Saturday, August 7, 2010

10 Audition Don'ts

Mosaic Theatre held its season auditions last week.  As always, these auditions bring out actors of every calibre, and directors see the gamut of audition behavior - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Artistic Director Richard Jay Simon shares the top ten bad behaviors he saw this last audition cycle.

10) Know and properly pronounce the playwright from which you are performing a monologue. His name is Tony Kushner, not Tony Kooooshner. Itmar Moses is not pronounced Eye-T-Mar Moses. The author of 4.48 Psychosis is not Sandy Kane, it's Sarah Kane. Respect the dead, dammit! I could go on...

9) Respect the theater and the process by sticking to the 3 minutes you are given. More than half of auditonees went over the time limit and that illustrates that you cannot follow directions and didn't take the time to properly prepare for the audition.

8) Pick up a copy of RJS's pet peeves* at your local bookstore and make sure you are not guilty of excessive thigh slapping.  *(ed.:  there are many good books on how to audition, all of them mention physicality)

7) It's never a good idea to fudge your way through a monologue. When the auditor knows your speech better than you, that can't be a good thing.

6) Keep a current headshot. A large percentage of auditionees submit headshots that look nothing like them. You do yourself a disservice.

5) Be nice to the greeter who signs you in. I always ask who works up front if there were any assholes. Odds are if they are a problem there then they would be in the rehearsal room as well.

4) Do not have your OWN cell phone go off in YOUR audition! 

3) Everyone will tell you to treat an audition like a job interview. Dress accordingly. There are exceptions to the rule but give yourself the best chance by not showing up looking like a bum - and wear some deodorant!

2) Contrasting monologues: look up some definitions of the word. Here is one: To show differences when compared. You have a great opportunity to show off your talents and show variety! Take advantage of that. Also, I would suggest knowing the season or the brand of the theater for which you are auditioning. It's probably not wise to audition with Richard III and Hamlet for a theater that doesn't touch classics.

1) DO NOT BRING A GUN INTO YOUR AUDITION AND USE IT. This was the first time that I have ever seen this and hopefully will not again. I kid you not that this actor pulled out a gun, I think it was real, cocked it and pointed it near the audition panel.


  1. Thanks for this, Chris. It does often surprise me that people need reminding of simple protocol (a gun? Really??)

  2. Was it a monologue from 'The Godfather'? Did he also have a canoli?

  3. The gun wasn't really it was a prop. Apologize if anyone was made too feel ill at ease.

  4. How about the top 10 bad behaviors of the people auditioning you. LOL!

  5. Any actor that does Richard III and does a monologue with a gun sounds contrasting to me. I know the actor in question I only wished most actors monologues were as interesting. Instead of flailing arms and shouting out dialogue.

  6. Dear Anonymous @ 8/12 1:27pm: I'm not allowing your post. It would be a great disservice to the theatre community to let you spew such spurious nonsense. You auditioned two times and didn't get cast either of the two times? Wow! Call VARIETY! It must be a conspiracy!

    Most actors do not get most roles they audition for. And if you have a problem with that, you're in the wrong profession.

    And if you want your comments to appear, less vitriol and more facts.

    Oh, and grow up.

    Thanks for the chuckle!