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Author Topic: February 2011 Auditor Comments  (Read 12975 times)
Karen Lane

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« on: January 04, 2012, 01:21:00 PM »

•   78% of registered auditor entities completed the survey
•   53% attending auditors (people) completed the survey
•   80% of respondents called in one or more people for a follow-up Audition
•   56% were casting for projects between February – June 2011
•   69% were casting for projects between July – December 2011
•   21% were casting for projects scheduled in 2012
•   75% keep resumes/headshots on file for currently unscheduled projects

What follows now are the answers to OPEN ENDED questions. If this information has upset you in the past, consider stopping now. Information below is personal opinion of each respondent and with such things - there are contradictory statements at times! If you choose to continue - it is strongly recommended that you look for the themes within the information given. The themes can often be very useful to you.


Auditors were asked:
A. Name your most surprising, enjoyable, or inspiring moment from ACTORS in this February round:
•   Top notch quality.
•   When actors sing as if the microphone hasn't been invented yet.
•   Their overall professionalism.
•   XXXX audition was well prepared, interesting to watch and let us know he understood, text, comic timing, physical work and how to do his homework.
•   XXXX  absolutely hilarious contemporary monologue about immigration
•   Differnt talent from last year, strong, interesting monlogues
•   The variety of monologues, we didn't have to sit and watch the same monologue over and over
•   I was not looking forward to the children's auditions, but they took more risks than most of the adults.
•   The people who were confident, prepared and really brought something new or heartfelt to their audition. You could tell the people who really wanted to be there.
•   Several of the children were absolutely surprising in their professionalism, quality, and grace in handling themselves - so much so that they stunningly outshone many of the adults.
•   Kids of course are always a delight.  I most enjoy and admire when someone comes in is at ease, well rehearsed and timed and takes me somewhere else.
•   I was just overall impressed by the quality of the applicants.
•   I found two perfect actors for a current project, and many many more that I'll be happy to contact in the future. This is a big improvement over how we normally cast.
•   The monologue by XXXX, on, "Who wouldn't want a wife?" On ground, unrushed, prepared, in the moment, easy, self-posessed, beautiful. Inspiring.
•   Casting the lead role for my upcoming short film with the 167th actor I audited.
•   Surprising was backup dancers...  Enjoyable was one of the little kids who was hilarious.  Then, just some really strong performers as well.
•   It was surprising and enjoyable how many out of town actors came to audition.
•   Unexpected Japanese Dance Session.
•   Watching XXXX actress bring down the house with her "who wouldn't want to have a wife?" piece
•   There were two sisters in the youth round that knocked it out of the park - particularly with their singing. Just spectacular gems. We weren't casting for that young, but it was still a delight.
•   The one guy who incorporated crazy acrobatics with his Rosencrantz and Guildenstern monologue. Also a woman who did a Bianca piece from Shrew "tied" to a chair. Both got my attention!
•   I found the young male singers most inspiring.
•   The children are amazing
•   I loved the woman who sang the national anthem a cappella -- beautifully -- because she's new and didn't have a monologue prepared.
•   I was thrilled by how many monologues we saw from brand spanking new plays. It's nice to know right off the bat that you're looking at an actor who reads, and stays up to date on theatre around the country.
•   Youth singing auditions....amazing.
•   I was impressed by how many actors have ASL or other signing experience on their resume.  I can't necessarily pin down one thought about the auditions, though.
•   For me it was, and continues to be, any actor who takes the big risk of being truthful, putting a lot at stake in the monologue, and really trying to perceive if they are winning or losing the "other."
•   I loved the girl who did the whole monologue in a different language.  It was hilarious.
•   I've never seen so many redheads!!! I mean it seemed that 30% of all the female auditioners were redheads-- a couple of others noticed this. Fad or some strange convergence?
•   Can't beat "Spider man."
•   I can't remember now. I think it was the KIDS.
•   The range of ages auditioning.

