• michaelabennison

Top Tips for Directors in the Audition Room

Like most actors during this worldwide pandemic when the vast majority of our industry is shut down, I have been exploring potential side hustles as well as applying for every job under the sun. And so far I've had some success with writing online articles.

Naturally, one of the topic niches I gravitated towards was performing arts content aimed primarily at performers. And one of my published articles is audition advice from theatre directors to actors.

A colleagues I interviewed for this piece said that they would love to hear audition advice for directors from actors. So, as a bit of fun, I thought I'd oblige.

1) Smile and welcome us

There's a reason smiles are heavily endorsed in customer service. Smiles are welcoming, and as actors we want to feel welcome in the audition room. When we feel like you're happy to see us and that you're on our side, we feel more at ease and are more likely to give our best work.

2) Introduce us to everyone

It is SO awkward when we come into a room and we leave with no idea who anyone on the panel was. Will we most likely forget everyone's name the minute we step out of the audition room door? Probably. But it's still nice to be introduced to the people I'm about to belt at for 5 minutes.

3) Thank us if we've been called in at short notice, especially if we've had material to prepare

Trust me, last minute auditions are stressful. Even when you're a fast learner, can read music and are in control of any perfectionist tendencies. From the time we get the audition notification to when the audition is over, the adrenaline is pumping.

We'll have put everything we could on hold. Quality time with loved ones, personal creative projects and, in some cases, paid work. So please acknowledge that and thank us for taking the time to prepare and come in at short notice.

4) Treat us like collaborators

This can be tricky if time is tight, but for me this elevates an audition experience. for many actors the ideal job is where we get to collaborate and create alongside the director, MD, choreographer and the rest of the creative team. So, if those are the kinds of actors you're also looking for, treat us like that in the audition room.

Directors can play a huge part in creating an audition space actors can shine in. The key for me is treating us as equals. Whatever side of the table you're one, auditions are far from a walk in the park. But everyone wants the same thing: to connect with other creatives and, hopefully, land an enjoyable job at the end of it.

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