Never fear. It's not as intense as it seems.
Nothing like The Voice, American Idol, or America's Got Talent. (We've all had our fair share of nude-on-stage nightmares)
There is no Simon Cowell...
There is no harsh spotlight, mile-long waiting line that lasts for days, or judging of your appearance on broadcast television (shudders)....
...only people from your community who love theatre and who love putting on a really, really great show.
Here are some useful things to know before auditioning for a TexRep production:
1) RELAX. There is NO pressure here to be Juilliard material. Everyone in the lobby AND behind the door is just as excited, nervous, and hopeful as you are. The director will be looking for potential that might not come through in an audition of any kind, so don't be hard on yourself and do your best! Since TexRep is 25 years old, there are regulars who come to audition for shows quite often but that does not lessen your chances. This is why we hold open auditions! We LOVE working with new people and seeing new faces!
2)Plan your evening. It's always good to show up a little early to ensure a speedier audition process. If you have other plans to fit into the evening, make sure to arrive promptly so that you're high on the list. Some of the shows we do have quite a large draw, especially shows with a large age range or popular name, and the audition can last anywhere from a couple to several hours. The audition order is first-come-first-serve so the time at which you audition is, in a sense, within your control!
3)Shine bright, sunshine! Walk into the theatre with confidence and a smile! Speak up and speak clearly. Take some risks and ask questions, don't just play it safe. Take a moment to gather yourself if you need to, and trust that any directions you're given during your reading will aid in your audition being a successful one. It is not because you're awful or you're doing something wrong. The director is just looking for how well you take direction, and if you can adapt to adjustments. Just as importantly, the director is looking for a team-player and a positive attitude. You may be asked to read for a part you hadn't planned on auditioning for and this is O.K.! The director may see something in you (or your audition partner) that makes you a better fit for another role!
4)Be prepared to read with another person who is auditioning. We do not conduct all auditions in a one-at-a-time fashion. Sometimes, when auditioning for a play, you will be given a scene with dialogue between two characters and you will enter the theatre and read the scene with another person auditioning. In a musical audition you may be asked to sing/dance with or alongside other hopefuls on a different night, but you will never dance alone, and you aren't auditioning for anyone but the director. We're all in it together and it becomes a fun bonding experience!
5)Do some research. When auditioning for a play with us, you are not required to prepare audition material. We provide a general information sheet to fill out along with a scene for you to read upon sign-in and give you time to look it over before you read it in your audition, however, you do not have to go in completely blind! Most of the shows we choose have material that is available online. Learning info about the show beforehand will give the director the idea that you are a self-starter, enthusiastic about it, and dedicated to help make the show a success! Helpful Tip: The more familiar you are with the audition material and subject, the easier it will be for you to perform well and the director to find what he needs!
6)Show us what you've got! Unlike plays, auditioning for a musical with us means you will need to come prepared with approximately 30 seconds (roughly 16 measures) of ANY song you feel comfortable singing. Whether it's the National Anthem, or some song no one has heard of, sing something that will compliment your voice! (Note: it is customary to refrain from singing a song from the show you are auditioning for, that round of call-backs will come later.)
7)You are not alone! At TexRep we encourage everyone to encourage each other! Have a seat beside someone new and strike up a conversation (they may have auditioned before and can answer questions you may have), it can sometimes help take away nerves. You may also bring a friend or family member with you for support if you like! Feel free to step outside, into a hallway, or anywhere you feel comfortable and run through your song or scene until you feel confident and ready to go! Again, the key here is NO PRESSURE.
8) Is it there yet? Now for the hard part.....waiting! We understand that nerves are high and sleepless nights occur waiting for the lists to go up, but we do have a rule of thumb (of sorts): TexRep auditions are usually held on a Monday or Tuesday so, excepting a few situations in the past, the cast list for a musical or play is normally posted either by the end of the same week (Fri or Sat) or the following Monday. If there are numerous 'call backs' expect a few days to be added to the wait as there will be more material for the director to sort out in those cases! We promise the casting team is working on carefully planning the whole show non-stop from the time you leave the theatre until the moment the list goes up! We know the struggle!
So, the cast list goes up and you don't see your name.
Your heart is broken and you start mulling over all the things that could have possibly gone wrong in your audition.
Stop. Take a deep breath and REMEMBER: THE OPPORTUNITIES DON'T STOP AT THE CAST LIST. There are SO many ways to get involved whether it be backstage, in the lighting booth, sound engineering, drama camps and set construction and we are 'casting' roles ALL THE TIME for the inner workings of any show we're doing. It takes much more than just the actors to put on a show.
However, if working crew is not your cup of tea and your dream is to be on the stage, keep scrolling to view our final tip...
9)DON'T give up! TexRep's seasons consist of FOUR shows a year, so it's only several weeks until the next one! It is important to remember that sometimes shows call for certain 'themes' which pertain to the ages, personas, quantities, and visuals of the characters written in the script and every show is different. You may not be cast in the first show you audition for but be a perfect fit for a role in the next one! If you give up after one try, you may miss out on the experience you were hoping for to begin with! Fun Fact: Aspiring Broadway performers may attend 20 auditions per month and receive 20 no's per month with no idea when they will be cast in a show. The goal is the one 'yes' that comes along to make all the hard work pay off!
We could go on for days with the list of factors that are included in what it takes to cultivate a show at TexRep, but one thing remains clear: We never know what talented and dedicated individuals will walk through our doors until they DO. The heart of TexRep is a community of people in a fun, fast-paced, and educational environment who love the art of theatre and sharing it with the public. We want ALL of the community to be a part of our company in some way and we hope you'll come out and audition, work crew, help build the set, or support as an audience member for many shows to come! "We just can't do it alone!"
Let's 'link' up! Like us on FaceBook, follow us on Instagram and twitter, or visit our website to keep tabs on our upcoming shows and share our info with your friends and family!