2018 Unified General Auditions – Auditor Survey results & Stats

Stats on: 539 monologues & 216 songs

Most popular playwright:
66 – William Shakespeare
11 – Neil Simon
8 – Sarah Ruhl
7 – Arthur Miller
6 – Edward Albee; Gabriel Davis; Stephen Adly Guirgis
5 – Anton Chekhov; John Logan; Martin McDonagh
4 – A.R. Gurney; David Auburn; David Lindsay-Abaire; David Mamet; Madeleine George; Neil LaBute

No monologues from 7 Shakespeare plays:
All’s Well That Ends Well; Coriolanus; Cymbeline; Henry VI Part II; Richard III; Taming of the Shrew; Timon of Athens

Most performed plays/musicals:
7 – The Merchant of Venice
4 – Addams Family; Anastasia; Carousel; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot; Midsummer Night’s Dream; Red; She Loves Me; Twelfth Night

Song repeats:
“Crazier Than You” (Addams Family); “Here I Am” (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels); “I Believe” (Book of Mormon); “Journey to the Past” (Anastasia) (4 times); “Little Girls” (Annie); “Mister Snow” (Carousel); “Not For the Life of Me” (Thoroughly Modern Millie); “Screw Loose” (Cry Baby)



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Staff Spotlight: Eron Huenefeld

Meet Our New Development Manager!

  1. Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? 
    I grew up in Arkansas and moved to Seattle almost 10 years ago. My first taste of the stage was at 12 years old when I was an ensemble member of the local kids stage production of “Hello, Dolly!” I’ve been a theater nerd since then, though I gave up the spotlight (hah!) after college.
    Right now, I am my improviser husband’s biggest groupie, dedicated pet parent to a dog and cat, and a sucker for any opportunity to do karaoke.
  2. What do you do at TPS?
    I’m the Development Manager. That means I’m concerned with raising money to help expand the reach of TPS’ work, but I’m also always thinking about how to build relationships and connect patrons and professionals in the arts.
  3. What are you most excited about in your new position here?
    I am already such a huge fan and supporter of a wide range of theatre-makers, and I am excited that being on the TPS team gives me an opportunity to support them in a new and deeper way.
  4. What do you like about the Seattle theatre community?
    I feel like there is truly something for everyone out there. I never get bored of what’s available, from beloved musicals to bold and challenging experiences.
  5. Anything else you want to say to our membership?
    I can’t wait to get to know you better! Let’s hang out at the next TPS Tuesday! 🙂
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Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Libby Barnard sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

4. What was the best portrayal of a couple or relationship you’ve seen onstage?

REX: I know it’s old history what we did back in the 80s and the 90s (with the Group Theatre), but there was some awfully powerful stuff that of course I was intimately involved with, so of course I remember that more than the passing “other” show. And the one that comes to mind was a production we did called “The Kiss of the Spider Woman,” which is just an extraordinary piece of theatre. And an extraordinary examination of two lost souls, and you know, in an extreme circumstance, finding each other and finding some connection.

It was a love note.
It was not a love-relationship but it ran deeper than that.

And the two actors that played the roles in that show were Todd Jefferson Moore and Billy Ontiveros. Both extraordinary accomplished actors. But that show, they did as convincing a job at leaving their own identities behind in order to portray those roles than any performances I’ve ever seen. It was one of the most moving, emotional experiences I’ve ever had watching theatre. There are plenty of others I could list, but let’s pick that one today.

E-mail Keiko at keiko@tpsonline.org with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Staff Spotlight: Heather Refvem

