Tuesday, June 23, 2015

'Mary Poppins' Audition Tips

Top Ten Audition Tips from Scott Sauber

We asked Scott Sauber, the director of 'Mary Poppins' to provide us with his Top Ten Tips to Prepare for Auditions. Here is his advice:

1. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
You would never stand up and sing a concert without preparing it first. Do your solo the same favor.  You should never stand up and do a monologue without preparing it...  And there is no such thing as being too prepared.  Also with the internet as a tool - there is no excuse for not knowing something about the show you are auditioning for.  Google it!

2. Say "Thank You" to the people you are working for and working with.
They have a golden opportunity to cast you and stand next to you.  Thank them for that.  Don't apologize to them with awkward facial expressions.  We all feel the same way when we stand up there in front.  Express pride.  Die outside the audition door.

3. Leave your ego at the door.
If you think you deserve it, I am here to prove you wrong -- and I hold the cookies.  I like to reward those that can do a good job.  Not feature those that say, "Me. Me. Me."  And the role I see you playing is because I want to challenge myself and you...not because everyone knew you would get it.

4. Be flexible.
Be willing to work on a project because you trust the director, enjoy the process and want to entertain an audience.  THAT'S how you build a resume.  Accept any and every role.

5. Practice in front of mawmaw and your friends and your cell phone video camera.
Get the nerves out, check your facial expressions, make bold choices.  And please decide what you are going to do with your hands.  They tell a lot about your level of preparedness (see #1)  and they annoy auditioners when you constantly slap your thighs.

6. Dive into the character.
Don't sing how you would sing.  Sing "Mark" from RENT like you are Mark...from RENT.  I am looking emotional connection, facial expression, and a physical choice.  If the character is prim and proper - stand prim and proper.  If the character is a hunchback, by all means - I need to see your hump.  If your character longs for something, hope for it... and show it in your eyes.  

7. Choose a song early and sing it often.
Lyrics should be the least of your worries at an audition.  Make physical choices driven by the character, but don't dance around.  Make gestures, but don't spell it out for me.  Change a rhythm or speak a sentence.  Make it your own -- driven by the character. Find your favorite audition song and sing here, there, and everywhere. 

The full version is on YouTube.  You see disappointment, growth, hard work, rejection and a CRAZY GOOD monologue that will leave you in tears....all in an audition. And you will learn a lot about life and a little about theatre.

9. When nerves are shaking you up - DO A CARTWHEEL.
The physical exertion calms your nerves.  And if you are willing to do it on stage in front of the auditioners, you've got nerve and grit...and then you're willing to do anything.

10. Did I mention PREPARE.  It shows.

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