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Tips: Auditions

 

 

DON'T CALL US--WE'LL CALL YOU

(A Cynic's Answer to Why Actors Don't Get Cast)

by Kevin M Reese

1996, Kevin M Reese. All Rights Reserved.

See also:  Actor's FAQ


I believe there are three basic qualities that an actor must possess in order to have any long term success in the theatre:

TALENT

DEDICATION

PERSONALITY

TALENT: Talent is one of those abstract terms for which you cannot find a definition everyone will agree -- but everyone knows it when they see it. Talent may include (but is not limited to) proficiency in comic or dramatic timing, imagination, motor skills (such as diction, vocal projection, and physical grace), and charisma. Talent is usually numero uno, the first thing directors look for in an actor.

DEDICATION: Ideally, the actor with the most talent gets the role--but that is not always the case. If two actors display the same level of talent, the director needs some other criteria to help him/her make a decision. Dedication is quite often the next thing directors look for in an actor. Sometimes a lack of talent can be compensated by dedication. Dedication often takes the form of good old fashion hard work: punctuality, self-discipline, learning lines and blocking on time, staying emotionally and physically healthy, staying focused during rehearsals/performances, tenacity, depend-ability, and being responsible.

PERSONALITY: One of the more neglected traits of an actor is their personality. Is she/he someone that others enjoy being with? Is there an ego problem? Do they take direction well? Do they have a sense of humor? How well does this actor handle stress? If a director has to choose between two actors who are similar in talent and dedication, the actor who seems to be the easiest to work with will probably get the role.

The three previous qualities are things an actor has at least some control over. Luck, however, is something no one can control (though some define luck as "when opportunity meets preparation"--see: DEDICATION). Good luck is being in the right place at the right time. It may get you your first couple jobs, but after that, your talent, dedication and personality levels will determine your casting. Bad luck is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It may keep you from getting a few jobs, but if your talent, dedication and personality levels are high enough--you WILL eventually get work. "Luck" explains everything that has no logical explanation. This paper will concern itself with only that which the actor has control.

These qualities work together to make the complete actor. During a typical audition situation, an actor has two to five minutes to demonstrate his or her level of proficiency. Of course, different directors look for different traits in an actor--some value personality over dedication, others may even prefer someone who has less talent, but is a really hard worker (someone they can mold). Sometimes the director will come across an actor who is highly developed in the talent, dedication, and personality areas. Usually, though, an actor is more developed in one area than another. What the director then has to decide is: can the actor's strengths make up for his weaknesses. If you want to be a working actor, you must make sure they do.

With all the competition for the roles being auditioned, the director usually has a tough time deciding who to cast. It sometimes comes down to a sort of "process of elimination" where the director lists all the reasons to cast one person over another on one side of the paper, then lists the reasons not to cast one person over another on the other side of the paper. The director then weighs the pros and cons of each person who auditioned. If you have more pros and less cons than another actor--you'll probably get cast.

Sometimes, with all the competition, it only takes one reason to NOT cast somebody--and that one reason sometimes has very little to do with talent. It seems like a pretty unfair way to cast a show, but it's hard to be completely objective in the arts. Believe me, if there was an easier way to cast a show--someone would have thought of it sometime in the last 4,000 years.

Auditions are a funny phenomenon. It is an incredibly stressful situation for all concerned. For the actor, it is a process where you offer up your inner-most self for possible rejection (and who likes rejection?). For the director, it is an all-too-brief opportunity to find the right actors for the roles in his show. The actor prays that he is exactly what the director needs so that he can get back onto the stage, in front of an audience again. The director prays that the next actor he sees will be exactly what he needs so that he can produce the best possible production. Everyone wants the actor to be WONDERFUL.

What actors sometime forget is, a lot is riding on the director's casting decision. Whether the theatre is amateur or professional, plays are very expensive to produce. Royalties (sometimes as much as $750 per performance), sets, costumes, and publicity can cost a bundle and if the director doesn't give the audience the best possible production, the theatre won't sell tickets (i.e.: won't pay their bills). A director may make an occasional mistake in casting a show, but if it becomes a habit, he'll soon be looking for another job.

