By Dale Albright
| TBA program director Dale Albright.
I never cease to be amazed at the collaborative nature of the Bay Area theatre community. Even at an event as stressful as the Theatre Bay Area General Auditions can be, auditors and actors alike often look at it not only as a chance to connect roles with talent, but as an opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues and, yes, even to pass along words of wisdom.
This year, as part of the survey we do annually for auditors attending the General Auditions, we asked: “If you could give one piece of feedback to all of the actors who auditioned this weekend, what would it be?” Below you will find a sampling of responses from casting professionals who observed the 2016 Theatre Bay Area General Auditions.
1. Don’t be afraid to own the room.
2. Enjoy yourself when on stage! Relax a little and let your creativity shine!
3. Ensure your resume is properly formatted. (For helpful resume tips, click here.)
4. If you’re going to do two pieces (and you probably should), make sure that they contrast enough to show your range.
5. Plan accordingly so that you can take your time before you start. Rushing robs us and you of the time to settle into your audition. Build some breathing space into your audition!
6. Your audition begins the moment you walk onto the stage (or into the room). Act like you are happy to be there. Don’t save your pleasant nature for the moment you say goodbye at the end.
7. Singers arguably have more to worry about at this kind of an audition. Be sure you are prepared to knock it out of the park if you plan on singing (visit a vocal coach, take advantage of the TBA Dress Rehearsal, etc.).
8. Print or write the names of your audition pieces on your resume. Each of the casting directors who attends the General Auditions collects a stack of over 300 headshots. When we dig through these headshots several months from now, looking for a specific actor for a specific show, seeing the names of your audition pieces helps us to distinguish you from the of dozens of actors whom we met in a whirlwind. If you performed a gorgeous Juliet monologue that made us feel wonderful about you, then the words, "Audition pieces: (1) Juliet from Romeo & Juliet; (2) Catherine from Proof by David Auburn," written legibly on your resume, could make all the difference in the world. Help us remember you.
9. Remember that we’re on your side—we want to be able to cast you just as much as you want us to cast you.
10. Don’t forget that your first 10-15 seconds are quite important.
11. If you perform your song second (last), it gives the accompanist a chance to review your music while you are doing your first monologue.
12. Don’t do Hermia from Midsummer. Over done.
13. Remember that many of us save your headshot for three years, so don’t give up hope if you don’t get a call this month!
Dale Albright is program director for Theatre Bay Area, as well as an actor and freelance director.