Friday, February 20, 2015

Theater Audition Advice!

~The theater, the theater, oh how I love the theater!~

Hi everyone! I am auditioning for a play tomorrow and thought I would share some of the very helpful info I found for auditions, singing, dancing and more!  I also had a really hard time formatting a resume and headshot.  This stuff was really helpful!  See the bottom of the post for an example that I used!

The Arrival

First audition tip: Bring something to do. Do a crossword or read a book. Anything that occupies your full attention.
Why, you ask? Because you're usually stuck in a room with other actors who are there to audition, just like you. One of them is going to start a conversation. Either because they're nervous, or they want to make you nervous.
Listen, I'm all for networking with other actors. It's a great way to find work. But at an audition, keep to yourself and stay focused.
Also, reading a book will prevent you from pacing the hallways and reciting your lines. Don't do that either. It will only serve to jitter your nerves.  And besides, if you don't know your lines by now...

First Impressions

Here's a good audition tip: When you walk in the room, be confident. The human brain makes over 27 judgments about another person within seconds of meeting them. These judgements are based on your posture, body language, voice tone, breathing rate, eye contact, etc.
Make a bad first impression, and everything you do thereafter is filtered through that impression. (Called a cognitive filter.) You'll smile and they'll think you're afraid and nervous.
If you make a good first impression, you'll smile and they'll think you're relaxed and confident.
Why is this important? Because acting is a business. And people do business with those that they know, like, and trust.

The Auditors

The powers that be. The folks behind the desk, in the dark, eating their sandwiches, drinking their coffee, smoking their cigarettes, and taking their notes. All the while, ignoring you.
When I walked in the room, I used to think I was at their mercy for two minutes. Now I walk in and think the exact opposite. They're at my mercy for two minutes. I can make 'em laugh, cry, or at least yawn. Whatever the case, I'll be having fun.
A little known audition tip: Think of them as potential business partners. Equals. You're selling, and they're buying. Treat them with respect and courtesy, and they'll do the same.
But don't ask who they are. Introductions waste time, time you could use for showing off your acting chops.
Do's for Kid's Acting Auditions

Do -
  • Find out as much as possible about the audition requirements before the audition.

  • Greet the panel warmly when you enter the audition room.

  • If you see that the panel is busy, go to the accompanist right away.

  • Smile, be yourself, relax and have a good time.

  • Give the accompanist your neatly organized and properly marked music.

  • When instructing the accompanist about your music selections, sing a few bars softly so they can get the tempo.

  • Introduce yourself and the songs you will be singing in a clear, confident, voice and look directly at the auditors when doing this.

  • Know the names of the composers who wrote your selections and what shows the pieces are from.

  • Take time to focus between pieces but be mindful of the time and keep the auditioning moving along.

  • Chose Kids Acting Audition monologues from age appropriate pieces.

  • Dress appropriately in something of your own.

  • Introduce your monologue pieces and their author. Let the auditors know in what order you will be performing them.

  • Read the entire play from which a monologue is chosen. This will improve your performance and prepare you should the auditors choose to ask you about the play.

  • Stay within your allotted Kids Acting Audition time limits. This includes both song and monologue.

  • Thank the auditors at the end of the audition and wait to see if they have any more instructions for you before leaving the room.

Don'ts for Kids Acting Auditions

Don't -
  • Snap your fingers, bang or clap your hands at the accompanist to give them the tempo. Sing softly, a few bars, and they will pick up the tempo.

  • Arrive without music and have to sing a capella.

  • Choose a song that is not similar in style to the songs of a show for which you are auditioning.

  • Look at the auditors to tell you when to begin. After your introduction, just compose yourself and start.

  • Ask to start over if you make a mistake or apologize. Just try to pick up right away and continue as if it didn't happen.

  • Rush your song or your monologue. You want every lyric and word to be understood.

  • Dress in a costume for the audition unless specifically asked to do so.

  • Speak in a very soft voice that is difficult to hear. You want to be heard.

  • Choose songs and monologues that are common and have been used over and over again. You don't want to bore the auditors.

  • Leave the audition with a bad feeling about yourself. Always learn something from each audition experience.

What You Need to Know About The 16-Bar Theater Audition

1) Pick an appropriate Style Piece.
  • For example, don't sing "Les Miserables" for an audition for "Annie".

  • 99% of the time, don't sing music from the show for which you are auditioning. Unless, you are told to prepare it and/or you have no other choice. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, consider that the directors will probably hear the show music ALL day.
2) Show off Your Voice.
  • Choose the best part of a song to show the director what you can do. You need to choose the your best 16 bars (measures).
  • Pick something that compliments not only your singing ability but also your stage personality.
  • In those 16 bars, try to give an indication of your vocal range, your high notes as well as your low but don't blow your voice out.
  • Whenever possible, show off your "money notes" (the best part of your range).
  • Sing with expression in your voice.
3) Try to tell a section of a "Story in the Song".
4) Try to end on the "Tonic", which is the first note of the key your song is in.
5)Prepare the Sheet Music for the 16-Bar Theater Audition
  • Make a logical and clearly marked cut of the 16-bar theater audition piece on the sheet music you will be using for practice(as you will be memorizing the song and lyrics) and the copy you are presenting to the accompanist. 