B. Name the ONE most common actor mistake this round in your opinion:
•   Actors tended to stay too far up stage. Not finding their "spot" for best lighting.
•   Going over time limit
•   Not including current contact info on resumes.
•   Running out of time.
•   Not being prepared. Being prepared doesn't only mean you have your song or speech memorized, it means you have worked it physically, emotionally, textually. A theater professional rehearses a play before an opening night - the audition is a 2 minute opening night REHEARSE!
•   Many actors didn't place a focus for their monologue when it was contextually clear that that they were only speaking to one person.
•   Women monologues -- need to choose better material -- no more monologues of relationships gone bad, suicide, poor self-esteem etc.. then I associate this material with them as individuals...
•   Failure to fully commit to their characters, including the emotions and motivations involved.  Which results in characters that aren't believable and an unengaged audience.
•   Don't sing "Shy". They should say their name again at the end of the audition
•   Shakespeare
•   Slating. Too many actors have a sloppy slate when they introduce themselves and their monologues.
•   over time
•   Choosing material that didn't show off their talents.
•   Not having timed out their audition piece and unfortunately saving the best part of their monologue for right at the end, right when the time ran out. They should bring it with a punch right in the beginning.
•   Bad choice of monologue/material
•   Don't try to shock the auditors by using foul langauage or sexual content, don't do two angry, yelly pieces and cool it on the theatre in-joke pieces.
•   Saying lines without really understanding or conveying their importance.
•   Specifically, it was Shakespeare. But in general, it was actors presenting a monologue that clearly hadn't been thought through on an emotional level. As an auditor I don't care about the material, what I want to see is an actor truly engaging with the role.
•   Not taking a moment to feel on ground, feel the space, and feel the audience, before beginning.
•   Hip thrusts during Shakespearean monologues
•   Poor readiness for the auditions by the college groups
•   I suppose going over time would be mistake.  Dry personality entering room wasn't a mistake per se, but didn't help their case(s).
•   TIME, shorter is better.
•   Mumbling, Murmuring, and Poor Diction! We need to understand you!
•   going over time
•   yelling
•   Lack of confidence and/or apologizing with their demeanor. Own it! We will believe you!
•   Not timing themselves. Going over time.
•   Clothing. I would love these ladies and gents to know how lovely they are and that there attire is part of their marketing. So much of the clothing is distracting from their auditions.
•   Ending with your strength - if you're a great singer, sing last - if your monologue is your strength - sing first.  And time, time, time everything.
•   Failure to introduce themselves clearly.
•   Doing a monologue from a role you've already performed in production is a big risk. The auditor expectations are certainly higher, and few people meet that "opening night" level of extra depth and polish that we anticipate from a role you've already rehearsed and performed for 8 weeks.
•   Too damn loud.  I wear earplugs because the actors project as if they were at the Globe.
•   Not choosing truly contrasting pieces that highlight versatility and demand a thoughtful transition.
•   Placing the focal points/imaginary people they’re talking to in their monologue too far to either of the sides of the room.
•   Pieces that felt over-rehearsed and lacking in spontaneous discovery. And poorly acted songs. I'm really looking for someone who can sing and act at the same time.
•   Time!  Getting cut off just doesn't make an actor look prepared.
•   Strongly dramatic and over used monologues.
•   Not having their pieces timed well. (they got stopped)
•   Wearing black against a black backdrop.  Dressing ordinary instead of "up" for theatre.
•   Not having their pieces timed properly - many had time called on them. Also, many performed one piece to the right side of the house, and one to the left. This meant that we just got a profile for an entire monolog.
•   Shuffling in and not being professional.
•   Saw good actors using monologues that were 10 years younger than the actor’s real age. Very frustrating. I wanted to see them perform something that they could be cast for.  Overall choosing a monologue that did not match their type.
•   Never using the x on the floor.

C. What female pieces do you feel you heard a lot of in THIS round? (Actual list of Monologues and times performed can be found here:
•   Anything NEIL LEBUTE
•   As You Like It
•   Shy
•   Fat Pig
•   The Winter's Tale
•   Fat Pig
•   Hermione - Winter's Tale
•   I thought there was good variety, compared to years past.
•   the same cuts repeated downloaded from web
•   Many Shakes woman
•   (From Youth) - Charlie Brown the piece about the grade
•   Emilia from Othello
•   Midsummer Night's Dream (any of the female roles)
•   Fine Fine Line
•   Shakespeare
•   Sara Ruhl
•   Emilia - Othello
•   Kate in Taming of the Shrew
•   Same monologues done by the same actress as last year. Try something new!
•   As You Like It
•   Lucy coat hanger project - Charlie Brown
•   Avenue Q
•   Charlie Brown

D. What male pieces do you feel you heard a lot of in THIS round? (Actual list of Monologues and times performed can be found here:
••   Odd couple
•   Anything NEIL LEBUTE
•   Tom - Glass Menagerie
•   Shakespeare
•   Hamlet
•   Much Ado About Nothing
•   Edmond - King Lear
•   I thought there was good variety, compared to years past.
•   Falstaff
•   pieces from Violet Hour (dog mono)
•   Songs - too much Little Shop of Horrors
•   I Hate Hamlet
•   The Shape of Things
•   Romeo
•   The Odd Couple
•   The Seagull
•   Sam Shepard
•   Shanley

