The Court Theatre 2023 Youth Company Auditions
What to Expect
The first day of auditions are workshop-style. You’ll arrive at The Court Theatre and a friendly person will greet you in the foyer, check your name off and take your photo (to help us identify you).
It’s a good idea to plan to arrive about 10 or 15 minutes earlier to allow for any delays and give yourself a chance to fill your water bottle, go to the toilet, and take a second to breathe before you go into the audition.
You’ll be in a group with about 10-15 other auditionees. When you’re checked off and we’re ready to start, you’ll come through to the “rehearsal room” – the large room where the cast for our shows rehearse during the week before moving to the stage.
The workshop will be led by a couple of Court staff. We’ll begin with a warm-up and then take you through some different exercises and games.
We will ask some people to come back for the second day for the monologue auditions.
If asked to present a monologue, you will be given a 10-minute time slot. For this audition, you will be on your own.
We’ll ask you to perform your monologue and then will give you some “notes” or “adjustments”—something different that we’d like you to try with your monologue—and ask you to do it again. We’ll chat with you a little bit to find out more about you and why you want to be in Youth Company. You can also ask us questions.
[Notes are usually given by directors to actors in rehearsal; they can vary but are intended to guide the actor towards the best performance and what best serves the scene. Adjustments are similar but might offer the actor more of a shift from what they are already doing or give the actor different information. Notes and adjustments might be things like “take your time in that section” or “your character has a secret”.]
Advice and Tips
It is completely normal to feel nervous! Everyone else will be feeling nervous too. Nerves aren’t always a bad thing; they show you are invested and excited.
Channel that nervous energy into a productive force:
- BREATHE – take a moment to simply focus on a nice slow exhalation and allow the next breath to come. Especially before your monologue, this will focus your mind, ground you, and prepare your voice.
- WARM-UP – as well as focusing on your breath, taking some time to stretch and do some energising/focusing movement will help you to harness that nervous energy well.
- ENJOY IT – remember that you’re auditioning because you love performance. Think of an audition as a chance to try out some theatre exercises, to engage with other actors, and to act. For the workshop auditions, the more you just focus on the exercise and enjoy working with your scene partner or group, the more your talent and skills will show through. For the monologue, relish the opportunity to act a role; forget auditioning, enjoy being that character. It can help too to find something about the room or the people in it that you like. Remember that we want to see you and we want you to do well too!
Wear clothes and shoes you can move in and make you feel comfortable.
On the workshop day, we want to get to know you, get a sense of the kind of performer you are, and see you collaborate with your scene partners. It’s informal and friendly.
Choose a monologue that suits you! It’s great to try out different parts, but for an audition, just choose a character and monologue that will play to your strengths.
Know the play from which your monologue is taken. (Please don’t choose a random monologue off the internet.)
Know: who your character is; where they are; to whom are they speaking; who else (if anyone) is there; what do they want (overall and in that specific moment); what obstacle are they facing; why they are speaking.
Make strong “choices”. If you know the things listed above, it will be easier to make these choices. Usually there aren’t “right” or “wrong” choices, but when you make a clear choice, you can feel what works and what doesn’t. Choices may fill in information the script doesn’t give you or interpret what is there. A choice might be something like “with this line my character is attacking the other character” or “I am going to say this line with total stillness.”
Find the arc of your monologue and note any places where there’s a new thought or any kind of shift for your character. Although the monologue is taken out of a larger context, try to treat it as a contained performance—give it a strong beginning and end.
Learn your lines well! You want to feel confident and to be able to concentrate on the character and what they are doing and feeling, not trying to remember the words. Also, it is typical that when you get an adjustment, you may forget your lines—something has changed, so the words go—but if you know them thoroughly and memorize them in different contexts (try saying them over as you do different activities), then they’ll come to you easily.
We will give everybody a note and/or adjustment. Don’t be thrown off by this. We might just want to see you try something completely different, or help you get a better performance, or see how you respond to direction. Often we’ll love what you’ve done and just want to see something different from you, so the adjustment might be completely unexpected for the scene. Just go for it, have fun and don’t be scared to ask question if you don’t understand the note.
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