Sunday 8 August 2010

Hot phase

I realise that this blog was supposed to be about my journey towards the audition for Toi Whakaari, New Zealand Drama School. I haven't really been writing about it lately. Now that I have entered the 'hot' phase, the last month before the audition, it is high time that I change that!

So, where am I at? After many doubts and getting side-tracked accordingly, I've finally handed in my application, and got my monologues sorted; one Shakespeare and one modern piece. I also have two backups, in case the panel wants to see something completely different. One of the backups is a monologue I have worked on for other auditions and the other is a new but very short piece.

For me, the keys for choosing my audition monologues were the following

0. (0. because this should really be a no-brainer) Stay within the parameters that are asked of you.

If you are asked to prepare two contrasting pieces, one modern, one classic, then that's what you should probably do. If you are asked to prepare a two minute piece, don't make it five. This is really the easiest bit in the whole process. No thinking required, just common sense. If you're not sure if your choice of monologue fits the bill, by all means ask! No one will be mad at you for pushing the boundaries a bit but you do want to make sure that you're not bending the rules to breaking point. Now,

1.  Love the pieces and characters you choose, be excited about and inspired by them.

I know I have written something along these lines before but anyway for an audition the last thing you want is working on something you don't like, playing a character you don't like. Especially when you have a choice, why not try to make your life easier and the process more enjoyable by choosing something that excites you! No matter what kind of characters you show the audition panel, you want them to be able to relate to them and the stories you tell. If you hate your piece and/or your character or even worse, are bored out of your mind, you're going to make it mighty hard for yourself to relate to them, let alone anyone else. The more excited you are about your pieces, the more excited the panel may be about you, right?! Well, we'll see how this goes for me...

2. Choose pieces that show range.

Choose pieces that are not only in contrast to each other but that are contrasting in themselves. A friend said to me to choose monologues where you begin as one character and end as another. Even in a two minute piece transformation is what you should aim for. Here is where the beauty of the whole process lies, you get to make choices, and as my acting coach would say, you get to make them BIG and you get to make them bold. Show the panel that you have range, that you are fearless and that you have a firm grasp of the characters you play. Sounds like a good plan to me.

As of the weekend, I am off book for my two main monologues and am finally in full swing working on the characters. This includes, dear fellow auditionees, having read the plays, having read about the plays and looking closely at the text. It still feels like there is an enormous amount of work to do though, and very little time. The application deadline is 16 August, so I will hear back about an audition time sometime after that. It will be either on 3 or 4 September, so for the rest of this month, I need to make as much time as possible to prepare. I don't even want to imagine going to the audition not feeling 100% prepared! I don't want to turn up on the day being scared but able to enjoy the performance, the work and being in the moment.

No regrets!

Any other hot tips on preparing and auditioning? Please, do tell!

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