  1. Tell us about yourself and your relationship to theatre!
    I grew up in Sammamish. When I was eight, my parents signed me up for a Kidstage Class at Village Theatre. Back then, Steve Tomkins taught the Kidstage classes. We did a couple of songs from Oliver and I played “Oliver”. After that, I spent the summer working on the Kidstage production of Bye Bye Birdie.
    During that show, they were looking for kids for the mainstage production of Babes in Toyland, which was the first show produced at the Village Mainstage. I got cast as Jill, as in “Jack and Jill,” and totally caught the acting bug. Determined to get a BFA in Musical Theatre, I attended The College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. After graduating, I was set on moving to New York City. I played that game for seven years, before deciding if I wasn’t going to be on Broadway… I didn’t need to be in New York (where I wasn’t very happy anyway), and I could probably do more professional theatre back home in Seattle. So far, that is proving itself to be true.
  2. What are you doing at TPS?
    All sorts of things… my title is Programs Assistant. The biggest project we are working on right now is the UGAs, so I’ve been helping with logistics and various other projects as they come about.
  3. Have you done them? How have you been helping with them this year?
    I have done the UGAs many times! I remember the days where we had to show up with like 50 headshots and resumes, then the auditors returned what they didn’t want to keep at
     the end of each hour, or you came back another day to pick up the extras… I don’t really remember… what I do remember was feeling like it was a bad thing that not EVERYONE wanted to keep my headshot… oh, poor high school Heather… Before moving back from New York, I came back for a couple days just for the UGAs. It was a great way to get myself out there in one fell swoop.
    This year, I’ll be auditioning again, but I’ll also be around each day to help facilitate the event. I scored some sweet coffee donations for the auditors. I’m making arrangements for our auditor dinner on Tuesday… hope you all like tacos! Wait, who doesn’t like tacos? (Special shout out to Blue Water Taco Grill, Caffe Laudro, Uptown Espresso and Fonte Coffee Roasters for the hook up!)
  4. Any advice for actors attending the UGAs this year?
    Treat it as a general audition and don’t worry too much about a particular theatre or show. Think of it as an opportunity to show the community who you are as an artist.
  5. What do you like about the Seattle theatre community?
    I love that you can actually feel like a part of the community here. Don’t get me wrong, New York is amazing, but it is SO big! It’s overwhelming to keep up with all that’s going on and you only feel like a very small speck in the community. Going to auditions is WAY more enjoyable here. For one, you don’t have to show up at 5am to put your name on a an “un-official list”, then go kill 3 hours at a Starbucks to come back and find out there are 500+ people on the list and they are going to “type” or cut everyone’s audition to 8 bars, and you still aren’t going to get in before 4pm…Yup, that’s what it’s like. Here you always see people you know. I also love how the community is always working to be better, especially with social change. I am really proud and inspired to be among so many movers and shakers.
  6. Anything you want to say?
    Not really… I gotta get back to work… 3 days til UGAs, so it’s like tech week here in the office!!! See you all next week!
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A Message from the ED: 4Culture and Ordinance #2018-0086

Dear Members,

A core part of TPS’ mission is to advocate for the theatre community. As part of that mission, we at Theatre Puget Sound have been working the past three weeks to understand the sudden and unexpected news regarding the proposed oversight of 4Culture by the King County Council. After careful examination of ordinance #2018-0086 and conversations with King County Officials, it is clear that part of the intention of this legislation exists in an effort to correct a perceived inequity of funding within 4Culture, and not simply as a means to gain control of the organization. However, the how of any decision is just as important as the why; poor timing, haste, and the lack of discussion and collaborative feedback from the arts community have overshadowed the equity the sponsors of this ordinance had perhaps intended, and once again a measure to increase inclusion was created without transparency. Ultimately, the work of equity and inclusion cannot exist within a vacuum if true systemic change is to occur. 

4Culture has a long history of supporting small organizations and funding less traditional projects and organizations, often led by and supporting people of color. That said, it is important for any organization which seeks equity to create space for marginalized voices to ensure the systems are, in fact, equitable. We believe this ordinance will not help create that opportunity. If the King County Council does hope to correct an imbalance they believe exists within 4Culture, the members should work in concert with the communities they wish to elevate and only propose legislation which is rich with the voices most likely to be impacted by the decision-making process. In our opinion, this ordinance does not currently represent those voices. 

We at TPS therefore urge the King County Council to work in conjunction with the arts community and the voices they wish to elevate, in order to ensure marginalized communities are part of any decision making process.

How can you help?

  • Write your council member and let them know that proposing additional oversight of this agency without any meaningful engagement of the arts community will only exacerbate the ability for 4Culture to fund the diverse portfolio of projects. 
  • Join us at the public meeting on February 21st at the King County Courthouse at 9:30. Voice opposition to how this legislation was created. 
  • Advocate for more intersectional POC representation on the board and governing bodies of our funding agencies. 

This is an opportunity for the community to create the systemic change we have been calling for, but we need to ensure that any change is created with and by the voices of those most impacted. 

We are so proud of our membership’s passion regarding this issue and sincerely thank you for supporting our diverse community as this legislation moves forward.



Executive Director
Theatre Puget Sound

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ASK REX: #4 (Valentine’s Day Edition)

How do you know it's true love?

Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Libby Barnard sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

4. How do you know if it’s true love?



LIBBY: Do you believe in true love?

REX: Oh, sure. But I’m certainly not a master on the subject — like yikes. 

LIBBY: How did you and your wife meet?

REX: In theatre, of course. Well, she was a single mom, trying to make her way in seattle and she had come up from California originally from Massachusetts — we grew up not 40 minutes away from each other — of course, we didn’t know.

LIBBY: I love when those things work out.

REX: And she was just trying to get her bearings in the city — you know, she had been here for a while, so. She just happened to walk into the Group Theatre and liked what we were doing. And around the same time, we were trying — not the first time, certainly not the last time — trying to put together some sort of volunteer program that made sense and one of the things we came up with was these gatherings that were kind of half get-to-know-you cocktail parties, and half seminars on some subjects. And I did a series of them on tech stuff including lighting design, and she happened to come to the lighting design one. You know, and so that’s how it started. I don’t remember exactly the sequence after that but you know, she was volunteering around the organization. And she ended up volunteering and then eventually working as the Development Director because she had some experience in that realm. She actually cones from a science background.  

