Sunday, February 23, 2014

Top 10 Audition Tips from the director of 'Kiss Me, Kate'

Slidell Little Theatre is holding auditions March 9 and 10 for everyone’s favorite musical, “Kiss Me, Kate.”

Audition times are 7 p.m. both nights.

Directed by Renee Saussaye, the musical features a number of roles for men and women of various ages. Auditions are open to the public.

Renee Saussaye
Prior to the auditions, Renee offers her Top 10 Audition Tips …

1.  Act. Don’t just read. 
Remember, you are auditioning to act in a play.  Yes, there are times when simply being a cute little kid is enough, but for the most part, we are looking for actors.  So many people stand before the director and read the lines they were given that when someone really tries to act out the part they make a big impression.  And that’s what you want…to stand out from the crowd.

2. Bring a photo.
You need to do everything you can to help the director remember who you are, and not blend in with the crowd.  That becomes much more difficult to do if the director can’t place a face with the audition form.  When you turn your photo in during registration it is attached to the audition form, so when we look at your form at the end of the auditions we can remember who you are.

3. Learn a little bit about the play you are auditioning for.
The more you understand the play and the characters, the more you will be able to do with the piece of script you will be given to audition with.

4. Take the time you need to prepare.
Remember Rule #1 – Act.  Don’t just read.  Once you are given your piece of script, take some time to get familiar with the part you are given to audition with.  Don’t worry that it isn’t the part you want in the play.  Parts will be assigned after the auditions.  We just want to know that you have the ability to actually act.  If you did your research and learned a little bit about the play, you can start to make some decisions about how to play the part during your audition.

5.  Slow down and enunciate every word.
One sure sign of nervousness is speeding through the lines.  When you talk too fast it is harder to make sure each word is understood, and the emotion that should accompany those words does not come through.  Slow down and make sure you say each word clearly.

6.  If you make a mistake, battle though it.
Even the best actors occasionally make mistakes on stage.  But good actors know how to work through their mistakes without letting the audience realize that a mistake was made.

One of the things we are looking for is poise.  We want to know how you will react when things don’t go as rehearsed.  If you fall apart during an audition, it doesn’t give the director much confidence that you will react well on the nights of the show.  If you do make a mistake, don’t apologize.  Don’t ask to start over.  Just pick up from where the mistake was made and push forward.

7. Try to come early.
In order to make the best impression, you should make every effort to come earlier.  Not only are we fresher and more alert, there are also fewer auditions for the director to compare you to.  The later in the auditions it gets, the harder it is to make an impression, and to have the director remember you and your performance.  

8.  Don’t be too cocky.
No one is guaranteed a spot in a play.  It doesn’t matter what other roles you have had, or what other theaters you have worked with.  If we decide you are not the right fit for the role, you will not get the part.  If you have good acting experience, and you audition well, you greatly increase you chances of getting cast.  If you come across as being someone that is hard to work with, it makes it much more difficult for the director to give you a part.  After all, who wants to take on a headache? 

I have seen quite a few actors walk into an audition because they just assume they will be given a part, and their audition is flat and uninspiring.  Then they are shocked when they didn’t get a major role in the play.  If you are taking the director’s time to go through the audition, you need to give it your best.  Every.  Time.

If you have acting experience, we will know from the information on your audition form or your resume. And we do like to see some previous experience, but again, that does not guarantee you a part.  It is not unusual that a person with no previous acting experience gets a good part because they blew us away in the auditions.

9. Audition often.
One of the biggest obstacles between you and getting cast in a play is your nervousness.  Nervousness makes you more timid.  It makes you rely on the script in your hand too much, so you end up reading and not acting.  It makes you talk too fast.  It make you less memorable and more likely to get lost in the crowd.

The best way to overcome your nervousness is to practice.  That means auditioning more.

If you don’t get the part, shake it off as a learning experience, and when the next show rolls around, go out and audition again.  The more you go through the process, the easier it becomes.

10.  If you don’t get the part, don’t argue about it.
The decisions about who to cast and who we have to say “no” to are not always easy.  There is a lot of discussion about who does and who does not get a role.  If the director decides that you are not the best fit for this show, please respect their decision about what they feel is best for the show they are directing.  It doesn’t always mean that you had a bad audition, or that you’re not a good actor.  It just means that you were not the best actor for this part in this show.  Arguing leave a bad impression on the people that cast the shows.  You will not change anyone’s mind.  All it does is make it more difficult for the director and producers to cast you in a future production.  That being said, it is appropriate to ask what you could do to improve so you have a better chance of getting into future shows.  
For additional information about the production, please email your questions to

“Kiss Me, Kate” is presented through special arrangement with Tams Witmark Music Library.


1 comment:

  1. All the 10 tips are to the point. One actor must follow all these tips while performing for an audition. A casting director observes each and every factor within an actor that fulfills the criteria of becoming an actor! But many actors do not understand the requisites of acting or performing. Thanks for such a wonderful post it is really helpful for all the aspiring actors. Your Studio Production organizes casting director workshops you can join the workshops too to have a contact with the directors and agents!