A Guide to Auditions/Interviews

By Annette Stonebarger

Auditions are stressful. While there may not be a cure-all for the stress and anxiety that comes up over auditioning and interviewing for student theatre productions, there are a few tricks that I have found do wonders. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned performer, here are my three easy steps to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward in that Hamilton audition room and having the most stress-free audition:

Prepare

This may seem obvious, however many people come into the audition room unprepared for the reality of auditioning. Try to pick a song or monologue in the same style as the show for which you are auditioning (for example, pick a comedic monologue if auditioning for Comedy of Errors or a song from a classic musical if auditioning for Guys and Dolls).

Of course it is important to know your monologue or hit the right notes of a song, but it is also important to have good stage presence. You must (try to) look comfortable in front of an audience because at the end of the day the creative team are looking for performers who are excited to be there and love doing what they do best! Singing, acting, or interviewing for 5 or more people is different than practicing in front of your mirror, so try to grab a friend or call a parent before hand to practice what it’s like in front of an audience.

In the Audition/Interview Room

Now is your time to shine! It is important to remember that everyone is rooting for you and wants you to succeed. Walk in confidently, but know that it’s ok to be nervous. Being nervous is a natural reaction to performing, however, try to remember that the people watching you are your peers and are thrilled that you want to be in their show. They want you as much as you want them!

If interviewing, the most important thing is to be yourself. Commonly asked questions include, “Why are you interested in this show in particular?” and “What do you love about the position that you are interested in?” Take your time to get ready when you are in the room and show them what you’ve got!

After the Audition/Interview

Congratulations! The hardest part is over. While playing the waiting game, remember that there are so many factors that go into final decisions. If it wasn’t in the cards for you this year, keep in mind that nothing is personal and it usually comes down to not being the right “fit” for the part/position. This can often feel like an excuse to make you feel better, however, no one is perfect for every show and it truly comes down to the pool of people who auditioned. Try not to let rejection stop you from auditioning/interviewing again, because everyone improves with time.

If you’ve never wandered into the world of theatre before, that’s ok! Student theatre productions love to emphasize enthusiasm over experience, so don’t worry if it’s your first time. There is a place for everyone in student theatre on Columbia’s campus, it just might take a few times to find it!