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ACTING AUDITION GUIDELINES:
Tips for a Successful Audition

Use the following suggestions to prepare your audition. We expect that when you attend an acting audition at UMBC you will have read the play and thought carefully about what is going on with the character in that scene. We like to talk with you about your ideas on the scene and we like to create improvisations based on that scene that you will do with one of our current students.
  1. Select a 1-2 minute monologue from a modern 20th century play by an established playwright. Do not choose a monologue from a book of audition monologues that do not come from plays.
  2. Choose a character who is no more or less than about 6 years from your own age.
  3. Read the play more than once to familiarize yourself with the action, the scene, and the character.
  4. Ask yourself, "Who is this character talking to and what does my character want that other character to do?" If in the play the speech is to the audience, you still must decide on a specific person or group whom you want to affect and decide what you want them to do at the end of this speech.
  5. Memorize the monologue by saying it out loud. While you are memorizing, also ask yourself what this character and you have in common. When did you feel the way s/he seems to be feeling? When were you in a similar circumstance where you perhaps had the same goal that the character has in the scene? Use these memories to help you find different ways that you, as the character, might go about getting what you want. Practice the monologue in different places, while engaged in different physical activities. Feel free to be bold in the choices you make about the character.
  6. Choose to stand and to move rather than perform the piece in a chair or sitting on the floor.
  7. When you audition, place that other character you are talking to out in front of you and a little to one side. Do not set a chair down near you and talk to the chair, nor should you use the people auditioning you as the other character by speaking to them directly.
  8. When you get up to perform, introduce the title of the play and the character, but unless asked for, do not describe the scene. When you finish, just pause and say, "Thank you."
** Be sure to wear clothes and shoes in which you can move freely, as you may be asked to do improvisations that will require movement such as jumping, rolling, sitting on the floor.

Top photo: Spring's Awakening (1987)

UMBC, An Honors University in Maryland | Department of Theatre | 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250 | 410 455-2917
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