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Audition tips for Performing Arts and Drama

​​I studied for a degree in Performing Arts and graduated back in 2015. Since then I’ve been working as a professional Equity registered actor. I’d like to share some handy hints with you when tackling auditions.

If you are asked to attend in person or film a self-tape for an audition you will be auditioned by the course lecturers who are the people who would teach you if you were successful in gaining a place on their course.

Here are five top tips for auditionees from our University of Gloucestershire lecturers.

1. Be well prepared – know your pieces inside out. You may think this goes without saying but there is good reason for this. After you’ve delivered your pieces, you may be redirected. This is a good thing and it is so the lecturers can see how you take direction and work with directors on scripted material. Therefore, you need to make sure you are easily able to do this without looking at a copy of the script. Of course, if you are pre-recording a self-tape you can take retakes to get your lines right but you may also have to do a live audition.

2. Print your script. If you are attending an audition in person, remember to bring multiple copies of your script with you. The audition panel may want to use one to re-direct you. It won’t be used to check you line for line, so no need to panic, but it’s a good idea to make sure the copy is easy to read and laid out smartly and clearly. Don’t bring your coffee-stained practice copy – it just looks unprofessional! Lots of students have asked if an e-copy is OK on a kindle or tablet but currently it still stands that audition panels prefer you to bring a hard copy, which allows for faster access and avoids any technical problems.

3. Learn a MINIMUM of two audition pieces. Check every audition invitation carefully as some institutions will already ask you for more pieces than this depending on the course. Make sure you have prepared what they have asked you for and always learn at least one extra. They may stop you and ask if you have another monologue or song to show them if they think your choice isn’t showing your full potential. There’s no easy shortcut to learning these so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

4. Read the script ALL THE WAY THROUGH! It can be tempting to use online resources or monologue books for audition speeches, and it’s fine to get your piece from these but you must then find the script the piece is from and read it from start to finish. Why? Because you need to know the context of the monologue and the character’s journey. Audition panels may ask you questions such as “what happened in the previous scene?” “where did you get your character motivation from?” “how old are you in the script?”. Its going to be hard to answer these well if you’re not familiar with the show.

5. Wear sensible clothing and be your best self. Audition panels may already tell you what they expect you to wear, particularly if you are taking part in dance auditions. This still applies if you are self-taping. They want to see you at your best so avoid inappropriate clothing or something that may cause offense. Keep it professional and comfortable. You may want to get your hair cut or treat yourself to some new jogging bottoms, whatever makes you feel ready and look the business, but don’t go over the top. A plain bright t-shirt can make you memorable.

I hope that’s been helpful. If you have any questions about auditioning or self-tapes you can chat to me online or get in touch via email.​