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Auditions Q&A

We asked you if you had any questions for our Artistic Coordinator Sam French.

Audiiton qanda

Sam has been part of Queensland Theatre for many years. She works with directors and agents to organise and cast productions, as well as looking after the logistics of moving artists around the country and licensing intellectual property.

What is your number one audition tip?

"Be prepared – know your scene/monologue. This shows you care about getting the job, not that you are just going to wing it and hope for the best."

What monologue do you think you’ve seen done more than any other?

"Doug from Cosi (burning cats), Rhonda from Who’s Afraid of the Working Class (demise of her kids)."

What should I wear to an audition?

"Something you can move in, but you can also bring an item of clothing that helps you feel like your character. Nothing revealing!"

How many monologues should I have prepared?

"As an actor, you should have a couple up your sleeve. The audition will advise what you should bring — in our generals, we ask for 2 x 2 minute contrasting monologues, for a show audition, we’ll provide the scene or scenes we want you to know."

What should I do if I didn’t get the role?

"Hold your head up. You did the audition — you gave it your best. It was an opportunity to do what you love doing to a captive audience. Enjoy that moment. Getting the role isn’t always the only outcome from an audition."

What is your biggest no-no in an audition?

"Two things probably: Arriving late or not showing up, without a timely explanation. Not knowing the origin/play that your monologue is from(please read the full play)."

How do you find auditions?

"Check company websites — ours are noted under the ARTISTS tab. Not all companies hold general auditions, so make yourself known to Company staff – attend industry events, see their shows, invite the casting and artistic staff to see you in other work, make a meeting."

What is the first thing you notice in an actor at their audition?

"Confidence. Then the hard work you’ve put in to your preparation. Any panellist understands that auditions are a strange scenario, and that you are nervous. That’s OK and to be expected – learning to control that, and immersing yourself in your work is a joy to watch."

How do you handle saying no to so many people?

"Sometime it isn’t just saying no to people, it’s more about ‘not this time’ or ‘not yet’, but if an actor has done a great or memorable audition, they will come to mind down the track."

What do you wish people knew going into an audition room with you?

"We want you to be good. We want to give you a job. Now just show us how we can make that happen."

What's your favourite part of your job?

"Being able to cast someone, who has been waiting years to work with the Company. Right role/right play/right time. Plus I work with pretty awesome passionate people."

Do you have advice for actors who consider partaking in the talent drain and moving overseas?

"This is your choice. It isn’t a talent drain if you are going to pursue new opportunities. Growing as a human adds more to your emotional experiential range, which is so useful for an actor. You can always come back!"

If someone auditioned before, what are you hoping to see change or develop?

"It’s nice to see development with vocal ability (strength and knowledge of your voice), and being settled or connected in your body. These are two things which new actors can take time to discover in their craft."

Shakespeare for a uni audition... yes or no?

"If you love Shakespeare, and understand the technical elements of rhythm – give it a go. His characters have a vast age range – so maybe find one that is similar to your own age and bring out the meaning of the speech you’ve chosen. Acting isn’t just about learning lines."