In many ways, the audition format is really an ideal vehicle for casting a show: using a stressful situation to find people who can best perform within a stressful situation. Directors use a lot of psychology in their work. They think: if an actor has trouble dealing with the stress of an audition when there are only a few people in the audience, how can I be sure that actor can handle the stress of performing in front of hundreds? There is too much at stake to take unnecessary risks.

Another factor the director keeps in mind is CONSISTENCY. If an actor has difficulty in certain performance areas during the audition, it's usually a good bet they'll have just as much difficulty during rehearsals. Such performance areas may include the basic skills such as diction, projection, or grace; behavior areas such as ego, team spirit, altruism, sense of humor, morality/ethics, or ability to roll with the punches. The director wants to know: what is this actor going to be like in a working situation? In the (all too) few moments you have during your audition, you need to be able to assure him that you will be a director's dream come true.

The director also knows that during the audition, each actor is usually on their very best behavior. They want something from the director (a role) and know that they get more flies with honey than with vinegar. If during an audition an actor displays ego, bad manners, or some other negative behavior trait--and this is their best behavior-- would a director risk putting that person in his show?

This may come as a surprise to you, but the roles don't always go the actor with the most talent. In the short amount of time an actor has during an audition, he must convey to the director that he has sufficient talent, dedication, and personality to handle the role. The best way for that to happen is to not let any foolish mistakes get in the way.

One last thought: feedback. It's a tough call as to whether an actor should ask a director to critique their audition. Most directors (like most people in general) are uncomfortable with confrontation. Many resent an actor asking as to how they based their casting choices--not so much that there was no basis (they have reasons for every decision they make), but usually because they have anxiety about how the news will be received and handled.

Most directors know the beating an actor's self confidence takes in the audition situation and will do almost anything to avoid adding hurt to injury. Some mistakenly choose to soften the blow of not casting the actor by giving reasons out of the actor's control ("You're overqualified", or "We need tall, fat men") instead of being honest and letting the actor know what areas he or she needs to improve. A safe rule of thumb is: Don't press a director for feedback; if they offer it--fine, if not--get into an acting or auditioning class with a good acting coach who will be honest with you.

Here are some of the more common mistakes I have seen actors make during an audition. Some are minor mistakes, some are major ones. It is possible to make some of these mistakes and still be cast (but why take the risk?). As you look through the listing, you may think it a very pessimistic, fatalistic list that dwells on what NOT to do instead of telling you what you SHOULD do. I agree, but judging from the performance of some actors during auditions, it is obvious that nobody ever told them what not to do-- and don't forget: there are some pretty pessimistic and fatalistic people in hiring positions. This paper was written as a supporting document for a play I was working on and is not meant to be taken as my personal treatise on auditioning-- but there are a LOT of good points here.  Read these and remember them. If you ever find yourself getting ready to make any of these mistakes--STOP! My hope is that if you are ever passed over for a role, it is because you just weren't right for it--not because you made some careless, preventable mistake that had nothing to do with your talent.

KMR


Okay, let's pretend the cast list for the show you auditioned for was just announced and surprise, surprise--you're name isn't on it.

 The List

(In no particular order)

I didn't cast you because....

YOU DIDN'T FILL OUT YOUR AUDITION FORM COMPLETELY. Actually, I was thinking of casting you but your phone number was missing (or incorrect). I could have taken the time to look it up in the phone book, but then I thought: "If they can't follow directions enough to fill out a simple form, what makes me think they can follow directions on the stage?" I only need one reason to not cast you--you shouldn't be giving me any help in finding that reason.

YOU SANG YOUR SONG A CAPPELLA OR YOU USED A TAPE RECORDER. You can't fool me. I know that it's easier to hide the fact that you can't match pitch if you sing "a cappella". I also know that almost ANYBODY can be taught to sing one song perfectly if they can have complete control over the accompaniment (using a recorded piece). A major purpose of the musical audition is to find out if you can match pitch with the piano and if you can match tempo with an accompanist. I may take the extra time to have you sing another song--this time with an accompanist--but then again, I may not.

