Directors' Advice: Audition Etiquette
With auditions for The Secret Garden just around the corner, DreamWrighters turned to our resident director as well as a few of our recent guest directors for some advice. Here is the second installment of wisdom and guidance on the topic of Audition Etiquette.
DreamWrighters: Thanks for taking a few moments to share your advice and experiences with our audience. Hopefully this advice will benefit new actors, experienced actors, as well as directors. As a director, Can you give us a few pointers on audition etiquette? What to do? What not to do?
Paige Hoke: For me, the biggest "do's" are being as nice, outgoing, confident, and prepared as possible. Act this way from the moment you enter the door to the moment you leave because directors and audition helpers do talk to each other and directors tend to be super observant.
Also, make sure you say thank you after your audition! Always try to read the play or musical, or at least a synopsis, beforehand. This helps a lot if you are not given materials to use ahead of time. But if you are given materials beforehand, practice them a lot and be comfortable with them!
As far as don'ts.... don't hide any conflicts you have, and don't apologize or make excuses if you do mess up! Just keep going and recover from the mistake. :)
Rodd Robertson: Have fun with it. If you are nervous it will translate to the audition panel. Someone who is having fun, is relaxed and handles any audition situation with poise will be remembered as someone with whom directors will want to work. Roll with the process.
Diane Crews: Dress comfortably and appropriately. You need to be able to move freely. No high heels, tight/short skirts/pants, not a lot of skin, and please don't dress like the character you want to play. The latter will usually be a negative for a director. Casting is the director’s job! Be yourself ... have energy ... project ... if asked to read different characters, make sure there is a difference.
Kirk Wisler: Be professional, listen to the panel, have your phone off, not doing this could really hurt you. Don’t give the audition panel any reason not to cast you. Have good eye contact with people in scene.
Michelle Denise Norton: Listen. Be nice to other people. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand. Be yourself, which may seem counterintuitive but actually works.
About the Directors
Diane Crews: Artistic Director and Playwright-in-Residence at DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre. Diane is currently directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Having directed well over one hundred shows at DreamWrights, Pageant will be her last holiday production as she is set to retire in the Fall of 2016.
Paige Hoke: Paige Hoke is 2010 graduate of Arcadia University's BFA in Acting Program. She has experience directing, teaching, and acting in the York and Philadelphia areas. She most recently directed Seussical at DreamWrights.
Michelle Denise Norton: Founder and Director of DreamWrights' Theatre Under The Trees program. Along with all of her theatrical endeavors, Michelle is also a writer, artist and cartoonist. In Summer 2016, Theatre Under The Trees will be bringing As You Like It to local parks.
Rodd Robertson: Director and actor, Rodd lists "Leo" from Leading Ladies and "Prof. Koknitz” from The Mouse That Roared as two favorite of his favorite roles. He has directed a handful of productions including To See the Stars and Nancy Drew: Girl Detective at DreamWrights and elsewhere.
Kirk Wisler: Kirk made his directorial debut at DreamWrights this past summer, directing The Mouse that Roared. He has taken part in over thirty plays from 2001 until the present day. He hopes to continue directing and acting at DreamWrights for many more years to come.