Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Top 3 Learning Experiences from This Week's Auditions

This past weekend, Encore! Tulsa received submissions from 150 actors from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas for consideration for one of 40 roles in our production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We want to see ALL of you succeed. After watching last weekend's auditions, here are three bits of advice that we think would be helpful as you prepare for you next audition with Encore! or elsewhere:

It's 2016, people.
Headshots should be in color!

#1 - Be Prepared

  • Many actors didn't provide a headshot and/or resume. Many headshots were outdated or didn't match the actor's current look. Some materials were improperly formatted. The industry standard is an 8x10 photo with same-sized resume, placed back-to-back with a staple in each corner (or nicely glued). Headshots can easily get lost in the shuffle if they are too small, not attached to a resume, or have no name. We watched actors audition from 1:00pm until 9:00pm on Sunday. At the end of the day, we were exhausted, but still had to post the callback list by 10:00pm. As we reviewed each submission, we could easily and quickly make a callback decision for actors who provided a headshot that accurately depict what they look like TODAY. BONUS: Have your name printed at the bottom of your headshot. It's extra helpful, especially if your headshot gets separated from your resume.
  • We advised all young actors to come prepared to move. How can you show off your dance moves, cartwheel, or back handspring if you're wearing a skirt or dress? You sure look pretty, but we'd love to see all your talents.
"Between 4H and the
rodeo, she stays busier
than a one-armed
paper hanger!"

#2 - Read Character Descriptions and Rehearse Those Sides!

  • For these particular auditions, we provided all actors age 9 and up with sides in advance. By providing you with so much time to prepare, we expect a polished performance with confident character choices and lines memorized (or close). Anything less, and you don't receive a callback. Anyone can just walk in a room and read words on a piece of paper. It takes a true artist to bring those words to life and genuinely live in the moment.
  • We also provided character descriptions to help you see our vision for this production. We explained that in this script, Violet Beauregarde is a rodeo star with a thick southern accent, not an American gymnast in a track suit like the Tim Burton film. Even if we didn't provide that character description, it was evident in the audition sides. We want you to be creative and form your rendition of the character, but we need you to start by reading the descriptions and studying the sides.

#3 - Be Kind, Professional, and Enthusiastic

  • Your audition begins the moment you walk in the door. Actors AND parents, your attitude and behavior in the waiting room are equally important to the performance in the audition room. Treat the casting assistants who check you in or read sides opposite you with kindness and respect. Sit quietly and patiently as you wait for your turn to audition. If you arrive unprepared, don't make excuses. A simple acknowledgment and apology will suffice, and your humility may be your saving grace.
  • You may be asked to read for a character who is not your #1 choice. We see the look on your face and we notice you trying to botch your audition so we don't consider you for that particular character. However, what just happened? Our consideration for you in any role just went out the window. When you read for any character, use that opportunity to showcase your versatility, vocal projection, stage presence, and other qualities we may need to see from you.

Did you learn anything from your audition experience this week? Share with us in the comments below!


  1. I love that you post so many tips and tricks! It really helps us newbies and makes us feel how much you truly care about us and our success!

  2. Awesome feedback! Mom fail...didn't read all of the instructions :( We'll definitely be more prepared next time! We love Encore performances! <3

  3. Same here. Fail on my part and I didn't realize until right before the auditions.

  4. Great advice for anyone in the acting indistry!