YOU ASKED THE ACCOMPANIST TO TRANSPOSE THE MUSIC. You're asking somebody you've never met to make up for the fact that you weren't prepared for this audition. In effect, you're saying that you have no consideration for the accompanist's talent or feelings by dumping this onto them at the last minute when you've had weeks to prepare. Transposing is NOT an easy thing to do. You need to hand the accompanist a prepared piece of sheet music in the correct key, with the beginning and ending clearly marked so that all you need to tell them is tempo.

YOU ACTED LIKE YOU WEREN'T ENJOYING YOURSELF. You sat in the corner, never smiled the whole time you were in the audition room, and never gave me any indication that you enjoyed meeting me or the others who were auditioning. I enjoy theatre. I like to work with others who enjoy theatre. Life is too short; if I can't have fun with the people I work with--I'll find people I can have fun with (why do you think they call it a "play"?).

YOUR ARTICULATION WAS SLOPPY. The number one job of an actor is to communicate the life of the character to the audience. How can you communicate if you mumble or have bad speech habits? I don't have time in the rehearsal process to teach you how to use proper stage diction--you should have learned that long ago. If you need speech or diction classes--get them.

YOU HAVE A SPEECH PROBLEM. If you have trouble pronouncing your "r" or "s" sounds, why did you use an audition piece that showed off your inability? On one hand, I appreciate that you wanted to be honest about your speech problem. On the other hand, why should I cast you when I have 10 other actors who don't have any speech problems. The WAY a character talks communicates personality traits to an audience. The way your character would talk may communicate things I don't wish your character to communicate. If you need speech therapy--get it.

YOU WEREN'T ENERGETIC. When your name was called you lazily walked to the stage. When I asked for volunteers, you didn't raise your hand. When you were delivering your audition piece your eyes seemed dead and lifeless. I can overlook a lot of mistakes made by an auditionee if they make up for it by displaying a lot of energy (controlled energy). Energy is the most important ingredient of Charisma -- and if you don't have it, you just don't have it.

YOU WEREN'T COOPERATIVE. When we were doing improvisations or other theatre games, you gave me the impression that you didn't approve of my audition methods or that you thought it was silly. Silly you. I can tell a lot about your personality by the way you cooperate with an audition format. What makes me think that you won't be uncooperative during my rehearsals as well? You haven't learned yet that you need to ACT as though you are a team player, someone who can play the "Audition Game" in a cooperative manor.

YOU HAVE A SHADY PAST. Your reputation precedes you. Someone has told me that your work with their theatre left a lot to be desired--whether it be that you couldn't perform as expected or you were difficult to work with. The theatre community is a small place--word gets around. Have you ever heard the expression, "You'll never work in this town again"? Sometimes it's true.

I'VE WORKED WITH YOU BEFORE. The last time we worked together, I made a mental note that I'd rather not work with you again if at all possible. Perhaps you were constantly late to calls (or worse yet: you missed calls). Maybe you had an attitude or ego problem. It could be that you didn't completely apply yourself, never seemed to give 100%. Whatever the reason(s) may have been, you left an unfavorable impression with me, and nothing you have done has indicated that things will be better this time. I am not a glutton for punishment.

YOU ONLY DID WHAT YOU WERE TOLD. When I asked you to read a scene, that's all you did, you just read it--you didn't put any emotion into the reading. When I asked you to sing a song, you sang all the notes correctly and showed rhythm but you didn't communicate the meaning of the song to me. You need to take a task that you are given and make it unique to your talents, make it you. Show initiative, show that you have some guts to try things. Surprise me.

YOU WERE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. When you made a mistake during your audition, you didn't handle yourself well. You made a face or muttered a swear word or found some other way to let everyone know that you weren't happy with what you had done. Lighten up! I don't have time during the rehearsal process to baby anyone. If you make a mistake--so what, you made a mistake. Who doesn't? Get over it.

