BWW Blog: Back to School - The Dos and Don'ts of…College Auditions!
Going into college, your first audition can be daunting! You might feel like you have a lot of competition, but what you hopefully feel is that you have a community that will support you no matter what. Theatre is like a family, and we shouldn't have to tear each other down in the midst of these auditions - cheer your classmates on! You can learn something from EVERY experience, whether you're cast as a lead or in the ensemble, or are placed on crew! I personally found my place in the costume shop - I didn't know how to sew a year and a half ago, but now I work in the shop as a work study and I'm preparing to start my own Etsy shop to sell clothes! Here are some tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your college audition experience:
DO communicate with your professors beforehand. Know their expectations, know what they are expecting from you, and know how the audition is structured. The more that you know, the more you will be able to prepare!
DON'T wait until the week before auditions to start to prepare. The only thing we can do for auditions is prepare - the rest is up to the people behind the table.
DON'T stress out about it. Everyone is experiencing the same thing. It's okay to be nervous, but not stressed or anxious. As a kid I worked in a professional theatre, and a wise older actor once told me, "the day I don't get nervous before I go onstage is the day I know I need to leave the business."
DO get to know more about your classmates in the holding room. Make new friends! Talking to someone is a good way to relieve stress. Talk positively, support one another, and try to make the best out of what many perceive to cause anxiety.
When the cast list comes out, DO NOT say negative things about your peers. That is not the way to network in the community. Rather, positively support them, and treat them like you would always want to be treated.
DO look for every single lesson you can find in whatever role you are assigned. Like I mentioned, I learned how to sew and have continued to work on that ever since. I've also gotten to be in shows, and at first might be sad because I didn't get the role I auditioned for, but you MUST learn to find joy in what you're doing. David Korins (set designer for Hamilton, among many other shows) once said that he keeps the mindset that the project he is working on is his favorite thing in the world to do. That mindset keeps all of us motivated and involved.
It's always important to remember that we don't have to be in this profession every day. We're lucky to get to be in this profession. Be open to education in whatever program you are entering, and be smart about how you approach your role in the company.
Photo Credit: Stewart Edmonds