With the casting for A Cautionary Tale fresh in my mind, here are a few tips on running auditions.
- Send all your auditionees the full script and/or audition sides in advance. Whether they read it all and how much they prepare will tell you a lot about their attitude to their craft and their enthusiasm for this particular role.
- Bring an assistant. If actor #2 turns up while actor #1 is mid-audition, it helps a lot to have someone to greet them.
- Make sure that the venue you’re using has an anteroom or corridor for people to wait in.
- Take signs (and Blutak) to direct people to the right room within the building.
- There will be no-shows. C’est la vie.
- Introduce yourself and the project before the reading, but don’t waffle because the more you keep the actor in suspense, the more nervous they will be when they finally get to read.
- If you’re filming the auditions, which I recommend, you should have a separate person doing that, so that you the director can watch and judge the performance with your naked eye.
- Check the actor’s ability to take direction by having them read a second time with a different emotional emphasis or motivation.
- Use an improv or two to gauge the actor’s creativity and get a sense of what they can do outside the confines of the sides.
- Take the time to answer any questions the actor may have about your previous experience. Remember that it’s just as much about whether they want to work with you as it is about whether you want to work with them.
How do you like to run auditions? Any tips you could add to these?