Ace an Audition to Campus Theatre Club
Edited by Jan Margery Castillo, Eng, Lynn
You are wearing that wonderful white Renaissance inspired ballgown while walking along the stage. You reach the spotlight and as you look up to face a jam packed dome, you can't help but smile inside and be proud of yourself as you deliver the lines of Juliet to Romeo, "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
And then you wake up, realizing that you need to catch the train to make it to your first class. What's worse is when you realize there's still a lot of homework you can't afford to miss.
You must be one of the students who envisions herself as a known stage actor or actress in the campus repertory. If that is the case, you better stop settling for imaginary roles and start planning your next audition. Ace that slot in the campus theatre club, as this article will help you to unleash that talent you have long been hiding.
To land a membership in the prestigious campus theatre club is like getting an admission to your dream university. You need tons of preparation to get that confidence. Some people review for an entrance exam for a period of at least a month. Some even get tutors or they enroll in a review center. Like that, you need ample time to prepare and practice to ace your auditions as well. Here are the ways to prepare:
- 1Prepare a monologue.Advertisement
- Prepare a piece that is at least three minutes long. That's enough time for the judges or the director to determine the range of your talent.
- Look for best selling books that offer the greatest monologues of all time. You may also search for great picks online.
- When choosing a classic monologue, make sure you review the role well and the background of the piece. This will help you better understand your character.
- When choosing a modern monologue, carefully pick the one that is close to your personality. This will better help you play the part well because you will already have first-hand experience.
- Prepare more than one monologue. Choose two different genres that you think you can play well. The judge will not only be impressed to know you prepared two samples, but it will also give him a better idea of the dimension of your talent.
- Choose an audition piece that you know you can memorize.
- 2Memorize by heart.After picking an audition piece, you should start reading it over and over again until you memorize it. This is the part that is a bit challenging because not everyone is good at memorizing. The fact that you are also memorizing some college-related lessons adds pressure. But there are ways you can master your chosen piece more easily.Advertisement
- Read and analyze your audition piece. You cannot memorize something just by reading it 100 times. Read by the lines and understand the essence of the script. Grasping the full meaning and sense of the play will work wonders for you because it will enable you to ad lib in case you forget a few lines.
- Memorize in the morning. If your chosen piece is a bit long and you are having difficulty memorizing it, try to do it in the morning. The brain can remember details better in the morning. Try to memorize at around 4 or 5 in the morning, because it is during those times when your brain is most fresh and receptive.
- Memorize in a quiet place. Go to your room and don't let anybody disturb you when you memorize. This will lessen any distraction.
- Use different techniques to memorize. Use mnemonics to remember lines, try to memorize paragraph by paragraph, or write the whole script over and over without looking at your copy. Record your voice while reading the play and just listen to it while you're on the train, or when doing household chores.
- Memorize and act at the same time. It's better to memorize and try to use your desired way to deliver it at the same time. Use proper intonation, apply the right pace, stress, and mood of the script for you to get the hang of it.
- 3Practice in front of the mirror.Once you memorize your monologue, it's time to practice the whole act full time. The most effective way to do it is in front of the mirror.
- Check your posture. You can practice in front of mirror to see if your actions look good or awkward. Try different acts and see how they fit you. Move around and be comfortable in front of the mirror. Since no one can see, you can experiment and just play around. You need to be comfortable and confident in yourself first before you can exude confidence in front of many people.
- Practice your facial expressions. In front of the mirror, practice the necessary facial expressions for your audition piece. Cry, laugh, smirk, seduce and be angry. Watch yourself closely because what you may think as a triumphant expression may look actually look like mourning.
- When you face the mirror, see the character. Look at yourself as if you really are the one experiencing the pain the character is undergoing. There is a difference between acting and feeling. You can better act if you put yourself in the shoes of the character.
- 4Practice in front of friends or family.Show your craft to your friends and family after you think your technique is good enough. There is no room for shyness because you will be performing in front of many strangers when you audition. Ask for their opinion about the monologue and be open to suggestions.
- 5Seek professional advice or training.
- If you have extra money, enroll in a training course to further enhance your acting skills. It will usually pay off because you will learn so much and determine which areas you need improvement on.
- Follow your theater artist idols on Facebook or Twitter. If you have the guts, message them or send some tweets to ask for advice. They might reply and give you their good luck message.
- You can ask veteran repertory members in your university about what to expect in the audition. It's okay to ask because it lets them know that you are very much interested. And the information and tips they can give will provide you chances to prepare for certain things.
- Watch professional plays on YouTube. Even if you can't see them perform live, you can still watch them online. Watch them for several rounds and observe their gestures. However, be careful not to imitate their style. You should only use them as inspiration.
