Ok, so with all those thoughts swimming in your head, let’s talk about some of the more technical things.
Where do I go?
There are lots of places you can start looking for auditions. Now again, if you are just getting started, I recommend limiting yourself to student films and community theatre in order to first gain some more experience. With that in mind, here is a list of some places where you can look for audition notices. This list is nowhere near complete, but it’s a good place to start. Many of these will pertain to the Pittsburgh area, but others are available all over. Also, please keep in mind that you should be careful going to auditions – personal safety comes first – you can read up about it here. The last paragraph is probably the most important. I don’t agree with everything 100%, but until I get the chance to write a post on audition safety, this is a pretty good warning. Also keep in mind that while I am recommending these sites or pages as good resources, I do not endorse every audition posted – you must decide for yourself what you feel is legit and worth your time.
Audition Notices (in alphabetical order) - Note some of these services allow you to create online profiles and some require you to pay in order to submit yourself for auditions.
12 Peers Theatre
Carnegie Mellon University
Little Lake Theatre
Nancy Mosser Casting (sign up for free to be listed – they will contact you if interested)
Pittsburgh City Paper
Pittsburgh Film Office
Pittsburgh New Works Festival (once a year)
Point Park University
Smithfield Street Theatre
South Park Theatre
The Casting Pitt
The University of Pittsburgh
The Theatre Factory
Throughline Theatre Company
Facebook groups (in alphabetical order)
Carnegie Screenwriters (not technically an audition resource, but a great group of writers who host staged readings once a month)
Greater Pittsburgh theater info board
Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project (once a year)
Pittsburgh Model & Actor Castings & Industry Networking
P.O.W. II Secret Group
Before I start, there are going to be some technical terms introduced here that you may not be familiar with, if you do not know what they mean, you should be able to find the definitions of them here.
What do I do?
Well, that depends. Are you auditioning for stage, film, commercials, industrials???
Stage: You will be asked to do one or more of the following – a prepared monologue, a cold-read monologue, a prepared scene (with a partner), a cold-read scene (with a partner) – a cold-read monologue or scene may be from the play or it may not.
You should always have at least 4 monologues memorized at any given time – one comedic contemporary monologue, one dramatic contemporary monologue, one comedic classic monologue, and one dramatic classic monologue. If you already have these, you are prepared for a monologue audition, if not, find some monologues (the library is a good place to start) and get them memorized.
Monologues are the most common form of audition for the stage and a good monologue is essential for a good audition – choose one that provides conflict and energy to your performance.
Cold-reading is a little different and a skill that requires practice. Aside from practicing this skill in itself, one of the best ways to prepare for a cold-read for a play is to read the entire play. Familiarize yourself with the characters that you are right for and their circumstances. You may not know ahead of time which section of the play you will be reading from or which character you may read for, but at least you’ll have a good idea what is happening.
Often your initial audition will be in the form of a monologue or 2 contrasting monologues and generally callbacks will require you to cold-read a scene from the play with a partner.
Film, Commercials, Industrials: You will be asked to do one or more of the following – a prepared scene (with a reader or a partner), a cold-read scene (with a reader or a partner), a prepared monologue, a cold-read monologue – most often the scene and/or monologue will be from the actual script and these scenes are referred to as sides.
You should read, memorize and prepare the scene as best you can and/or practice your cold-read technique – if possible, practice the scene with your partner, if given one, ahead of time.
For monologues – see above in the stage section – since performing a monologue for film auditions is rare, you can often do a stage monologue, but if you’ve got a film monologue prepared, all the better.
Often your initial audition for film will be in the form of a cold-read of the sides opposite a reader and generally callbacks will require you to prepare or cold-read a scene with one or many scene partners.
Often your initial audition for commercials will be in the form of a prepared scene (usually the whole commercial itself) with a reader and generally callbacks will require you to read the same prepared scene with one or many scene partners.
Often your initial audition for industrials will be in the form of a prepared scene (usually from 1-3 pages of the script) with a reader and generally callbacks will require you to read the same prepared scene with one or many scene partners – although many times you will be cast or not from your initial read.
So how do you go about preparing a monologue or scene and readying yourself for an audition? If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you should be taking a class and in that class, you should be learning exactly, in detail, how to do this. Since I think there is no substitute for a class when it comes to teaching an actor to prepare a script, I’m going to just give you a neat little checklist to work with – I call it the Five FFFFF’s
The Five FFFFF's
1. Figure out your character. (Character substance, etc.)
2. Find your motivations. (What are you doing in the scene?)
3. Fix it in your mind. (Memorize your lines.)
4. Feel relaxed. (Calm yourself and trust that you got this.)
5. Forfeit your fears. (Give in to the process and most of all have fun.)
Next Week... The Actor Resume - The Who, What, When, Where, Why?
Be sure to check out my very first audiobook, a humorous personal memoir collection entitled "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities" written by Barbara Venkataraman. It's available through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Also available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes:
"Death by Didgeridoo" by Barbara Venkataraman