She has a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry and yada yada yada, but she certainly had the chops to do advanced admin work, so that’s how we met, and we kind of just went from there.

So how do you know it’s true love…? Honestly, wait 30 years. And if you’ve still got a working thing in 30 years, you can look back on it and say, “yeah, this is true love.”

You know, maybe it’s just the way things are these days with everyone wanting instant, immediate gratification, but I sometimes wonder — and I see it with our children — whether they have the patience to let a relationship evolve. That’s not a criticism because god knows there are plenty of ways to have a relationship. I think ultimately, the real answer to having a solid, sustained relationship — call it love, call it whatever — is in part a willingness to give yourself up, but far more important: a willingness to listen and to be sensitive and responsive to who the other person is. To accept them for who they are, instead of trying to fit them into some kind of pigeonhole that you designed. 

We’ve been married now for 34 years, which is no small feat, and you know, it works. Ultimately, true love = best friend in the long run. And everything else kind of falls in place.

E-mail Keiko at keiko@tpsonline.org with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Is it possible to become a playwright in Seattle?


Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

3. Is it possible to become a playwright in Seattle?

REX: I was surprised they asked me this question.

KEIKO: Me too, actually!

REX: Well, the answer is it is not possible to become a playwright.
You either ARE a playwright or you’re not. Right?


K: Right. I love that.

REX: And if you ARE a playwright, what you have to do is write. And write more and write more. Don’t labour what you’ve already written too much, just keep writing. 
And then, share it. Network. Give it people. And give it to them with an open heart and an open mind and listen carefully to what they tell you. And that’s how you become a BETTER playwright. But you’ll never BECOME a playwright because if you are one, you know it.

E-mail Keiko at keiko@tpsonline.org with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Womxn in Theatre: Sexual harassment and inequality in Seattle arts

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Womxn in Theatre:
Sexual harassment and inequality in Seattle arts

The #metoo and #timesup movements have swept through Hollywood and the greater entertainment industry marking an important shift in our culture. How are these movements transforming the conversation in the Seattle theatre community? How can we create positive change for our current and future practitioners and help to influence gender equality and put a stop to harassment and assault for all. TPS, in partnership with Seattle Womxn Marching Forward, highlights this important conversation as part of the first anniversary of the Seattle Womxn’s March. Gather to hear professionals representing a broad range of disciplines discuss their experiences and observations on how our local industry can elevate these conversations in our own industry and where we must do better. 

When: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Where: TPS Theatre4, located on the 4th floor of the Seattle Center Armory
Admission: Free

Panel Details:

  • Act 1: Essential Contributors – administrative staff, teaching artists, crew members, stage managers
  • Act 2: Makers/Creators – designers, musicians, production managers, actors
  • Act 3: Leadership – Artistic Directors, Managing Directors, Members of the Board
  • Post-Play with Reel Grrls: See highlights of the 2017 Seattle Womxn’s March and take part in a discussion on the impact you’ve felt from this inaugural event

RSVP here!

About TPS:
Theatre Puget Sound is a service organization established in 1997 which provides assistance to local arts organizations and artists with discounted services and professional programming and critical arts advocacy assistance in our region. The mission of TPS is to promote the spiritual and economic necessity of theatre to the public, and to unify and strengthen the theatre community through programs, resources, and services. TPS serves more than 20,000 artists and members by providing access to affordable rehearsal and performance space and through the programming executed each year.  

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2017 Unified General Auditions – Auditor Survey results

Every year we allow our auditors to give feedback on what they liked/disliked about the annual Unified General Auditions.  Over 50 auditors filled out the survey – this is valuable information for future UGA actors, containing information about how best to prepare for your 2018 audition.

While this survey contains a lot of great information, each specific opinion should be regarded as exactly that – one person’s opinion.  Getting positions from 50 different casting directors means the results contain many contradictions – for example, one auditor may say “never do Shakespeare at the UGA” while another may say the exact opposite!

Organizations/Individuals included in this survey:

ACT Theatre; Annex Theatre; Big Fish NW; Book-It Repertory Theatre; Fantastic.Z Theatre; The Fern Shakespeare Company; Forward Flux Productions; Harlequin Productions; Island Shakespeare Festival; Latino Theatre Projects; The Lesser-Known Players; Live Girls!; MAM; Pacific Play Company; Parley; ReAct Theatre; Seattle Playwrights Salon; Seattle Unity; Sound Theatre Company; Taproot Theatre Company; Theater Schmeater; Theatre9/12; Twelfth Night Productions; Writers and Actors Reading & Performing (WARP)

Independent Directors:
Alan Becker; Robert Bertocchini; Christopher James; Jason Laurvick; Alexandra Lawrence; Marissa McCown; Sonya Shaw

We attended this General to cast for projects occurring between: (Please check all that apply)

March – July 2017 38%
August 2017 – January 2018 68%
2018 or beyond 40%
We keep headshots/resumes on file for currently unscheduled projects. 72%

How many 2017 UGA actors potentially fit a future project of yours?

