What (Not) to Wear to Auditions
Thursday, January 02, 2014
By Laura Brueckner
I think my favorite part of the TBA week is our Communications Staff
meeting each Tuesday. Not only do we get to catch up on what everyone
is doing (though that's darned useful), we also get to pitch and discuss
all kinds of story ideas. This piece came out of one of those whirlwind
sessions and, considering that the General Auditions are coming up, seems pretty timely! up,
feels pretty timely!
Bay Area Casting Directors Get Real: What (Not) to Wear to Auditions
Amy Potozkin, Casting Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Don't wear anything too tight or too loose or too revealing or too shiny
or with too many prints/patterns. No spike heels, unless you're doing a
monologue from "Spike Heels." (Kidding about the last part.) No
Birkenstocks or flip-flops. Wear an outfit that makes you feel
comfortable and attractive and professional (arts professional vs.
business professional) and wear comfortable shoes that are easy to move
in. (For info on Amy's audition coaching sessions, call her at (510)
Janet Foster, Casting Director, American Conservatory Theatre
Actors should never dress to distract. Too many layers look like you
have something to hide. Big, clunky shoes make people focus on your
feet, no matter what you are performing. Loud, jangling bangle bracelets
are never a good idea. Stripes can make your audience sea-sick. (For
info on Janet’s Actor 411 classes, contact her here.
Melissa Hillman, Artistic Director, Impact Theatre
1. Refrain from wearing costume-y pieces. An audition is a kind of job
interview. We want to see you as a person, not as the living embodiment
of Mrs. Lovett. I know many actors have success in commercial film and
television auditions wearing costumes and bringing props, but the
culture is different in the theatre world. Wear something that makes you
feel confident, not something that you believe makes you look like the
2. Don't wear anything revealing, and this goes for all genders. It
distracts from your monologue if your outfit is skin-tight, or extremely
short or low-cut. Your audition should be the focus, not (to use a
friend’s expression) your "dinners." Of particular note are skirts above
the knee at TBA Generals if you plan to sit in a chair on that raised
stage. If I’m distracted by how awkward I feel looking at your
underwear, I’m no longer paying adequate attention to the Emilia on
which you worked for weeks.
(For info on Melissa's audition coaching sessions, contact her here.)
Leslie Martinson, Associate Artistic Director, TheatreWorks
Think "first date" for your audition attire. You want to look good, but
you also want to look normal and not like you're trying too hard. Pay
some attention to your clothes, but this is not your Vegas nightclub
act. Also, no yoga pants. Ever. And no Ugg boots. Ever.
Laura Brueckner is digital content manager for Theatre Bay Area. She holds a Ph.D. in dramaturgy and serves as resident dramaturg for Crowded Fire Theater.