I had a theatre audition a few weeks back, the first in a long time. My theatre CV is not great, not rubbish, but not great. I’m a little nervous at the monologue I have chosen, it’s from a Sarah Kane play and a tad risky, she wrote some fairly shocking stuff. But the play I was auditioning for wasn’t exactly up beat…. anyway, it went well, although I did suffer the embarrassment of having to sing. Only briefly but still, singing is not one of my fortes so it was fairly horrific, although I am almost positive I was not the worst, one girl actually sounded like she was dying. There was a dance bit too which was fine, I like to think I can dance, had a bit of training in that department. I was definitely pointed at and I am going to take it as a positive, no comments please. I got recalled which was nice. Theatre auditions for me are definitely out of my comfort zone now though, stick me in front of the camera and BAM I’m on it, but for some reason the stage is proving a much harder ladder to climb. Sometimes it seems that my experience in TV and film works against me, I went all the way to Norwich not long ago for a theatre audition and the director made a comment about Eastenders being a highlight and then proceeded to not even watch as I performed my bit. I mean why get me to come all that way if you’re not interested after you know what I’ve done?!?!?!?! It gets very frustrating, I complain I miss the theatre to friends that do theatre and they complain to me that they can’t get a break with TV, seems there is no happy medium….
Well that is beginning to change…. I had an audition on Friday for a play at a great venue in London. It was for the lead and I love the story. Anyway after getting no where in every theatre audition I’ve had for the past forever I was beginning to get fed up with the let down and rejection so I didn’t exactly spend much time prepping for this…. In fact hardly any. I didn’t read the script, didn’t even learn the part. Walked in and did my best blind read and chatted to the director. Annoyingly as I sat in there looking around, I couldn’t help but think how amazing it would be to perform there. The director and AD seemed so lovely and we had a great connection so I was miffed at myself for not trying. Today however I had a wonderful call from my agent, I got it! Unbelievable, the last commercial I got was after a horrendous audition too, bizarre.
Now I am not saying for one minute that going to an audition under prepared is the way to go, it’s not, but I did hear some sound advice which I think applies to this, not long ago. I watched a workshop by a well-known and respected actor on the topic of auditions and he advised that you should never go in with the attitude of purely getting the part. You want to sell yourself as an actor, a performer, an artist that can do a good job. If you go in with one mission, to get the part, you are limiting yourself and potentially coming across as desperate. If you go in with the attitude of meeting someone new in the business, showing what you can do and who you are, a “normal” person who has a skill then they will remember YOU. You may not be right for that particular part, or even the next but you may be right for the one after that. You want them to remember the person you are, not the crazy lady/guy who clearly needed a job! Anyway, that’s definitely how I came across on Friday. My piece may not have been well prepared but I had a good conversation with them, shared my opinions and passion for theatre and was relaxed during the meet. I figured I had nothing to lose and enjoyed chatting to them. So in conclusion, always prepare but never go in with the sole purpose of getting the part, and always remember to enjoy it and sell yourself. What makes you great is that you are you and no one else!