Every summer through middle and high school I participated in the Saltworks Theater camp. At Saltworks, they had an audition and monologues class where they showed me some audition tips I kept with me. After auditioning for more shows and performing, I have developed my own guide for auditions.
Keep practicing those monologues and songs
In high school, I got to work on a monologue from Anton Chekov’s “The Proposal” in a workshop with Hollywood actor Brent Sexton at Wexford Acting Studio. After that workshop, it became a very strong monologue for me to keep in my back pocket and I brought it out at a later audition. If there is any advice I can give with monologues: keep practicing them. You can always use them for a director who has never seen them.
Have multiple comedic and dramatic monologues prepared
One of the acting teachers I had at Saltworks mentioned that many great professional actors have multiple monologues prepared. He said it is important to have a variety of comedic and dramatic monologues in your repertoire. I have kept this advice, and it worked well.
The same applies to songs
Have more than one comedic and dramatic song prepared. You can always use it for a director who hasn’t heard you sing it.
Don’t drink milk before singing
You just sound worse after drinking milk. So just don’t drink it before singing.
Dress professionally if you can. But you may also need to move around a lot if there is a dance or movement component for the audition. Whatever the circumstances are, dress appropriately.
It’s okay if you don’t get cast
Theater is a tough business. The best actor does not always get cast in a show. The director is deciding how well you fit the characters in a show, and sometimes there just is not a part that fits your talents. It is not an insult to your ability, it is just saying “Hey! You’re a talented actor, but the skills you offer just do not fit the skills we are looking for in this show/for this character.”
Could you really see Will Ferrell in a heartbreaking drama?
It is also important to keep in mind that different directors have different ideas about certain characters. One director may love to have you play one part. Another…not so much.