YOU WERE RUDE TO AN ASSISTANT. You were impatient with the person handing out the audition forms when you first arrived, or you snapped at the accompanist. Don't you realize that your audition begins the moment you enter the building? You are being observed. The walls have eyes and ears. Everything you do and say, everything you don't do and say is taken into consideration during casting. The people helping me run my auditions are my friends--and when you're rude to my friends, you're rude to me.

YOU DIDN'T DRESS FOR THE OCCASION. Why did you wear a strapless, sexy dress when you're auditioning for the part of Lucy in YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN? You didn't show me you had any common sense. Let your talent, dedication and personality draw attention to you--not your clothing. When you leave the audition you want the director to have the desire to cast you--not go out and buy the outfit you were wearing. Also, you should wear clothes appropriate for the audition. If you are singing, don't wear something with a restricting collar. If there will be a dance audition, you should wear clothes that look nice but allow for free movement (unless you bring dance clothes to change into).

YOU TOOK OUR FRIENDSHIP FOR GRANTED. You made it very clear to everyone else that you and I have a personal relationship--whether it be that we've worked together before or we're related. That embarrassed me and put my credibility on the line. I am trying my best to make the audition as fair and stress-free as possible but your little stunt didn't help at all. If you don't have enough respect for me to handle yourself in a professional manor during the audition, why would I think you would respect me at any other time.

YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR WAS OUT OF LINE. You made a remark during the audition that embarrassed one of the other auditionees. You exhibited bad judgment by taking a cheap shot. I appreciate a good sense of humor (as a matter of fact, I prefer working with people who have one)--but your type of humor that has no regard for other people's feelings is harmful and has no place in a show that I'm directing.

YOU LIED TO ME. You listed on your resume that you played a in a production of OKLAHOMA at the Candlelight Theatre in St. Louis. Little did you know that I directed that show--and I sure don't remember you. I bet that someone who would lie about their credits would lie about other things too. I don't trust liars.

YOU WEREN'T PREPARED FOR THE AUDITION. I asked for you to bring in a prepared monologue or song but you obviously didn't put much preparation into it. The whole point of a prepared audition piece is so that I can get a feel for how you handle yourself in a performance situation with material adequately rehearsed. You just showed me that--even with rehearsal--you have trouble in a performance situation. That's a scary thought for any director.

YOUR AUDITION PIECE WAS NOT APPROPRIATE. If you are only 16-years old, why did you use a monologue written for a 45-year old? There are lots of appropriate audition pieces out there, you just have to take the time to find them. Using an inappropriate piece tells me that you didn't think this audition was important enough to prepare for, or that you're just not a very conscientious actor.

YOU DIDN'T TAKE MY DIRECTION WELL. When I was explaining the circumstances of the scene or the improvisation during the audition, you kept looking at the ground or you kept impatiently saying, "Okay, okay, I know." When a director takes the time to explain something to you, have the courtesy to listen to what he has to say--believe it or not, he may say something you need to hear. If you don't take my direction during an audition, what makes me think you will take it during rehearsals?

YOU JUST WEREN'T RIGHT FOR THE ROLE. You gave a wonderful audition--you did everything right--but there just wasn't anything in this show that needed your unique abilities. Believe it or not, that does happen. Rest assured that if this is the case, I will remember you when you audition for me the next time (just make sure that the next audition is wonderful too!).

I COULDN'T HEAR YOUR VOICE. I had to strain my ears to hear you during the audition, and frankly I'm not convinced you could project your voice in a theatre. At some point in the audition you must show the director that you can project your voice as far as necessary. The best actor in the world is useless unless everyone in the audience can hear his/her voice. Maybe you should get into TV or film where they use lots of microphones.

YOUR DIALECT WAS INAPPROPRIATE. If I'm auditioning for roles in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, why did you use an Australian dialect with your monologue? Or, if you can't do a very good German accent, why did you try it in my audition? The most important thing during an audition is to communicate your piece to me--don't let an accent or dialect get in the way.

YOU DIDN'T SEEM TO HAVE BASIC STAGE SKILLS. You kept upstaging yourself during the audition, I couldn't hear you, or you were confused by Stage Right and Stage Left. There isn't usually enough time during the rehearsal process to teach anyone the basic stage skills. That's what classes are for.

