If people could be cast in a play without auditioning, then everyone would be Broadway stars. There's no question that auditioning is scary and filled with anxiety for actors - and directors, too! - but it's also true that it will always be a part of acting for every single actor and every single production. You're not alone!
We work hard to make the audition process as comfortable as possible - we want you to have fun, and work in an environment that makes you feel excited about trying new things and taking "risks" in your acting.
To help with this, auditions are closed - only auditioning actors and the director and casting team are involved in the process.
Auditioning is important because it gives the director and casting team the information they need to place actors in the best role to create the production the way they envision it. Every director has their own unique vision of a show - they're like snowflakes! No two will be the same! Directors are looking for traits and characteristics that help fulfill their vision, and because you won't know what that vision is before the play starts, being focused simply on having the best possible auditioning experience regardless of the casting outcome is the best way to go.
HOW is casting decided at WCT?
At WCT, if you have successfully registered then you are guaranteed a part in the play. Our cast is not determined by auditions, and therefore, having a prepared audition piece is optional; at auditions, if you don't have a piece prepared, we will provide you with something to present. However, the specific casting of roles IS determined by audition, and if you are interested in a more responsible part, having a prepared audition piece is a must.
Typically, directors are looking at a few different things when casting you:
- Which part do you seem most suited to, for their vision?
- What does your WCT resume look like so far - have you been working towards being ready for a challenge?
- Every part matters; we want to see that you can work well with the team whether you are in a principal or ensemble role. Energy and desire to be part of the creative team is important.
- And finally, how did your audition go?
All directors want to see actors demonstrate that they want to be there. Even if you're so nervous that you feel like being just about anywhere else on earth besides the audition, be your best self; expressive, positive, aim for confidence and have fun!
HOW it's done!
Don't wait until the last minute: It always shows, and it sends a message that you don't take it seriously! You know what your capabilities are - bring your best! Here's what you need to do:
1) Select the piece
- Spend a little time looking in the library or online, preferably in plays, but books or using the auditioning links below is also okay, and find at least 3 pieces that speak to you.
- You should know the story and character well, ideally! Take the 3 choices to fellow actors, or directors and performing arts people that you know for their opinion.
- For 6th grade and older, aim for between 30 seconds and 1 minute in length, unless otherwise directed.
- For 3-5th grade, prepared audition pieces are much more optional - but we welcome 30 seconds or less.
2) Rehearse the piece like you would your part in a play
- Memorize it completely
- Ask for some coaching or second opinions; perform it in front of an audience and get feedback
- Make sure it doesn't go over the time limit
- Don't worry about fancy blocking; make 1 or 2 blocking options if you want, like a gesture or crossing the stage, and keep it simple
- Make 1 or 2 acting choices and commit to them fully; if you're going to show big emotion, decide what it is, when to reveal it, and then do it completely.
- Rehearse the entire presentation [see below] - from the moment you walk into the room, to the moment you exit - in front of the mirror, your parents, an acting coach, friends, etc.
B. WHAT TO EXPECT ON AUDITION DAY
- Arrive at the theater on time - which means 15 minutes early!
- Have all of your materials ready, plus a snack and water bottle.
- Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to be physical - no short skirts, flip flops, or anything that might present a problem to moving easily!
1) We always start with a group warm-up that introduces actors and the production team to each other. It will be fun, easy and low-key and involve name games, some light singing, and movement.
2) After a brief break we divide into groups.
- If it's a musical, half the group will meet with the musical director to get vocal range and maybe learn a song, while the other half will meet with the stage manager or director to review sides (excerpts from the script to read on stage). Then they will switch.
- If it's not a musical, the group will review sides and their own pieces, if they've prepared one.
3) After this, in smaller groups of 5, actors assemble in the theater and take turns performing their audition, and reading sides.
4) When not in the theater auditioning, students are encouraged to practice singing, reciting their pieces, and practicing sides.
5) We end with a group wrap-up and game!
1) When it is your turn to audition, enter the room with confidence, eye contact, and a smile! Show them you want to be there!
- Take the stage; walk confidently towards a central spot before the director and casting team, stand tall, and SLATE = introduce yourself and your piece - what it's called, what it's from and who the author(s) is.
"My name is Mickey Mouse, and I will be reciting Goofy's monologue from Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson."
2) Take a moment to connect with your character before you begin; this helps you be your best and tells the director that you're about to begin your piece.
- Break eye contact with director, casting personnel, you can look down if it helps
- Take a centering breath
- Think about your character
- ....and begin
3) Commit 100% to your performance
- It's what you've worked so hard to prepare for!
- Don't break character. If you make a mistake, keep going - in character. Or, you may ask to begin again - that's absolutely okay - but get right to it and get back into character as quick as you can.
4) The Three-Second Rule
- When your piece is done, don't rush out of the room. Allow yourself time to break from your character and your audition naturally.
- Say "Thank You" and exit the room or stage.
- You're done!!
- Pat yourself on the back!
Auditions are hard - maybe the hardest part of acting - but all actors do it, so, you're in excellent company!! After all, anything in life worth having is worth working for! See you on the stage!