You’ve taken your classes and secured representation that sees you the same way you see yourself, and now your agent or manager has booked you a dream audition. Now what?
Read everything. Read everything twice.
Read everything the casting team gives you. Read it twice. This step may sound simple, but it is of the utmost importance. I can’t tell you how many actors jump right to their characters’ lines when handed a script for the first time. The first thing you need to do when you are given sides (excerpts of scripts prepared for an audition) is to gather as much information as you can. This probing for information includes the sides, any text that precedes or follows your scene, the character breakdown, the show overview, and the entire script if you are lucky.
Once you have gathered this information, the next step is to read the sides for dramatic action. Dramatic action is what happens between your character and the other characters in the scene. I.e., Young Anna wakes her sister up and convinces her to play in the middle of the night.
Use the given circumstances to find your objective.
After you have gathered as much information as you can and read for a clear understanding of the dramatic action, you need to break down the given circumstances of the scene. Given circumstances are the details we know from the text regarding who you are, who you are talking to, your perceived relationship with whom you are speaking, where you are, when this is taking place, and what just happened.
Next, you need to use the given circumstances to determine your character’s objective (what they want). Once you have this objective, you are ready to make strong choices based on character, situation, and relationship.
Make choices. BOLD choices.
Use this objective to guide you throughout the scene. Ask yourself line by line how what you are saying is going to help you reach your character’s objective. How does your character want this line to make their partner feel or think, or what does your character want this line to make their partner do? Make sure your choices are bold and specific and progress throughout.
Rehearse (dig, probe, dig deeper).
The next step is to work the text out loud until you know it cold. You should learn something by heart for an audition. Going into an audition with something you “kind of know” won’t allow you the freedom to be present. You need to know the material so well that you don’t have to think about it. This knowledge will free you up to listen and respond honestly to your scene partner while pursuing your character’s objective as fully as possible.
Once you’ve taken these steps, work on the material in pursuit of clarity and progression. In acting terms, clarity is how simple and specific your choices are. Progression, in acting terms, is having a dynamic beginning, middle, and end to your scene. Extra credit if you have a turning point in your progression. This moment is when your character can’t return to where they started the scene.
So now you’ve secured the big audition, read everything you were given, taken in the dramatic action, broken down the given circumstances, found your character’s objective, made bold choices, learned your material cold, and worked your audition for clarity and progression. You’re ready to go!
Finally, here comes the fun part: let it all go. Find your feet, find your partner, and let it fly.
Break a leg!
Learn More About DGS:
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The Danny Greenberg Studio is a professional performing arts studio for children aged 5 to 18 in New York (Brooklyn and Manhattan!) and online, focusing on vocal and acting training.
Our students star annually in numerous Broadway shows, national tours, and feature films. Our studio welcomes students of all levels between 6 and 18 to foster their love of performing. Once they’re ready, we also help connect students to top agents and casting directors.
Since our debut, we have focused on three values: children, crafts, and community. Our students develop professional techniques and valuable skills they use inside and outside the studio. We help prepare our students for professional success and make personal impacts through charity cabarets and fundraisers.
We provide private lessons in-person and online in singing, acting, audition coaching, industry professional workshops, showcases, musical theater classes, and admissions prep with curriculums tailored to each child’s needs so they can build their self-confidence. Each year, we coach students for DOE High School auditions, and they consistently get into Laguirdia, Frank Sinatra, and PPAS. We teach acting, singing, and dancing lessons in midtown Manhattan, Greenpoint, and Park Slope Brooklyn. Zoom lessons are also available. Contact us for more information on the admissions process.