YOUR FAMILY CREATES UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS. Your mother has called every day since the audition to ask why her little darling hasn't been offered a part yet, or keeps reminding me that she knows the President of the Board personally. It's too bad, but as much as "stage mothers" want to help their children--they sometimes do more damage than good. If that is how they act during the audition process, I can only imagine what grief they'll create concerning my costume choices or staging. You are the one who auditioned for the part, so you should be the one I deal with.

I SAW TOO MUCH OF YOUR EGO. Whether it was something I heard you say or something I noticed you do, I got the impression that your ego will get in the way. Pride in your work is good, but when I have to butt heads with your ego--that is bad. Somehow you have learned that you are the most important thing. You need to learn that theatre is a team effort. I hope you enjoy your own company while the rest of us are at the theatre in rehearsal.

YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN INFERIORITY COMPLEX. You kept apologizing every time you made a mistake--sometimes even when you didn't make a mistake, or you kept making excuses for yourself. Humility is one thing but it's difficult to deal with someone who doesn't think they're worthy of being human. Usually this personality type needs more ego boosting than I have time (or desire) to give. If you need psychotherapy--get it.

YOU DISPLAYED BAD MANNERS. When someone else was doing their audition piece, you were taping your shoe with a pencil, talking to someone next to you, or distracted my attention some other way. Or worse of all, you laughed when someone made a mistake during their audition. You were showing me how inconsiderate you are. Did you not realize you were doing it? You must not have any control over your bodily actions and that scares me as a director.

YOU TOOK TOO MUCH TIME. You asked to start your audition over after you thought you had made a mistake, or you made me wait on you for some reason after I had called your name. There are a lot of people to see during an audition so I try to conduct my auditions in the most time efficient manor. I can't afford to let everyone do their audition over or monopolize my time in other ways--and if I let you do it, I have to let everyone do it. What makes me think you won't demand more time during rehearsals as well? If you make a mistake, do what you'd do onstage--cover and go on. When your name is called, walk quickly to the stage and begin as soon as possible.

YOU CAME ACROSS AS BEING INSINCERE. You complimented me on everything from my directing skills to my cologne. You gushed so much that I was embarrassed for you. When I was a kid we called that "brown-nosing" and made fun of the kids that did it. What I didn't realize then was that they were making enough fun of themselves and didn't need me to help. Don't embarrass yourself or insult my intelligence (don't forget you're auditioning for a person who reads people for a living).

YOU LOST YOUR TEMPER. After you auditioned, you must have thought you'd done badly because you threw your music down on your seat, or one of my assistants heard you reel off a string of obscenities that would embarrass a sailor. You're a hot head. There's enough stress and pressure on us when we're putting on a show--we don't need someone around that adds to the fire.

YOU DIDN'T MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION. I don't know what it was, but something you said or did stuck in my mind and lead to my deciding to not cast you in this show. It could have been when you had a completely blank look on your face as I explained a scene to you. It could have been when you muttered something under your breath just loud enough to make me wonder what you had said. It could have been quite a few things, as a matter of fact, because all through your audition you did things that reinforced my first impression of you. They say that first impressions are lasting impressions. Unfortunately for you, you didn't make sure my first impression of you was a good one.

YOU MARKED THROUGH YOUR WHOLE AUDITION. It seems like you never let loose. I could tell during the dance audition that you had the steps down but for some reason you didn't dance out. Or in the scene you were reading, you just didn't seem to "get into" it. It was almost like you were trying to pace yourself or save yourself for something. For what? I hope it was for another audition after you left this one.

I COULDN'T GET YOU TO RELAX. You were a ball of nerves throughout the whole audition, and no matter what I tried to do to help put you at ease, you just couldn't relax. I know that an audition is a stressful situation for an actor so I do my best to help them ease their nerves. Unfortunately, a performance is a stressful situation as well--why would I think you could find a way to relax during a performance if you can't find a way to relax during an audition?

