Tips for auditioning with Mo`olelo

April 15, 2008

Rosina Reynolds & Mark Christopher Lawrence in SINCE AFRICA

Here are some audition tips that may be helpful to all the folk scheduling NIGHT SKY auditions with Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company:

 

  1. Read the script before you call for an audition appointment – be sure it’s a play you really want to do and a role you connect to. A reading copy is available at Actors Alliance, and the script is published by Samuel French.
  2. Don’t call the audition line and ask us if we think you’re right for a role. We won’t answer that question – and it just reveals that you haven’t read the script.
  3. Be aware that we get a high volume of audition requests. When making your appointment, be brief, direct and as low maintenance as possible.
  4. Read everything carefully, from audition notices, to audition sides, to confirming emails, etc. We take care to give you all the information you’ll need to prepare a strong audition. When someone asks us a question that has been answered in these materials, it gives us a signal that you may be an actor who doesn’t pay attention to details or tries to take a short-cut to get answers.
  5. Most important: take the time to prep, strategize and rehearse your audition sides – mine the script, be in relationship. When you come to the audition be open to adjustments from the director. You will most likely be reading with a reader who will be seated next to the audition table.
  6. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before your audition time. Check in with the monitor. You will be asked to fill out an info sheet which will be stapled to your picture/resume. Bring water and any other provisions you’ll need with you.
  7. If your schedule has changed and you need to cancel your audition, please call the Mo`olelo voicemail to let us know.
  8. Be courteous to everyone, from the people who check you in, to your fellow auditionees, to the reader, to the director. Bad behavior seems to always make its way back to the decision-makers.
  9. Be professional and ready to work when you enter the audition room. Don’t bring in all your personal belongings with you and don’t linger when you’re done. If you do bring in your belongings, keep them by the door and make sure you can quickly pick them up on your way out. Nothing’s more uncomfortable than an actor lingering in the audition room (putting on their coat, putting things in their purse, etc) after the audition is completed – you can do all that in the lobby.

 

Thank you in advance for your strategic preparation — Break a leg!

 

*** Added 4/16/08: A great example of what to do!

Mr. X called for an audition and did everything perfectly, so I thought I’d share what he did and why it made us so happy at the office. Mr. X had once cast someone on the Mo`olelo decision making team in a show – in others words, he had a relationship where the tables were turned. But Mr. X did not use this to his advantage. He didn’t call up with any expectations that his previous working relationship with this person on the decision making team would be an advantage or that this person “owed” him something. Instead Mr. X followed the directions thoroughly. He drove down from LA to get to the Actors Alliance and read the script. Then he called the audition number and left a message that said, “I just read the script at Actors Alliance and I would like to audition for the role of X. My name is X and my number is X. I am available anytime on April 28. Thank you.” When the person who he had once hired called him back to schedule the audition, Mr. X remained professional throughout the conversation. He understood that just because he knew this person in another capacity it didn’t mean professionalism goes out the window. Why is this important to us at Mo`olelo? Because we believe that if you create the precedence that “hey, we’re friends, we once did another show together, so I should get special treatment,” it never goes away. It just compounds itself throughout the rehearsal period if this person is cast. The actor would never stand for, “hey we’re friends, so I’m not going to pay you as much.” So why should the producer stand for “hey, we’re friends, so I’m not going to treat you with the professional courtesy I treat others I audition for.”

 

*** An example of what NOT to do:

A while ago an actor auditioned for a Mo`olelo show. The actor did not get a callback. Later that evening the actor called the audition monitor and left a message, “I didn’t do my best, can I please get a callback?” The audition monitor asked the Director who decided, “No.” The director had seen other actors who had prepped better who were getting called back. We were all taken aback by this actor’s message, which revealed a sense of entitlement. We decided it was best to just ignore the message and that would be the answer.  Not to mention that the audition monitor had a busy evening already: the monitor had to call all the actors who were called back and give them all the info they would need. One more phone call to an actor who was calling out of turn was one call too many. So we all thought the issue was resolved. Apparently not. This actor then showed up on the callback day demanding that we see her again. We said no. This actor has since requested an audition for another Mo`olelo show. Past behavior is a good indication of future behavior so we decided against giving her an audition.  Now, we understand that we all have bad auditions. That’s fine. Had this actor not called the audition monitor and then showed up out of turn, we would definitely give her an audition for another show. But what she revealed to us during the process made us never want to work with her. So keep that in mind: from the moment you make an audition appointment to the moment you walk out of the theater, you are revealing yourself as an actor. At Mo`olelo, we work very hard to raise the Equity wage that we pay to everyone, so we’re extremely careful to make sure we’re making an investment in actors who are not only highly talented, but also professional.

 

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One Response to “Tips for auditioning with Mo`olelo”

  1. Siobhan Says:

    Thank you Seema for some wonderful suggestions — no matter what project the audition is for! I would also ask that people keep in mind that this is a small business where everyone has worked with someone involved in the show and it is difficult when people ask for favors or feedback in advance of the audition rather than following the producers requirements. It is impossible to accomodate everyone and is unfair to do so for one person and not another.

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