10 or less actors 17%
11-25 actors 47%
26-100 actors 19%
We keep all or most headshots on file 15%

What were the most surprising, enjoyable, memorable moments from actors?

  • Actors that chose the most active material stood out.
  • Actors who brought a well-polished, rehearsed audition with material that suited them. A great overall presentation was captivating!
  • Actors who fully committed to their choices were always a delight to watch.
  • Actors who just went with it if something went wrong
  • An actor sang I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan. The accompanist stopped I guess when he thought he was supposed to but the actor kept on going. Unphased she proceeded to sing the rest of the song acapella and even did different character voices and movements. That is the kind of bold, interesting and funny choice we want to see.
  • Diversity in monologues was prevalent. Less “rage” monologues. Unless you’re Jackie Gleason Yelling isn’t acting.
  • I always enjoy when actors I’ve seen for years show growth and development.
  • I appreciated the comedic monologues that were done well.  I always remember the actors that make me laugh out loud.
  • I enjoyed moments when actors really took a chance and went for it.  [name] was a huge standout for me.
  • I love the moment when an actor really makes a huge transition between their pieces.  I love the surprise that the second peice is indeed a contrast in every way and reveals a surprising ability of the actor.
  • I loved seeing the singer/songwriter who came out.  I think that’s the beauty of general auditions is how inclusive you are to people who may not fit the mold, but want to participate in the theatre community.
  • I thought some of the most enjoyable moments came from those actors who met with some unforeseen circumstance – the wait-lister who stepped into a slot without an accompanist comes to mind, although he wasn’t the only one – who just ‘rolled with it’ with a sense of humor and grace.
  • I thought the screening that TPs Did was pretty good this year– the day I was there only one or two were what I considered not ready for prime time. ALso, a very good accompanist this year–glad we donated to help support that.
  • Loved actors who were prepared and gave us the best of themselves.   Also, picking pieces that kept them within their allotted time.
  • Many moments the quality off the work was high
  • Moments where actors channeled the energy in the room and used it to add power to the character’s intention. It was clear whose energy was focused and deliberate. Those were the moments that rang the most true for me.
  • Seeing actors again after several years had passed and witnessing the maturation that has occurred is very enjoyable.   Some of the  clothing choices actors wore for character were surprising.    One of the older (age-wise) actors exuded 3 times the amount of authentic energy as many of the younger actors…inspiring!
  • The actors who had fun!
  • The display of courage,
  • The most enjoyable moments were the genuine ones.  Only some actors have mastered authenticity.
  • Truthful moments of discovery. When it was fresh and in the moment. When the actors were discovering something new and sharing it with us.
  • When someone with high skill does material that’s unusual, that’s super fun.   But I also liked when I saw a young novice doing a piece that seemed really well suited.

In a General Audition like this, what factors make an actor stand out?

