Monday, June 21, 2010

Lessons Learnt While Holding Auditions: Part Two

Continuing on from my last post, I’m happy to say that they were lots and lots of talented people who came out to the Blue Surge auditions. I didn’t get to see the initial auditions, but I was there for the callbacks and they absolutely delighted me! So I’m just going to share a few more things I noticed:

1. When giving sides to people to read before they’re called in, write down who has what. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well amateur-me didn’t at first. While I managed to give out the right sides to the right people, when it came time to call them in to the audition room I called out the wrong names. Actually I did this more than once and it led to a little confusion. Jeremy and Christopher, I’m so sorry I kept mixing your names in particular. I have no idea why! Anyways, the lesson was learnt pretty fast and I (hopefully) won’t be doing that ever again.

2. Blue Surge is even funnier than I’d first thought! I read the script before auditions but it was a totally different experience to see it come alive. As I saw scenes played out I was completely cracking up!

3. Following on from #2: Actors, the more you make the scene come alive the better. Try not to just read the words off the page. Do something with the words. Make them your own. Try to move around and use the space. It makes it so much more interesting to watch! We know that you’ve only just been given the scene and that it’s not possible to learn it all in the space of a few minutes. You’re not being judged on that. We want to see you and what you can bring to the table for a character.

4. You may feel you’re waiting around a lot during a call back. There’s always reason. In this instance, as usual, there were way more girls who auditioned than guys. So it makes sense that there were more girls than guys at the callbacks. In order to see everyone read, and often more than once for some characters, it meant a lot of waiting around for others. Unfortunately it can’t really be avoided so my advice is to bring a book or get friendly with those waiting with you.

Trying to be sensitive to everyone’s time (and maybe a little too nice), we split the callbacks into two groups. But by letting the first group go before seeing the second group we ended up putting ourselves into a bit of a predicament. There were a few occasions when we would have liked to have seen someone from the two groups read together but couldn’t. So in the future, definitely plan on being at the callbacks for the whole time. It may require a lot of patience but there’s a good reason behind it.

5. Having auditioned for shows in the past I’ve definitely felt disappointed when I haven’t been cast for something. Well holding auditions for Blue Surge really hammered home to me that often not being cast in a particular show doesn’t mean you weren’t talented enough.

I remember an acting teacher once telling our class that sometimes you just never know why you don’t get cast in something. You may have had the audition of your life but if you remind the director too much of their ex-spouse that might hurt your chances. And it had nothing at all to do with talent. In our case, there are only five roles, so it really came down to whether or not someone was truly right for the part and how they would fit among the others being cast. We saw lots and lots of talented people we could have cast, but maybe just not for this show.

It was a really interesting for me to see how things go “on that side of the table”. I had fun, got to be entertained, and hope I get to do more! Overall – a very positive experience.

~Sarah MacKay
Associate Producer

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