Your First Audition

Your First Audition: Best Kids' Audition Tips and Hints (And a refresher for Veterans)

By a Theater Mom
 

"What are the best kids audition tips and hints that you can give me? "
 

As a theater mom I must have gone to hundreds of auditions over the past 11 years. I've waited for many kids to come out of auditions and ...I've also been on the other side...I've had the pleasure of auditioning kids for parts in musicals.
 

Here's some information that you should find helpful for a kid who is auditioning for the first time.

 

Song

  • Start by preparing a song (preferably two). Many times you may be asked to sing an upbeat song and a ballad.

  • Find songs that are appropriate for your age and type of voice.

  • One of the best kids audition tips is to make sure the songs you choose are songs that you enjoy singing. This enjoyment will show through in your performance. We all do better at things we like to do.

  • Find sheet music for Broadway Musicals on the internet, or at a music store, book store or the library. If you are auditioning for a particular part in a musical it is a good idea to become familiar with the music which your character sings in the show... Even if you audition with another song, you'll have a basic idea just in case.

 

Monologues & Readings

  • Prepare a kid-appropriate monologue... Simply put, this is a dramatic piece which is spoken by a single person...you.

  • There are some great books that you can use with monologues written especially for kids. You can find them on the internet, at a book store, or at the library.

  • If you are extremely short on time, this kids audition tip will do the trick. Practice a short poem that you have memorized and can act out. This will help the director hear your speaking voice, see your ability to become a theatrical character, and get an idea of how you will come across on stage (stage presence).

  • You may also be asked to read for certain characters in a show. If you know specifically what part you will be auditioning for... it is a great idea to get a copy of the script for that show and read it through to become familiar with the character. You might be asked to read for more than one character so try to at least get a basic knowledge of what the show is about.

  • Here's another kids audition tip, in a pinch, you could rent a copy of a DVD of the show(if there is one available) just to get a basic idea but... please don't rely on these to be accurate.> Many times characters are added and deleted in film versions of shows. Also, you don't want to audition with a full imitation of the character in the movie.

  • It's not a good idea to dress in costume to go to an audition unless you have been asked to do this. Just wear something that is yours which is suggestive of the character.

 

Dance

  • Dance might also be a part of your audition. A worthwhile kids audition tip is to ask, if you can, about this before going to the audition. Should you need to dance, be sure to wear something you can move in. You might also want to bring a change of clothes just in case, and if you have been training...your dance shoes.

  • If you have been taking dance lessons, and are putting this down on your resume, it would be a good idea to rehearse any solo routines that you have preformed just in case you are asked to do a little something.

  • A great kids audition tip is to understand that many times the choreographer watching your audition is simply trying to see if a young person can move and if they are capable of picking up a routine. There are also many plays in which not every character is required to dance. Kids with very little training many times are cast for their natural ability to move.
    Don't worry about this too much...just do your best.

Head shot & Resume

  • No good kids audition tips guide would do well without mentioning a head shot and resume. They are both an important part of the process.

  • If you have a professional head shot, bring it. If you do not have a professional head shot, bring a clear photo of yourself...by yourself...preferably of just your head and shoulders.
    It is important that you bring a recent photo that resembles you right now. This photo will be used to remember you when the director and his staff meet to discuss casting.

  • Bring a several copies of your resume with you, also. Kids need to list contact information, so this should be done by consulting your parents. Physical characteristics should be listed, any theater experience, training and special skills.

  • The resume should be stapled to the back of a professional head shot(back to back). If you are using another photo simply staple the photo, with your name written on the back of the photo, to the back of the resume(back to back).

 

Final Words

  • You need to prepare before auditioning for musical theater...
    This especially holds true if you are going to a community theater or professional audition. In other words, if time allows, practice, practice, practice...until your material becomes second nature.

  • If you do make a mistake...please, do not and I repeat, do not get upset or mad at yourself. We are all human and it is OK to make a mistake.

  • Simply get yourself together, and start from where you left off. Most of the time the people for whom you are auditioning will be more than understanding. If they are not, you as a kid should not be upset about not working with unkind people.

  • Please, keep in mind that this article is a very brief overview of the audition process, and its components. For more detailed information on the above topics, there is lots of good information on the internet.

  • Last but not least, remember, smile, be confident, and be yourself. A kid learns something from every audition they attend and the more they audition, the better they will become at auditioning. So please relax...and have fun!

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Lake Washington High School Performing Art Center,
12033 NE 80th Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.   (425) 936-1700

Ms. Morgan Heetbrink, Drama Adviser/Drama Educator, mheetbrink@lwsd.org          Mr. Mark Staiff, Tech Director/Theater Manager, mstaiff@lwsd.org

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