  • Commanding the stage (I’ve been on both sides of the table and I get that it is scary, but if you want to command a theatre, you first need to command the audition room.  This is YOUR time.  Own it.–Make big bold choices–you must stand out of hundreds of actors.
  • Being able to relax
  • Being completely comfortable in front of a group of auditors.  I’ve been on both sides (actor and auditor) of general auditions such as these, and realize how scary they can be, but the more an actor can come out and command the room the more likely I’m going to keep their headshots.  I’m not saying do something big and crazy like start undressing (I’ve seen that at generals in another city), but realize that we see hundreds of people so actors need to stand out!
  • Being in their true voice; Physicality ; Emotional connection to the  work
  • Being prepared, energetic, and relaxed.  Speaking their name out very clearly. A very minor thing….. moving the chair back when they used it.
  • Being well prepared and having a well thought out presentation.  Being comfortable with your pieces and making strong choices, and having the piece timed well so you aren’t rushing past valuable moments.
  • Confidence. Big bold choices. Really just making any kind of choice. We are there for 4 days. Entertain us. Even if you fail, fail gloriously. You’d be surprised how many people remember that stuff, and I’m of the opinion that it is better to be remembered then totally forgotten.
  • Contrast and range.
  • Does the actor “take the stage” so many actor seem to apologize for being there (in their bearing, body language). The other word for this might be presence.  For vocal picking a song that show off their strengths, not weaknesses.
  • Fully prepared pieces, brief, confident introductions, and full deliveries of both pieces.
  • Hrm.  Because I came in with a very specific list of things I needed, the actors who stood out to me were just the ones who had those things:  a solid vocal instrument, and fearlessness/ease with the audience. That’s extremely easy to spot, whether the performer is having a good or bad day.  It’s sort of like whether they’re wearing a blue shirt or not, so it’s not something they can particularly manipulate.  If I spot it, then I go to the resume and see about their training, do we know anyone in common that I can ask about them, are they local, etc.
  • I like to see how an actor moves, and in particular how he or she moves as different characters. Having been on both sides of the table, I understand well that the limitations of the stage audition make it very difficult for anyone to present his or her work completely and in its best light- however, I really take notice of the actors who take risks that are useful within the given format – for example, choosing two very divergent characters who moved and spoke differently. It helped me better understand the actor’s range and spoke to a willingness to experiment and take risks.
  • In this particular case, I was looking for specific types in specific age ranges. What stood out to me were monologues where the character shows an emotional arc, or changes somehow during the course of the monologue. Monologues where the character just told stories were less interesting and convincing.
  • It is noticeable who has worked through their piece with a timer and really practiced.
  • monologue choices, what they are wearing (look professional and choose flattering clothing), a sense of humor, intensity
  • Professional presence, i.e., not dressed in jeans or tennis shoes. Clear and well-paced introduction of their name and their selections. Selection of audition pieces that are appropriate for their age, body image, skill level. Contrasting audition pieces that demonstrate some range.
  • Professionalism. Dressing for a job interview. Timed pieces, neat HS and Resume.
  • Range, and ability to project …imbue their character.
  • Showing originality and range of characters and/or emotions.  Just like a performance, I’m looking for someone to take me out of my headspace and into their world.
  • Take your time and don’t try and cram material that doesn’t quite fit into the allotted time slot.
  • The ability to appear relaxed and engage with the audience.  The actors who entered and said “hello” like we were a group of their friends, immediately had and held my attention.
  • Their ability to connect to scripted material and play an objective.  Often actors pick narrative “stories” because they are longer passages of text.  I want to know an actor can effectively engage in the give and take that is required with an actor/character in a scene.  I want to know that they can focus their attention on a single target outside of themselves and make that target of their focus all important.   I like more of a “scene” than a “monologue” which is so difficult because there isn’t another actor/character present.  So I look for their ability to understand that basic concept.
  • Those who took their time and didn’t try to rush too much material into their time limit, they didn’t feel rushed.
  • Training and experience – you can see it almost instantly in an audition. Would love for women to abandon victim or passive monologues- in exchange for monologues where they are active
  • Two things jump out.  1st is Confidence.    By that, I don’t mean the well rehearsed, properly professional sort of confidence one presents because they know “how to audition”.   I mean REAL confidence, the kind that emanates from those who are present, prepared and comfortable with their audition material.  2nd is when an actor is able to completely inhabit one character and then switch seamlessly to inhabiting the character of another monologue. For a moment, it’s like watching a real life Sybil until you realize they’re into their 2nd piece.
  • versatility — showing 2 or more pieces that are different.
  • When they make eye contact with us right away. When they are comfortable talking to us as themselves.  When they choose pieces that reflect who they are.
  • When they took the stage and had confidence and commanded the room.  A burst of energy is ALWAYS good..   

You saw a lot of headshots and resumes.  What were common mistakes actors might want to avoid in their headshots and resumes?

