Five ways to make an impression at your college audition
1. Interesting Monologue Selection
One fabulous way to stand out from the crowd is by choosing an interesting piece. It isn’t required that you do something unexpected, but it is certainly appreciated. Plus, it’s a conversation starter. Maybe you found a lesser known play the panel has never heard of in a theatre magazine by an up-and-coming playwright who had a few Off-Broadway hits. They will be thrilled. Maybe they’ll ask you where you found it and why you chose it.
2. Research + Questions
Research the schools you are auditioning for. If at all possible, visit the campus and if you can, meet with advisors, take a class and even go to a rehearsal. You should also visit the school’s website and click around. You can often find information about the application procedures, curriculum, scholarships and financial aid. You can also look for the names (and sometimes photos) of important contact people, which can be a nice bonus when you go in the room. Look up alumni of the school as well.
The panel will be asking you questions so take some time to prepare. They might ask about the kind of acting you’d like to do, why you are interested in their program and where you’d like to be on the other side of it.
Remember that you are auditioning them, too, so take the opportunity to ask your questions! Here are some ideas:
- What do you do to help your students find work?
- How many of your recent alumni are in a major city, still pursuing professional theatre?
- Where are your alumni currently working?
- What is the alumni network like?
- What is the strongest element of the program?
- What performing opportunities are there in addition to the main stage shows?
- Are there student projects?
3. Don’t Be Nice
I’m sort of joking. But not really. The way you introduce yourself, answer and ask questions and have a chat is key. I know it’s the most trite sentence but I’m going to say it anyway: Be yourself. No, really. Let go of the the perfect cookie-cutter-butt-kissing-fake-smiling-audition-nailing-acting-machine. Booooring! You know? I know you get nervous but be a human. Your personality is a strong one because it is real. You don’t have to put anything on. And that is interesting.
4. Follow Up
Making an impression doesn’t stop when you leave the room.
Write a thank you card or email (for admissions, faculty, department head, etc.) and be specific. Exactly what are you thanking them for? Make some notes after the audition so you can recall particulars. Here’s an example: “Thank you so much for the fun redirect and the chance to try the end of my Juliet monologue with a totally different choice. I had no idea Juliet could get so worked up, it was awesome! And I know we talked about our mutual love of Starbucks, so I’ve included a $5 gift card for a cup on me. Thanks again.”
5. Rock it
Oh, and do the monologue well, too. That definitely helps. Get a good professional coach to help you. Probably not your mom. 🙂