I don't know if you've noticed - as I've used this as a substitute for actual blog writing as of late - but we held auditions last night for the new sketch show starting in April. Which reminds me, I have to update my "Events" thingy in the side bar. I'll get around to that.
It's always interesting being a performer who has to put up with all the foolishness of auditioning, and then turning around and sitting on the director's side of the table.
It was a somewhat late night last night (we cast the show immediately after the auditions over at Corcoran's across from the Second City) but the whole process was still a lot of fun and we had some very talented people audition. We deliberately cast a large group of actors - we're trying to create a really high energy show and we're experimenting with numbers of people to see what that does for us - and yet w still had to turn some funny people away.
I think this is my fourth time in Chicago holding auditions. I did a couple back at U of M during my RC Players days. I always come away with something new that I've learned.
For whatever reason, stripes seem to be the thing to wear at auditions. When you're auditioning large groups, the auditioners will be scrambling to write something about your appearance that will help them remember you later when they're casting the show. For whatever reason, I was always able to remember the people wearing stripes. You have five or six people wearing white shirts of all black and then you're sitting there wondering "who are these notes for?" and before long you're angry and confused. Yet with stripes, even when there are multiple people wearing them, you can still differentiate by color, by vertical versus horizontal, etc.
On a similar note, and this is something I've noticed before, don't wear all black. Particularly to a comedy audition. Not only are you indiscernible from the other people wearing all black, but you also look like one of those pretentious artsy actor cliches.
Also, you can't stress actor fundamentals enough in an audition. Eye contact, cheating out, listening to the other person while they're delivering their lines, reacting to them. I think that can be just as important as the choices you make in your reading. You can be funny and crazy all you want, but your director is likely looking for someone who can do the basics as well.
So that's it. I'm pretty happy with the group that we got. I'm sure you'll hear more from me on the show over the next two months so get ready for that.
Joe wrote a great post on auditioning about a year ago. Even though it's "Auditioning for Improvisation", most of the tips are applicable to sketch, too.
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