  • Double check the formatting of your resume and the resolution of the photo you sent.  If the resume is hard to read or follow your credits and experience might be ignored.
  • Extreme close-ups; also very few or very ‘silly’ things listed as skills on a resume. Legitimately unusual skills are interesting, but silly or self-deprecating ‘skills’ (i.e: “napping”, “falling”) don’t add anything to a resume. Conversely, those who only list one or two skills might well consider expanding just a bit to include areas of talent but not expertise – for example, if someone is not necessarily an expert drummer, but has even minimal skills and/or experience as a percussionist, I would absolutely love to know that.
  • For those who have recently moved, please list most recent or local credits first; that way we know where we may have seen you!
  • Having Film, TV, Radio, Industrial etc. at the top of the resume so you had to search for the theater information.  So not creating a resume appropriate to the audience.
  • Headshots that were obviously 10yrs or more old.
  • Headshots who don’t look like the actor I’m seeing get discarded without a second thought.
  • I didn’t really notice any mistakes.  But he more professional the headshot the better, a lot of them seemed very casual, like they were taken with a camera phone. But I can understand that professional photos are pricey.
  • I didn’t see as many as some of the auditors.  I don’t have an opinion on this. 🙂
  • I don’t actually look at the head shot/resumes unless I see what I need in their audition. I’m glad I do it that way because there are many times that what I saw on stage is very different from what’s on paper.  Since my audience gets no prep info, I want the same chance to feel the first impression.  When I DO look at the resume, I’m looking to see that things are truthful and make sense.
  • I only use headshots to remember the person and if I saw them.  I just want them to look like the person, but I understand actors need to feel this is a positive representation of them.   For resumes, I really REALLY want to know where they studied acting and theatre, what their skills are and who directed shows they have done.  So much good information is gleaned from this.
  • If you want to sing in shows, then please put your voice-type and/or note range on your resume along with height, weight etc.  (If you don’t know it, get a musical friend or teacher to help you determine your range and voice type.)
  • It’s better to have fewer stronger roles than a ton of roles that don’t mean anything to us. Be selective about what you put on there.
  • It’s not always necessary to list every single thing you’ve done, unless you haven’t done much and need to.  Whatever you put on your resume, make it legible and easy to read and follow.  We often don’t have a lot of time to peruse everything you’ve done, so, if you’ve done a lot, list what you feel represents you best and what you’d like to be considered for and leave it at that.
  • List their agency. Be HONEST about their resume credits, height, weight (not essential for most of us). Format resume in 3 easy to read columns. First column Production, Second Column Name of Role (theatre) or type of role (film, tv, industrial, etc), 3rd column producing entity. Do list special skills, languages. Do list training, schooling.  HEADSHOTS ARE ESSENTIAL. A good headshot is your #1 marketing tool. Without a headshot, you are not appropriate for submission to many professional jobs. You need to LOOK LIKE YOUR HEADSHOT NOW! A snapshot is not a headshot. Can’t afford a headshot? You can always contact community college and college photography classes and offering to model in exchange for a headshot. A headshot should be in color. A headshot should look the way you do now.
  • Make sure you look like your headshot. Yes you want to look your best, but you still need to look like you. For a theater audition you should have a resume that features your theater experience, not you tv, film and industrial shoots.
  • Non -professional headshots.
  • Not being back dated,
  • Not including information on their resume about where they live and/or their availability for local productions if not Seattle-based.  Headshots that may be good portraits but that don’t show much personality or make a positive, direct personal connection. Not including training and/or education information, especially for younger or less experienced actors.
  • Not looking like themselves.  Don’t get me wrong having a different haircut, color, difference in facial hair is ok, but an actor must look like their resume.  It is their business card.  If a headshot is 10 years out of date, or an actor is 20 lbs heavier or lighter then they need a new headshot.  Additionally, please have your headshot professionally shot–there are plenty of professional headshot photographers here who are relativity inexpensive.  An actor may think they look great in an iPhone shot, but we auditors look at headshots all day–we can tell the difference. Having an up to date headshot and resume is part of an actor’s job.  If an actor isn’t willing to invest in current headshots, that tells me that actor is not a professional because they are not doing part of the job of being an actor.
  • Out of date headshots.  Having different hair or facial hair is one thing, but if you’ve gained or lost over 10 lbs you should get a new headshot.  I also saw headshots that were years out of date.  Headshots are your calling card–it must look like you. -Not having a professional headshot–we look at these all day, and can tell an iPhone photo from a professional photo.  Headshots can be expensive, but many photographers offer deals several times during the year.  Part of your job as an actor is to have a headshot–invest in a good one every year.
  • Out of focus- the unnecessary backdrops. Is it for a date site or a professional theater?
  • Several headshots made the actors less attractive (for no apparent reason) or were a bit out of date.  Also for those who are local to Seattle if there is some way they can state this on their resume or TPS could checkbox it that would be great.  Several companies cannot house actors from Portland and while this is on the website – several auditors mentioned it would be super helpful to know while we are actually watching an actor audition to have that information upfront
  • Spelling errors.  Be sure to proof read your resume, even if you ran the spell check.  Also, double check the spelling of anyone’s name you  list as having worked with.  It’s a detail… an important and respectful one!
  • They should all put their own phone numbers and emails on their headshots and resumes.  It would be helpful if they had their agent listed as well if they have one
  • Use a current headshot that looks like you. When actors used an old headshot where they had a different appearance, it a) caused me to have questions about why the actor chose to do that, and b) was often disappointing, as I was expecting to see someone who was the age of the actor in the headshot photo.

General comments you wish to make to actors who may want to do the general auditions in the future.