After a few weeks of practicing, when the audition day has come, always remember that your purpose is to be a part of the drama club. Think positive and never entertain a bad thought, even if you see how competent the other students look. Embrace your own talent and believe in yourself. Here are some guidelines on the day of the audition:
- 1Be Punctual.You certainly don't want to have to rush and get all sweaty on the way to the audition hall, so it's better to come at least 15 minutes early. This will help you calm down and be familiarized with with the environment.Advertisement
- 2Dress appropriately.Your appearance and how you dress says a lot about you. It communicates to the judges even before you've said a single word. Make a good impression by wearing appropriate casual attire. It's not necessary to wear a costume because what's important is your acting skills.
- 3Relax.Since you still have plenty of time, put yourself at ease and try not to feel pressured. If you are shaking, count from one to ten and think about other things. This will help you shift your focus to lighter thoughts. Try to talk to the person next to you to keep yourself busy.
- 4Pray.Before the audition starts, pray and ask for guidance. Ask for strength and believe you will make it.
- 5Internalize.Before entering, spend a few minutes to internalize your character. Try some breathing exercises and convince yourself that once you are called to perform, you are no longer yourself. You are going to feel the character's persona.
- 6Smile.As you enter the audition hall, maintain good eye contact with the judge and smile always. This will create an impression that you are confident and a good-natured person.
- 7Be honest.When interviewed, answer the judge's questions with honesty. Tell him the real reason you want to join. There is no right or wrong answer. A judge will know if you are lying.
- 8Present your audition piece.This is your moment to showcase your talent. One important trick here is to feel the character. Stop thinking and worrying that you might have stood in the wrong place or said the wrong words. Do not be too self-conscious because you might over-think and get lost.
- 9Focus on your act.When you start your monologue, do not look at the people around you. Create your own filter and act as if you are alone in your room practicing. You might lose concentration when you see a single person laughing or smirking. It pays to just focus on your craft and on feeling the character.
- 10Own the stage.You are free to walk, jump, dance, or run in every corner of the stage as long as it's needed in your monologue. Be comfortable and feel at home. This way, you will get the interest of the judge because you are using the stage wisely. When you move, it means you know what you are doing.
- 11Re-do things if necessary.If you commit a mistake early on, it's okay to start from the beginning to reset your mood. This also sets the expectation of the judge. Just make sure you only do it once.
- 12Be versatile when asked to play a different role.There will be times that a judge will ask you to act out certain things or a situation. Follow his instructions and give your best. A good actor is versatile and doesn't choose any role. Accept every challenge because the judge only wants to gauge your skills and flexibility.
- 13Thank the judge.Do not forget to thank the judge after the audition.
Patience is a Virtue
After the audition comes the deliberation. It could be within the day or after a week or two. The waiting phase may seem like an eternity for you, but you need to be patient. Hope for the best and think that whatever happens, you know you didn't lose anything.
Qualities of a Campus Theatre Actor or Actress
Once you get accepted as a part of the campus theatre club, expect that you will have extra responsibilities. Balance is important because you cannot give up your studies for acting, unless you want to pursue a career in theatre arts. Here are some of the qualities of a good theatre actor or actress possess:
- 1Multi-talented.There are musical plays that require an actor to sing or dance. It is an advantage if you have all three talents because it's more likely that you'll be included in musical plays.Advertisement
- 2Sense of humor.Making the audience cry is easy, but making them laugh can be difficult. A naturally funny actor has an edge in many aspects. Aside from the comedic roles he can get, the audience also can relate more to actors that are ridiculously funny.
- 3Good at ad libs.When an actor forgets his line, he should know how to ad lib because he knows the whole story flow. He doesn't show that he is lost, but he finds a way to continue the play.
- 4Team Player.
- 5Down to earth.Being a member of the repertory makes you famous in some ways. Do not be a snob because somehow you are a campus personality. Be approachable and friendly.
- 6Responsible.A campus theatre actor does not take for granted his grades. He is good at time management and still meets the deadlines of school requirements.
- 7Versatile.Versatility means being able to play several roles. They are good at drama, comedy, old people roles, child roles, men or women roles, and more.
Perks of being a Campus Theatre Actor
Even if you can barely find time to review for your class exams, still you will always be thankful for being a part of the repertory. There are many advantages when joining a university drama club. Below are some examples:
- 1Scholarship.Universities often give full or half scholarships to students who are members of clubs like this. You can say it is really worth it because your parents can save a lot on tuition fees.
- 3Meeting new friends.When you are a member of this group, you have an almost endless chance of meeting new people and friends from different school departments. You also get to meet and greet students from other universities, especially when you are invited to perform in plays at other colleges.Advertisement
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.