YOUR READING SKILLS AREN'T VERY GOOD. During the cold readings, you had trouble delivering your lines fluently and with emotion. You stopped to figure out how to pronounce words, then grimaced as you said them to let me know that you knew it was incorrect. You misread a lot of punctuation. You read the blocking in the script as lines. My rehearsal schedule is tight--I don't have time to wait for someone to learn to read during rehearsal. I realize that some people aren't good readers but once they're cast, they come through with shining colors. Unfortunately for you, I can't afford to give you the benefit of the doubt.

YOU SEEMED TO HAVE A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER. When you stated your name you nearly spit it out at me, and in your eyes I saw anger and/or resentment. It was almost as if you thought I wanted you to have a bad audition. I want you to be terrific! With every person who auditions for me, I pray that they fit my requirements for the role I'm trying to fill. I hope you are so good the heavens open up, a hand comes down pointing at you, and a voice booms: "Here's the one you've been looking for!" I know it gets frustrating sometimes, going to audition after audition and not getting cast. There's a reason that happens. Find out what it is and fix it if you can.

YOU DIDN'T LET ME GET TO KNOW YOU. When I asked you a couple questions about yourself you gave me one or two word answers or made a joke and didn't answer my question at all. When a director takes the time to talk to you, you should jump at the chance to let him know more about yourself. He obviously hasn't made his mind up about you or he wouldn't take time out to talk with you. Don't tell him your life story, but give him complete yet concise answers.

YOUR GADGET INTERRUPTED. In the middle of our audition, when one of the other actors was delivering a heartfelt reading, I heard your cell phone go off from the back of the room. Or perhaps an actor was distracted by the blue glow of the screen on your iPod, seeming to float in the back of the house. The moment was ruined for that actor-- and for me. Are you new to technology? Have you never sat in an auditorium and read or heard an announcement about turning off all electronic devices before a performance? You are either very inconsiderate or just a little too "ditzy" for me to take a chance on putting you in my cast.

YOU DIDN'T ATTEND THE CALLBACKS. I was planning to cast you (if you were not under consideration, I wouldn't have called you back) but you didn't bother to show up for the callback. The reason we have callbacks is to have a final look at those we are considering, match up potential casts by height, looks, chemistries, etc. We often hold more that one session of auditions, so this is a way to get the ones we selected as possible cast members from each session together and make a final selection.

YOU HAD TOO MANY CONFLICTS. You listed more conflicts than my schedule could work around. I would have cast you but I think you've got too many things going on in your life to devote the necessary time to this show. Your audition was wonderful, you did everything right, and believe me, I will remember you the next time you audition for me because you have given me the impression that you are an honest, up-front person. Too many actors would have not listed all their conflicts with the rehearsal/performance schedule then after they were cast, coyly mentioned that "they forgot" to list them. That leaves me the dilemma of either going through the hassle of recasting the role or completely rearranging my already tight rehearsal schedule (it also chisels their name into my memory as someone I never want to work with again).

I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT ME OR MY THEATRE. Imagine my surprise when I heard what you had told someone else about me. If there was a problem, why didn't you have enough respect for me to confront me with the issue--you had to resort to gossiping, backstabbing, and petty rumors. Didn't you ever stop to think that what you were saying would eventually get back to me? Don't you think that when you talk like that about me to another theatre person, they might wonder if you would talk that way about them to somebody else? I want to work with people I respect and who respect me in return. You fit neither of those categories.

YOU LACK CHARISMA. You spoke all the lines with feeling, moved with a lot of agility, seemed pleasant and hard-working enough but I just didn't see that magical quality an actor needs that makes the audience WANT to watch you. Charisma has very little to do with physical attractiveness--it is more of a psychological attractiveness. It is that mysterious phenomenon which makes the audience entrust you with their imagination, placing themselves--without reservation and with wild abandon--into your hands, awaiting whatever magical threads you are surely going to spin. Unfortunately, charisma is a very subjective quality that is in the eye of the beholder and either you have it or you don't. You didn't have it with me.