  • This is your chance to shine and show me you are a professional.  
  • Please do not bring a Coffee Cup onto the stage.  Water if you absolutely must (but with only 2 minutes you really shouldn’t need it unless you have been ill). Please leave the drinks in the greenroom
  • Please do not chit chat before your piece.  Nor do I need to know why you’ve grown a beard, dyed your hair, etc.  Name and number please (or here in Seattle name and pieces)
  • If doing Shakespeare, please only do it if you are a professional Shakespearian actor.  Additionally, please choose a monologue not a sonnet. 
  • Please do not use a chair as a scene partner–it is incredibly awkward.  
  • Please do not direct your monologues to the voms direct them to us in the audience
  • Please do not use any accents of any kind.  This is a given in most Cattle calls–we want to hear YOUR voice.  If you have dialect work on your resume, I can call you in to hear a dialect. Additionally, when doing accents you are not only putting on an accent but you must honor the culture of that accent–when you do a poor accent, you are dishonoring that whole culture.   As a Southerner, I found myself getting incredibly offended at the amount of ‘southern yokel’ accents that were happening.  When you choose to do an accent you generalize an entire group of people–be careful that you aren’t offending them
  • Please, if singing, practice your song with an Accompanist–songs which may sound super easy are not (I’m speaking specifically of Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown).  They are not only difficult to play, but often the cast recording is different than what is on the page.  ALWAYS practice with an accompanist.
  • Please do not turn around before or between your monologues. I want to see you transition into another character.
  • Please don’t make a joke before you introduce yourself. When you say, ‘I’m going to be the only one you remember’ that immediately turns me off. Say your name and number and start the pieces.
  • Please do not apologize either before or after a piece.  I don’t care if you are sick. As an actor, you must perform while ill.  Additionally, if you apologize that tells me you think your work wasn’t good–why am I watching then?
  • If you can’t sing your song through a cold, mono, the plague or an earthquake, don’t choose it for your audition piece because something on the day (be it nerves, weather, sickness) is going to prevent you from hitting the money note. Pick a song that you can still sing during ANY circumstances
  • Don’t look down–I’m in the nosebleeds and if I can’t see your eyes, that tells me you won’t be able to do my style of Shakespeare
  • Please strike the chair if you use it
  • After 10 years of seeing auditions at TPS, my biggest disappointment is seeing, year after year, the same actors who have not grown or evolved.  This is because, unlike New York, Chicago, Los Angeles actors, Seattle actors do not take class or work on scenes that stretch their talents.  Being in shows only reinforces your strengths.  It makes no sense to be an actor “only during shows;” your talent needs nurturance and challenge at all times.
  • Always do two monologues or I can’t tell if you can change
  • Avoid accents! Do not go on after “Time” – Shows me the actor is disrespectful and undisciplined. 
  • and yes…no break up monologues and “here’s the deal”…Jerry Seinfeld type monologues–
  • Consider your internet presence. I always look people up the net before pursuing them. I’m sure not everyone does this, but I do. Partly, it’s because I don’t do callbacks, I just offer people a singing gig, so I need to be certain I’m willing to try working this person. So, what I want to see is lots of evidence that they exist, and the range of their interests and personae as performers.  I especially like it when folks have lots of varied stuff on Youtube, even crappy phone vids from college shows, I love those.  I realize “don’t scrub your footprint” is the opposite of what LA agents tell their people, so maybe my view is super weird, but I swear it works for me.   So far this time,  I hired five people, in no small part because their internet trails.  [name] has tons of church vids; [name] plays keys and does good indie originals; [name] plays badass electric guitar; [name]’s got three little vocal samples that show me he’s green but growing; and [name] is ALL over youtube.  If a performer has no internet footprint, that’s worrisome.  Where is it?  If I am on the edge of a pursue/don’t pursue choice, and they have no footprint, I’ll choose not to.
  • Dare to be bold
  • Do not say “fuck” more than once. If you are going to swear, make it a moment.  Also if they have the opportunity, find an audition coach or work with fellow artists in the community to work on your monologues with you.  A lot of them lacked energy and pace.
  • Don’t do Shakespeare or other classical pieces unless that is a personal aspiration or strength. Too many auditioners follow the typical format of one Shakespeare and one contrasting contemporary pieces. It’s okay and preferable to play to your strengths and do two contrasting pieces from the same category.
  • Don’t try to cram your pieces to fit the time limit. Select pieces that easily fit those limits. It is better to finish before time is up than to race to stay within the limits and/or get cut off.
  • Present yourself as a professional. Dress and groom appropriately. Your audition starts as soon as you enter the stag, not when you begin your pieces. Similarly, it ends when you exit the stage.
  • Don’t feel required to confine yourself to standing on the “X” center stage. We are looking for stage actors, and if you can, you should show us a little bit of how you can move around and use the stage.
  • Having been on both sides this year, remember that the auditors are excited to see and aren’t there to judge.  Relax, be yourself, and remember a smile goes a LONG way.
  • Hire a coach or ask a friend to time your pieces and give you feedback.  Keep your introductions short and to the point, we aren’t interested in hearing about your playwright, character context, or why you chose them. We’re here to see YOU.
