tolerance policy for attitudes based on this.

After Casting

  • The cast list will be posted as soon as humanly possible, so try to be patient. You'll be able to find it on Facebook or here! We usually have a pretty quick turnaround time.
  • The ten-minute rule. This is taken from summer theatre camp at the Grand, but it's incredibly worthwhile: after the cast list comes out, you have ten minutes to bragbragbrag and be super excited (at home, not online) or ten minutes to be disappointed. After that, you need to get it together and get ready to make the show the best it can be. If you were cast, the assumption is that you indicated you'd accept any part we gave you even if it wasn't the one that you wanted.
  • If retrospectively you decide that you don't want to accept your part, do so before the first rehearsal. This is a perfectly acceptable option and the responsible thing to do.

Rehearsal Process

  • Most importantly, come to everything. Unless you're told otherwise, assume that you're needed. Texting the director to ask if you're needed is the best way to tell them that you really aren't devoted to the show. If you don't want to be there, we don't want you there! If you continuously let us know that you don't want to be there, we'll keep that in mind for the future.
  • Be on time. Be on time. And remember, in theatre, on time is late. 10 minutes early is on time.
  • If you're going to be late or absent, let us know as soon as possible. 
  • On bad-weather days, pay special attention to Facebook or our website for information on cancellations. If there is even a chance of danger, we usually cancel.
  • Stay on task. We acknowledge that we like to have a lot of fun at rehearsal, which often means playing around. However, when it's time to focus, be prepared to focus. There's a ton to do in a short time, so every moment counts!
  • Facebook/Twitter/Social Networking Rule. We strive to create a safe, positive atmosphere within our theatre group. As a result, ACT I absolutely does not tolerate bad-mouthing or bullying on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. If you are caught posting anything negative about your castmates or the show,  you'll be removed from the show. We are a non-profit organization, so our only funding comes from the community. If you post negative things, the community will think that the show isn't worth seeing. Ultimately, this could lead to ACT I no longer being able to operate. We take this rule very seriously and have removed people before, so please be mindful.

There will be more to come with this as time goes on, so check back periodically. Content by Kristy Montgomery.