YOU ARE OVERQUALIFIED. This does happen. Perhaps you have an amazing resume full of leading roles at very good theatres and all I have to offer is a slot in the ensemble. Or maybe you have worked with me in the past and I feel that I have nothing to offer you in this show that will challenge you. Whatever the reason, I am assuming that you will not be satisfied with whatever roles/positions I have available and you have not convinced me of the contrary.

YOU ARE A CHAMELEON--NOT A PHOENIX. Granted, the person I had you read your scene with wasn't the most talented. Instead of making the best of the situation, you just coasted through the scene, lowering yourself to your partner's performance level. You could have impressed me by saving the scene, but you didn't--you let it die an agonizing death. Don't be a chameleon by matching the talent of those around you (there is too much mediocrity as it is!) You need to ALWAYS perform at your talent level. I need actors whose performances are consistent, dependable, and adaptable.

YOU DIDN'T RISE TO THE OCCASION.   Remember the phrase "When life hands you lemons-- make lemonade"? You took that lemon and rubbed your face in it. If something unusual or unfortunate happens during an audition (your tripping on the stage, or something your partner says or does), take the opportunity to show your ability to roll with the punches. If you have the wit to handle a potential problem during an audition, directors will believe that you could do it during a performance as well.

YOU DIDN'T ATTEND THE DANCE AUDITION.   I had you in mind for a role but since you didn't bother to show up for the dance audition--I have no idea if you can walk and chew gum at the same time. The fact that you don't consider yourself to be a dancer is irrelevant. If a director holds a dance audition it is another chance to see the prospective actor under performance situations. They can observe grace, sense of humor, basic motor skills, and directability--as well as your ability to dance. The dance audition is part of the audition game, play the game until it is completely over, or don't waste my time.

YOU WEREN'T ADAPTABLE. During the course of the audition, I had you read a particular scene three times with three different people--and you delivered the lines EXACTLY the same way each time. It was as if you had already set and memorized your line reading and come hell or high water you weren't about to let ANYTHING affect your performance--not suggestions from me, not an inspired line reading from another actor, and not your own creativity searching for a better, more effective way to deliver the line. You are a maverick actor: you don't need a director, you don't need other actors, and you don't need to wait by the phone for my call (because it won't come).

YOU WERE LATE. We make the schedules for our performances, rehearsals and auditions available months (usually a full year!) in advance. Why is it that 20 minutes into our audition call, after we have already welcomed everyone and have begun to see and hear the many other actors who chose to be prompt, you arrive and expect to be given equal time and attention by our staff? It doesn’t matter your talent level or the excuse– all we can think is “will this actor be late to rehearsals as well? And what about performances?” Also See: “You Displayed Bad Manners.”

YOU MADE ME WATCH YOU MENTALLY PREPARE. After we called you to deliver your monologue, you walked up onstage, announced your name and your piece, then it looked like you closed your eyes and said a little prayer. Why didn’t you do that before you walked up there? I know you need to clear your head and perhaps make your piece with the Almighty, but why make ME sit through it? Would you do that during a performance right before your first line? Your audition began when we first set eyes on you, why did you wait so long to prepare?

YOUR MONOLOGUE WAS TOO VULGAR. Your selection contained every slang, every cuss word known to man— and even some I had never heard before. Were you trying to impress upon us that you are very liberal-minded and/or have been "around the block," or were you going through some narcissistic, cathartic, exhibitionistic exercise? Forget the fact that our theatre produces fairly conservative productions and such language would never be heard on our stage— it just made me very uncomfortable. You couldn’t find another audition piece that displayed your particular talents just as well without all that vulgarity? Back to the library, sailor.

 

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Fees & Royalty

Scripts = $5.00
Royalty = $35.00
Mus Perf Pack Rental = $180.00

Purchase

Whether you want to purchase a perusal (reading) copy of one of our scripts or order a Production Packet (rehearsal materials), this is where you go.  There is also a link to fill out a Performance Application.

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The Class room

All kinds of "how-to" instruction:  Acting, Directing, Producing for family audiences, Videotaping, Auditions, etc.  We even have FREE scenes for classroom use.

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KMR Scripts | PO Box 220 | Valley Center, KS 67147-0220 USA | (316) 765-1957