What is an Audition?

What to expect at an audition and the audition process

An audition is a sample performance by an actor, singer, musician, dancer or other performer.

During the audition the actor will be asked to display their talent and be considered by the casting director. The way that actors display that talent is normally by performing. This is where monologues come in.

A monologue is a previously memorized and rehearsed solo piece or by performing a work or piece given to the performer at the audition or shortly before.

There can be 2 types here – A monologue that the actor has rehearsed and is very familiar with or a cold reading where the actor is handed a script to perform that the actor may not be familiar wit. Normally, the actor knows which they will be asked to do beforehand. Sometimes with cold readings the actor will be given a few minutes to prepare, other times there may not be enough time and the actor will have to do it with no preparation at all. When going to an audition it is important to ask which will be expected and prepare for it.

Other than acting auditions there are also auditions for singers, dancers, acrobats and many other types of performers such as musicians. What you can expect at the audition depends on what your talent is. If you are going to a dance audition you should be prepared to learn a new step or dance quickly and then perform it. When going to a singing audition, you will normally be asked to sing a song. Normally, you sing a song that you have prepared and rehearsed. You should also be prepared to supply the sheet music for your piece to the accompanist.

For actors in theater, film, and TV, the “audition is a systematic process in which industry professionals make final casting decisions. Industry professionals may consist of casting directors, producers, directors or agency representatives”

Models also have auditions that they must pass. With models the casting director or photographer may ask a model to walk, try on clothes or even pose.

The audition is a systematic process in which industry professionals select performers, which is in some ways analogous to a job interview in the regular job market.

An audition is basically a job interview for the performing arts. Just like any other job interview the performer will be expected to provide a resume for the employer (casting director)

Be prepared to talk about yourself and answer questions about you, your experience, your resume and your abilities. Many times after the performer has demonstrated their abilities in a given performance style, the audition panel may ask a few questions that resemble those used in standard job interviews.

Also, the audition panel will request that you supply a headshot. A headshot is your calling card. It is like a business card in other fields and the casting directors will keep it.

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