Here is a tip for you that’s really going to boost your self-confidence and push you outside your comfort zone and get you doing something completely different that’s also a whole lot of fun. Wondering what is it that I’m talking about? Well, I’m talking about auditioning for a play or a musical, getting up on stage and performing, doing a bit of a performance in front of your friends and your family.
Now, this is a whole lot of fun, and the way you do this is that you hunt around for some amateur theater companies in your local area. Every big city has groups of people who get together to do some amateur theater. They put on plays, they put on musicals where people get up and sing and just have a whole lot of fun.
This is really great; you’ll just love doing this. It’s going to scare the crap out of you, but at the same time it’s really a lot of fun. So the way you do this is you look around to find what amateur theater companies are operating in your area. Just do a Google search for “amateur theater” or “musical theater” or “theater companies”, and have a look for the ones where they just put on productions purely for fun.
These will be local community theater groups where you can go along and you’ve got to audition for different roles in whatever play they’re doing at the time. And the way that you do this is firstly you get in touch with the amateur theater company. It’s very easy these days because they all have websites. Go to their website and find out what their next upcoming production is.
It’s going to be some kind of play or musical that you may have heard of before or you may not have; it doesn’t really matter. If there are lots to choose from, you can pick one that you like based on other shows that you’ve seen maybe before. But if you’re not in the music theater or that play theater side of things, then it doesn’t matter; just pick anything really. It’s bound to be a lot of fun whatever you do.
And what happens before a show is put on is that usually the director will have an information night where he tells everybody what he’s going to be looking for in the audition. So this is a bit like cheating for a test really. What you want to do is you go along to the information night to find out what it is that the director is going to be looking for when he holds auditions.
Go along and he will basically tell you what he wants you to do. It might be to sing a song in a certain genre or from a certain show, or he might want you to not sing a certain song from a certain show. He may want you to deliver a monologue or some kind of funky speech or something, depending on what the play is.
But whatever the director says is what you should take your tips from. Then go away, learn your material. If it’s a song, then just learn how to sing it. And if it’s a monologue that you need to deliver or some scene work you need to do, go away and learn your lines. Turn up to the audition; book your time down. There’ll be different time slots where the director has different people auditioning.
Get yourself a time slot. Just contact them and say “Hey, I want to audition for this show” and book in a time slot, turn up. You’re going to be nervous, of course; everybody hates auditions. It’s just universal, but it’s a step you need to go through in order to get your ass up there on stage.
When it comes to actually doing your audition, take a big deep breath as you get up on stage. Relax yourself into it, and then do whatever it is that you’re going to do that’s going to impress the director.
In my very first show that I auditioned for, I was auditioning for the role of Kenickie in Grease, and I’d spent weeks learning how to sing Grease Lightning. I just had it totally down pat, got to the audition, got up on stage and just completely froze after the first half a line. I could barely even remember the whole song. I couldn’t remember the chorus or anything, but I got the part anyway. So I had the look that the director wanted.
I recommend that you put a bit of effort into preparing for your audition, and one of the ways that you can do that is by dressing yourself in the style of the character that you’re auditioning for. If the play has been made into a movie, which often they have, go grab a copy of that movie and go watch it.
When I auditioned for West Side Story, I watched the movie a couple of times to work out what it is I was in for and what kind of style the director was likely to be looking for. And this gives you a real edge over other people who just turn up without having thought about that. So for my audition for Grease, I turned up decked out in a white shirt, a leather jacket that I’d borrowed and some blue jeans which was the outfit that Kenickie wore in the musical, and that was the role that I was going for.
Even though I could only sing like half a line of the song that he sings, that didn’t really matter because I had the look the director wanted and it turned out that he had a particular character in mind for Kenickie’s girlfriend, Rizzo, and Rizzo was this short little girl who was very feisty and I was kind of tall and lanky, and therefore he thought “That’d make a really great comedy combination” and I got the part. Evidently I could sing well enough based on the half a line that I did manage to deliver, and the show went off absolutely brilliantly. So a great deal of fun.
When you’re performing in amateur theater, you’ll have a great time. You’ll spend three months rehearsing with a whole bunch of people in a pretty intense environment. Like, this is hard work.
You need to really put some effort into it, but it pays a lot of rewards because over those three months you’re going to get to know a whole bunch of people on a pretty deep level, and because it is a really intense experience going up on stage in front of a bunch of people, you’re going to end up bonding with your cast members really well and that’s why this is an incredible way to meet other people and to meet women particularly. Female cast members always end up falling for their male cast members and just have a whole lot of fun doing it.
If you want to build some confidence, remember you need to challenge yourself and get outside your comfort zone. This is an awesome way to do this. So have a look for some amateur theater companies in your area and get yourself along to the next information night and the auditions for whatever shows are coming up that take your interest and have a whole lot of fun with it.