  • I find monologues that have disgusting or disturbing content a complete turnoff (and we specialize in ‘edgy’ shows.) And it always saddens me to see people making mistakes (running over time, addressing the audience generally when the monologue is directed at a specific person, talking to an empty chair, doing that weird U-turn thing at the transition, dressing sloppily, etc.) that are listed in pretty much any and every basic how-to-audition guide ever written. Everyone taking the stage at any audition anywhere gets major points for bravery; but making these kinds of mistakes speaks to a lack of preparation at its most basic level. Just Google “what not to do at an audition” and don’t do those things.
  • In my notes, I looked for “Face” –can they use their face to project proper emotion and “Pace” –do they understand the piece they choose?  Can he or she pace the words properly to the meaning within the monologue? Especially in comedy and “Stage” –does the actor use the stage with their audition?
  • No small talk and chit chat prior to starting your audition. Just come in and do your thing. I’m interested in your acting, I don’t care if your charming or witty as a person. When auditioning, talk to your audience, not a chair, you look foolish. If you intend to use a chair or a block, set it up before you begin your audition. Never bring your tea or coffee in with you. I know it’s Seattle, but you can go without it for 3 minutes. If you’re singing pick a song that is easy for the accompanist and don’t use this time to try out new songs you’re not confident with. Don’t bring in Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown, they’re just so difficult for an accompanist. If you’re going to sing a commonly done song you’d better knock it out of the park. Girls please stop singing Vanilla Ice Cream. I’ve heard it a million times. 
  • I live Shakespeare. I run a Shakespeare Company and I would love to see more of it. However, unless you are experienced with it and you know what you are talking about don’t do Shakespeare. If you do it well it can showcase that you can do anything. But if you do it poorly it can showcase that you simply haven’t done your homework.
  • Once you’ve chosen what you are going to wear to audition in, check to make sure it will actually work with any blocking or other movement you’ll be doing.
  • Over – prepare.
  • -Please do not bring cups with you on the stage–unless you are seriously ill and need a water bottle, you most likely can go 2 minutes without water.  I saw an actor bring a coffee cup onto the stage.  That is a sign of unprofessionalism and immediately turns me off casting the actor.
  • -Please do not attempt an accent during a General audition–I want to hear your real voice.  If I want to hear an accent, I’ll call you in.  The amount of accents, especially Southern accents was incredibly surprising.  Additionally, I was not only surprised by the amount of Southern accents executed poorly, honestly, as a native, proud Southerner recent to the PNW, I was quite turned  off by what was in 98% of the cases a caricature of a Southern accent and found it quite insulting. Remember, when doing an accent (which should never be done in a general anyway), you take the responsibility of doing justice to the culture of the accent you are taking on.
  • Please make sure you get very good quality coaching for auditions that focuses primarily on the acting in the audition pieces.   Take time to ground yourself and be present. Don’t rush through the piece to keep from getting called on time — fewer and more meaningful moments is so much more impactful.   I also want to see a beat change or an adaptation that you make to something coming at you from your “scene partner”  (not really there but you believe in them just the same).   Keep your focus.  It is a challenging situation, but if you can make it about the action and playing of a scene, the audition can be very impressive.
  • Relax, have fun, trust yourself.
  • Remember that we are on your team!! We want you to be great. Show us your joy. Show us your heart.
  • Remember to act with your entire body at points.  Choose your movements carefully as they can also distract if you do too much but remember we are seeing your entire body.  Actors that embody their character instead of just “play it” or “do it” immediately stand out from the crowd. I saw a lot of dead arms and acting only from the face and neck.  Don’t forget to ask yourself how the character holds their back, how they walk, what idiosyncratic ways they might use their arms…
  • Stay within your allotted time.   Don’t worry about the audience.  We really are on your side and want you succeed.  You don’t need to try to be good because we are also wanting you to just be yourself.
  • Too many monologues from “Gruesome Playground Injuries.” In general, more interesting monologue choices would have helped.
  • When all else fails, have fun.  Have the time of your life. You get two to three minutes of complete and undivided attention from directors all over town.  How do you show everyone who you are as an artist through your performance?  Take any nervous energy you have and put it into the acting. Be present  and know that the hard work you’ve put in for your audition will come through as you are completely in the moment, with us, performing your heart out. ♥
  • Work hard,don’t force,
  • You are here to Act/Sing. The long personal monologued intro is distracting from the work you are here to do.

Want to be involved in the 2018 Unified General Auditions?  Click here for more information!

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Deadline: 1/5/2018

Theatre Puget Sound is currently seeking photographers to take part in Headshot Days 2018 , when we connect photographers with our members for a discounted rate. We are hoping for this program in 2018 to occur at some point in January for use during the Unified General Auditions.

*Even if you’ve participated as a photographer before, please fill out the form below!

Apply by filling out the following form, and we will contact you with further details. Please attach samples or enter a link to your website for review.

Thank you!

DEADLINE: 1/5/2018

Headshot Day: Call for Photographers
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 106.96MB
(Note: TPS will charge a processing fee, which will be upended to the agreed rate.)
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