E. General Comments you wish to make to Actors:
•   Please get audition coaching from people you trust. Please make sure you are clearly selecting active material PURSUING OBJECTIVES in your pieces.
•   Thank you for your preparation, your dedication to your craft, your timeliness, and for coming to act for us. Some of the most memorable acting I have ever seen has been in auditions. Sometimes a particular actor will inspire me to create an entirely new show. Or to change my approach entirely.
•   Come prepared.  If you need some coaching, get it!  Use your space.  Show us you can move.  NEVER be stationary in an audition.  Come dressed as if you were coming to a job interview.  That is exactly what you are doing.
•   Good Shakespeare does not have to be yelled. I want to see a range of emotion and not just being yelled at.  Please get coached with your monolgue.  Don't just stand still and deliver the monologue...move.  Also know and SEE who you are talking to in your monolgue.  Pick a piece that highlights your emotional range and let me see that range.
•   Don't forget to tell us your pieces.
•   Your intro isn't timed, so intro yourself and your pieces with volume and diction. Then take a moment and begin.
•   Pay attention to how to enter and exit the audition
•   Check over your resume
•   Come prepared.  Besides not timing their monologues and running overtime, the biggest mistake I see actors make is a failure to fully commit to their characters--emotions, motivations and physicality.  Get someone you know and trust who has good directing instincts to work with you at least once or twice on your monologues.  Then practice, practice, practice so you know exactly what you are doing with your character and lines every single second of those monologues.  Your audition is the only chance you have to show us what you can do and you need to make every moment shine.
•   Under time is better than over time and being cut off. If you can sing, do it!!!
•   Thanks for your talent! We want you to succeed and we want to hire you for our project. Keep taking those classes and working smaller projects to improve your craft.
•   Don't be quirky for the sake of being quirky.
•   I think all Seattle actors should be members of TPS even if they can not attend  the general auditions.  It is an invaluable resource and it keeps all of us aware of who is still in town and interested in working.
•   Say your name at the end of the audition again  Say if you are local
•   Stop yelling at me, please. I can hear you fine.
•   Please show your personality.
•   Audition with pieces that best demonstrates who you are as an actor, not just what you think auditors want to see.  Also, respect yourself and the auditors by being fully prepared, including sticking within the time frame.
•   Stop hip thrusting during Shakespeare! Also, don't base monologues on a movie version.
•   If we've heard a monologue from you before, try something new! It should be dynamic and exciting - we only get to see you for two minutes.
•   Prepare, prepare, prepare. Cancel your appointment if you haven't had time to prepare.
•   There are differing opinions on what makes a good audition.  It is not showing every skill and technique you have in the time frame.  It is creating a moment that demonstrates both craft and artistry.
•   Do what you feel shows your skills best. Don't try to anticipate what we want to hear or see.
•   Contrast doesn't just mean classical and contemporary---it means showing us your range and demonstrating that you are capable of playing different types of roles.
•   Too short is better than too long.  Generally, understand that our decisions are made most likely within the first 30 seconds.  Rushing to "squeeze" in more work in less time just hurries the entire piece(s) and diminishes their quality.  No need to "tell the whole story," but instead to show your greatest strengths.
•   First, thank you for the time, effort, expense, and thought you put into preparing for the TPS General Auditions this year. I am so proud to be part of this great community of artists. The work you do is important, valuable, and brave.    As I watched TPS this year, I was struck by the remarkable amount of talent we have in the greater Puget Sound area. Such incredible voices! Such mature, seasoned, professional actors!    If I had one thing I would like to see more of next year, it would be actors struggling not only with the external obstacle of the "other," but with their own internal obstacles. I found myself wishing that the characters would struggle more--as much with themselves as with the other character.    Again, thank you for all your time and energy. All the best to you this year!
•   Relax.  Pick pieces that contrast; for example angry and angrier is not a contrast.  If you are capable do a classical piece as well as modern - if you can sell a classic text I know you are capable of much, but frequently modern pieces only communicate you're capable of that piece.  Don't do 2 dialect pieces.
•   Have more fun, its just an audition.
•   Work with a coach -- it really is worth the money.  You may be using more of the material than you need (even if it fits the timing).  But find an outside eye to tell you if your material is in synch with who you are, and then if your character, voice and body are all in the same world when you perform.
•   Work your audition piece with a director before you go in
•   Showcase your talents. If you are good at movement, show us that in the way you use your body. If you can sing, use your voice. If you're funny, make us laugh. But don't force it if you don't have it! It just comes out as self-consciousness. Your anxiety becomes our anxiety! Figure out what your strengths are and showcase them.
•   Don't be afraid to take risks. You must make a strong choice. Middle of the road, "safe" - even if it is well done, isn't enough for you to be remembered in a sea of faces.
•   Project, project, project! And please don't mumble or rush through the name of the piece you're doing.
•   Keep your work light and fun.  We can see your acting ability just as well as when you do dramatic work, but this keeps the atmosphere from being melodramatic.
•   Have fun!  It plays...
•   Please make sure your email address is on your resume - this is the only way to contact people and without an email address you will not get a callback.
•   Remember that we really want you to do your best. We're routing for you!
•   We are looking for singers primarily - our advice is to choose a song you are completely comfortable with and do not use new material at an audition this stressful.
•   Don't rush, and don't reach. Pick roles that really move you, that you completely understand. Don't do your own material, it's distracting.


Karen J Zeller Lane
Theatre Puget Sound
Patrick Lennon

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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 12:16:14 PM »

"Women monologues -- need to choose better material -- no more monologues of relationships gone bad, suicide, poor self-esteem etc.. then I associate this material with them as individuals..."

That is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

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