Preparing for an Audition at CTW
Auditions can be nerve-wracking, even for people who have done a large amount of acting. On this page, we’ll try to give you as much guidance as possible in how to prepare for an audition at CTW. We hope it will be helpful!
The audition process
Auditions at CTW normally consist of a reading of the play with all of the auditionee’s taking it in turns to read parts. This enables the Director(s) to get a feel for how people sound and how they may potentially ‘fit’ with others.
You will be asked to complete an audition form which asks you for various details including which parts you are interested in. If you have specific roles in mind, you should write them down. Similarly, if you’re interested in any part, you can write “Any”. The Director will use this to guide them when assigning parts, though be aware that they may ask you to read a part you haven’t written down to help them in completing the audition process.
On occasion, a Director may decide to do auditions in a slightly different way, such as by asking you to prepare a speech. If this is the case, it will always be noted on the audition information.
After auditions, the Director will call you to let you know whether or not you have been successful. If you are unsuccessful, you can ask the Director for feedback from your audition which may help you prepare for your next one.
How you can prepare
There are some simple things that you can do to prepare for a CTW audition.
- Research the play you are auditioning for, and if you can, get a copy from the library or a friend to have a pre-read. Familiarising yourself with the text will help relieve some of your nerves and make you more confident in reading the piece. A greater understanding of the character(s) you’re auditioning for may also help you in deciding how to deliver the lines.
- Practice reading aloud. Even if you haven’t got a copy of the play, practice either alone or with family/friends reading aloud to get a feel for pace, intonation and delivery. You could use a book, newspaper or any kind of literature. Any practice in reading aloud will be of some benefit.
- Practice reading aloud in front of a mirror. If you do decide to practice reading aloud, practicing in front of a mirror can help to understand how your facial expressions can help you deliver the lines. It’s a classic method used by public speakers at all levels.
- Remember that you’re not the only one who will be nervous. If you’re nervous about auditioning, it can sometimes feel like you’re the only one who is worried about it. Remember that there will doubtless be several people in exactly the same position. Take strength from understanding that there will be others in the same boat.
- Ask the Director for information. If you want to know more about the play or characters, feel free to contact the Director to ask them for more information about what they’re looking for in the characters. This may help you to practice and tune your practice towards the character you’re auditioning for.
If the Director has asked you to learn a piece for the audition (which is rare), there are lots of articles online about good audition speeches and the best way of learning them.
Some productions hold pre-audition readthroughs; if you can, we advise going to these if you don’t know the play. Click here to go to our pre-audition read through page.
At the audition
At the audition, there are a few things to remember which may help you perform to the best of your ability:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you have questions at any point, feel free to ask. The answer to your question may guide you in your delivery or give you ideas about how you could read for the part.
- Take a few moments to read the section before you start. If you’re unfamiliar with the piece, take a few moments to skim read the lines to give you an idea of what is coming up. Alternatively, ask the Director to explain what is happening in the scene. They will be only too glad to give you some context around the scene.
- Stay calm and speak clearly. One of the most frequent issues facing actors at auditions, especially new auditionees, is speaking too fast. If the Director can’t understand you, they can’t neccesarily accurately judge your ability. If the only thing you do is make sure you speak so that you can be understood and don’t race through the lines, you’ll be doing well!
- Go for it! By this we mean try adding some good characterisation and variation in your delivery – treating it like a performance. The more you can demonstrate what you can do, the better!
After the audition
Afterwards, you’ll be told (usually around 4 – 7 days later) whether you’ve been successful or not. If you got a part, great! If you didn’t, don’t worry. Often there are multiple actors competing for a small number of parts, and there will always be people who lose out.
Remember, don’t give up if you don’t get cast; get feedback, and try again. If you can, ask if you can work backstage on the show or help in someway so that you can get involved. The more involved you are in the company, the more likely you are to pick up good tips and good practice with other actors.
We hope this has been helpful. Good luck!