Sunday, June 24, 2012

Drama Camp

A couple weeks ago, I went to a drama camp at the Orlando REP! It was called 'How Do I Get That Part?' and it was instructions on how to do an audition. We learned a lot of stuff that I knew nothing about. What I learned was:

   Introducing yourself. Slates consist of your full name (f and l), what you are performing, and (usually) what production, book, etc. it is from. Example: 'My name is Connor Doohicky and I am presenting a monologue from 'Romeo and Juliet.''

   Your monologue is what you would present. It is a paragraph or two from a play, book, movie, etc. that is only one person talking (you). Some auditions have a one-minute time-limit. To be prepared for that, make sure all of your monologues are a little under one minute.

   Make sure your monologue is not too common. 'To Be, or Not to Be' is probably the most-done monologue. Choose something that shows off your talents, fits your type, and is a bit uncommon. (e.g. I did a monologue from 'Holy Musical, B@man!'. How many of you have heard of that? Ah-ha. Thought so.)

   Be sure to ground yourself (or follow the stage-directions you have blocked for it), and DO NOT FIDGET. If you stand straight and confidently with your hands at your sides, you will look like the great performer you are!

   Don't bring any props. For some reason (which I TOTALLY don't get! ;P) props are a big no-no if you want to get the part.

   Your 'outro' is just a simple 'thank you' and maybe you can state your name one more time.

   Dress up, but not too fancy. Just look nice and professional. DO NOT WEAR A COSTUME!!! It just doesn't work.

Cutting a Monologue:
   What if your monologue is over one minute? Then you trim it down! Read through it several times, marking off sentences that are unnecessary.
   Example monologue (crossed out is red): 'I love cotton candy. It is very yummy. It is so good. Yum, yum, yum. I love the taste of it. And so many colors! Pink and blue and red and orange and green and purple and dark green! I love cotton candy so much! One[ce] day I was at the carnival and I saw some cotton candy for sale. Some guy was selling it. It looked good. I said I want some! A[a]nd I really wanted some. Yum yum yum! I love cotton candy!'
   So, bad monologue all together, right? Don't use that. But the point is that it repeated itself or gave useless information or information that we could already figure out. Like if you love cotton candy, then you probably like the taste of it. Anyway, unnecessary info, useless info, unnecessary sentences, repetitions. Those are a few of the things you can trim out of a monologue.

Types of Directors:
   These are a few kinds of casting directors:

Regular: Will pay attention to you, and be polite.

Welcoming: Very friendly. This can sometimes throw you off, but just keep going. They LIKE you!

Stone-Cold: No laughing at your jokes. No expressions. No feedback. No nothing.

Disrespectful: Texting, maybe. Just not paying attention. If they aren't going to pay attention to you, you don't want to be in their show! BUT STILL BE RESPECTFUL. They might know people that could get you further into the business. ;)

Audition Bag:
   A survival kit, basically. What might be in this bag:

Extra resumes, head-shots, etc.: You never know how many you'll need!
Tape, Staples, Stapler, etc.: What if you need to keep together some resumes and head-shots?
Repertoire binder: A binder that has all of your monologues, songs, etc. Maybe a journal to mark which monologues got you a part or went well, or a list of the auditions you attended.
Gum or mints: Garlic smells bad.
Things that help you memorize: If you learn by ear, a tape recorder on which you have recorded your song or monologue. If you learn by sight, make sure you have the paper with your presentation on it. If you learn by smell-- umm.... huh?

   If the director liked your audition and wants to narrow down his choices for who the cast, he might hold callbacks (I am using 'he' generically). If you are given a callback, it is probably a good sign! Callbacks are usually a cold reading, where you are given a script you have never seen before and asked to perform it. You will be given maybe 10 minutes to look over the script. Sometimes you will have another auditioned reading the other lines with you. If so, be nice to them and laugh with them (you don't want to act in a scene with someone you don't like, so why not act in a scene with someone you DO like?)! Other times, the director might read the other lines, and he might read them stone cold. It gives your awesome acting a chance to shine!
   Just read it with emotion and make sure to pay attention so you don't lose your place. Even if you have memorized it, don't just not use the script. You don't want to risk realizing you really HAVEN'T memorized it, or even just losing your place.

So that's that! It was really fun and the teachers were amazingly nice!

Random + Writing,

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