Almost a week ago, myself and my partner-in-crime Blair held auditions for our sketch comedy troupe that will be performing this summer in the Victoria Fringe Festival. This was a great opportunity for me, seeing as I have only ever auditioned for things, and have never been the casting director. And I have to say, being on the flip side has taught me more about auditions than anything else.
Auditions are scary for actors. Like, really scary. You have one shot at impressing these people. You have maybe two minutes to show them your talented. That’s a lot of pressure for such a short amount of time! How can you possibly show your talent, range, technique, personality, confidence, and more just by this one shot? What if you forget a line? Forget a whole section? There’s no one there to prompt you. There’s no one there to tell you if you did a good job.
Luckily, the auditions for my sketch show were actually set up differently than most auditions. We had groups of 4 or 5 people come in and play a bunch of improv games in front of us. It was fun, entertaining, and hilarious for all involved. It took the nerves out of the equation entirely, and made improv and being in the moment the focus.
And you know what? As the casting director, I wanted nothing more than to see these actors succeed. I wanted to find my perfect ensemble cast. I wanted them all to do their best, and be great and talented and wonderful. From the bottom of my heart, I wanted them to do the best job they could.
And that’s when I realized that every audition has and will be this exact same case. A casting director is not going to be hoping you fail miserably and screw up your audition, that’d be a giant waste of time. They’re on your side! They’re rooting for you to succeed! They WANT you to be fantastic! You are the solution they are looking for.
So as the Phoenix department goes into mainstage auditions tomorrow, I hope everyone comes to realize that this audition is a chance to succeed. Those casting directors are your friends, and your cheering section. They seem a little less intimidating now, don’t they?