Participating in a show at Phoenix Ensemble is rewarding and great fun. As we are a community-based theatre company, we encourage anyone who has a passion for live theatre to audition for our shows.
Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the audition process. To help overcome this, we have developed some helpful hints you can use when preparing for an audition.
The key concept in the audition process is to be prepared.
Before the audition day
- Audition notices for Phoenix Ensemble can be found on this website or on the stage diary website www.stagediary.com.
- Once you have decided to audition, contact the Director to arrange an audition time.
- It is a good idea to ask any initial questions (such as rehearsal days and performance dates) at this stage so you can ensure you are available for the production.
- Directors will be able to tell you what they will be expecting on the day (e.g. whether a song needs to be prepared, whether you will have a “cold reading” or whether you will need to do some choreography).
- You should also check if there are any other additional requirements for the audition so you can adequately prepare for this.
- Once the audition time is set it is vital that you get to know the show well enough so that you can prepare for the character you wish to go for. If it is a show that has never been performed before- you may be able to find this information out when discussing your audition time with the director.
- Choosing an appropriate song can show the director exactly what you can do. It is often better to choose a song you are comfortable with than to choose a hard song that you may struggle with once nerves set in. Phoenix directors generally will want you to perform a song from the show, for the character you wish to audition for. Directors spend months, even years developing their vision and ideas for a show. If auditionees arrive with nothing prepared, the director may feel that you really aren’t interested in participating in the show. Do not turn up to a musical audition without a song prepared.
- Once you have chosen a song for the audition, it is important to consider your accompaniment. A musician will be available, however if you are singing a song that isn’t in the show, you will be asking someone to sight read music. In many cases this could be difficult for you to perform at your best when you are singing an unknown song with someone you haven’t worked with before.
The day of the audition
After your audition
- Wear neat, comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes. There is nothing worse than trying to hold dance auditions with people who are not dressed appropriately.
- Arrive at least 20 minutes early so you can prepare for your audition.
- Locate a Phoenix Ensemble representative so they can assist you with the necessary forms that need filling out. For large musicals where numerous people are auditioning, it is helpful to have a small photo you can leave with your audition paperwork.
- Make sure you bring water and a book with you in case auditions are running behind or you are asked to stay back.
- Directors are watching you from the moment your name is called.
- Set up the audition space how you feel most comfortable. If there is a prop or furniture in the way, ask if you can move it instead of trying to work around it.
- Remember to smile and enjoy yourself!
- You should discuss any special needs or features for the song you are performing with the accompanist – remember it is you who is auditioning for the part not them. Therefore if they make mistakes or it doesn’t seem like what you had rehearsed- keep going. Directors will be watching how you deal with this situation.
- When performing your song, it may help to look over the top of the audition panels heads so you are not intimidated by their eye contact on you.
- If you happen to see them talking amongst themselves- it is not always a bad thing! They may be discussing your performance and contemplating your suitability for a certain character.
- When preparing for a cold read, skim over the piece to get a feel for the section you are about to be reading. Cold reads are often difficult but you need to remember that everyone else auditioning has to follow the same process.
- When auditioning for a musical, generally you will be asked to learn a small section of choreography so the choreographer and director can see how well you cope with movement and/or dance. Don't panic - just do your best! The production crew are looking to see who performs with enthusiasm and confidence.
- Be careful not to let nerves interfere with your performance. Even the director understands that the audition process is nerve racking. Try and use your nerves positively to bring an edge and element of excitement to your performance.
- Be honest. If you only want one particular role and have no intention of staying in the cast if you do not get this, tell the director. Otherwise the Director may cast you in another role only to find out you are not interested. This can have disastrous consequences when casting for a show.
- Following your audition, the Director may ask you to come for a call back. This may be because they are unable to decide on a number of characters or because they would like to see who they have chosen and make sure that they are happy with their decision.
- The director may or may not announce the cast at this stage. If they do not, the director will give you a guide as to when they will be contacting you.
- If you are unsuccessful it is important you do not take this personally. The wonderful thing about Phoenix is that there are many opportunities available.
- Remember each audition is a learning process so seek feedback so you can learn for your next audition.