  • Be sure to draw 2 thick vertical lines to indicate where you want the accompanist to start and 2 thick thick vertical lines to indicate where you want them to end. Mark Start here before the first 2 starting lines and End here after the last 2 lines.
6) Indicate to the accompanist whether or not you want them to rift at the beginning of your 16 bar song (repeat until you come in).Once you get through your first theater audition the rest should be a piece of cake. Just follow the same logical steps each time. Think things out and of course, go well prepared to the audition.

Preparing for your Audition

Frequently, you'll spy a musical theatre actor walking around holding a three-ring binder. That's his songbook. It contains the 15 to 20 audition songs that he rehearses and uses at his auditions.
Your own songbook should contain the piano and vocal sheet music to your audition songs. When you walk into the room, it goes in front of your accompanist.
(And speaking of music, do you know how to read sheet music? It's easy to learn how, and it's a great skill to have.)
It's important to create a diverse array of audition songs. Pick from different genres of music, and you'll be prepared for any type of audition.
Singers often ask if they should use choreography in their songs. Well, that depends. Do you think it's appropriate?
I use light choreography in my more comedic songs, and it seems to fit. But if I'm singing a heartfelt ballad, I'd rather just stand there and sing with truth.
If you choreograph your audition songs, commit to that 100%.

The Bottom Line

The goal at singing auditions is the same as with your resumé, headshot, etc. Present your best self. Because you're selling you. Do that, and I promise you'll be working as an actor in no time.

Your Actor Resume, How to Write It, Even with No Experience

If you have no experience, then go down to your local community theatre and ask to be in the chorus. Or volunteer to be in a student film. Or become a movie extra.
Whatever you do, don't lie on your actor resume. You will get caught. And because acting is a small industry, you'll be black-listed. Trust me, I've seen it happen.
How you present your experience is also very valuable. Chances are, you've done some acting somewhere. In high school, or an acting class, or a high school acting class, whatever the case...
So be proud of your accomplishments. Have confidence in yourself.

Resume Tips

  • White space is good. The human eye is easily overwhelmed. Leave some breathing room on the page.
  • Don't list every credit. Directors are not impressed by how many plays you've done, they only care if your work is good. 
  • Make it 8'x10'. Not 8.5'x11'. Because it will be stapled to the back of your professional headshots.
  • One page only. Unlike the business world, your actor resumeshould be kept to one page and no longer.
  • Leave out personal info. Don't list your address, home phone, or social security number on your resume.
  • Use an acting cover letter. If you're mailing your headshot, make sure to include a letter.

The Bottom Line

Your actor resume is great for telling directors what kind of actor you are. If you can do that, you're bound to get hired!
Before Audition Day
Do Your Research
One of your most important objectives after making the decision to try out for a musical is to do some research on the show. It's not only common sense, but it's very much frowned upon to waltz into an audition not knowing anything about the show. Google the musical's synopsis, listen to the album (iTunes is particularly helpful here), learn about the characters. If available, watch a movie of the show. Some may disagree here, as movies and stage productions of the same musical tend to differ greatly. But if you keep that in mind, as well as stay flexible with the characters and their roles, there's certainly no harm in watching the movie once.
Find out early where and when the auditions will be held. Plan your route, as well as a backup route in case of traffic or unforeseen emergencies. If you're taking public transportation, check the schedules carefully. Make sure you read audition instructions scrupulously, if they are available. You don't want to miss a critical part of the audition process and then feel a fool when you realize it too late.

Choose Your Song

Decide well in advance what you will be singing for the audition. If you have time, this is a great opportunity to learn new songs. If you don't quite have that much time, choose one you know well and will feel comfortable singing under any circumstances, even acapella. Steer well clear of anything from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Wicked, or other shows with overdone songs. Directors are sick of hearing them. Try to avoid brand new musicals on Broadway as well. Also beware of songs that "belong" to their singer -- "Over the Rainbow" is Judy Garland's, for example. Comparisons will abound, and unless you're a mega-superstar singer, you will fall short. 
Pick songs that mesh well with the musical you are trying out for. If it is generally upbeat and fun, choose a similar song. If it's very dramatic, go with a dramatic song. Make sure the song is within your vocal range and will best demonstrate what you can do. Weak singers may want to lean towards faster songs, so long as their sense of rhythm is strong. Strong singers can attempt ballads if they can make the song work in their favor. While directors get tired of hearing "yet another slow song", if it makes them sit up and pay attention to your voice, go for it!
Be sure to keep accompaniment in mind. If one will be provided, pick a song that is not very difficult for him or her to play by sight. Have it transposed in the correct key, as not every pianist can transpose on the fly. Have everything clearly marked -- tempo, cuts, repeats, codas, etc. Red pen is very handy for this. If using a CD or tape, make sure the accompaniment is of the best quality it can be. Avoid lengthy instrumental intros.

Also be prepared to sing your song acapella. The sound system may be malfunctioning, or the accompanist may not show. The directors simply may want to hear how you do without instrumental backup. Make sure you know if you are going to be singing the full song or only a certain amount of bars. A good rule of thumb is to stick to two minutes, not to exceed three. Ensure that what you are singing is the best part of the song for your voice.
Day Before and of Auditions
The day before your audition is nearly as important as the actual audition. There are several things you should do to ensure that you will succeed as much as possible.

Take Care of Your Voice
Make sure to warm up, sing, and talk moderately whenever possible. Some performers will begin whispering days before an audition, but this actually puts more stress on your vocal cords than normal speech. Avoid shouting, oversinging, or otherwise straining your voice. Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of notclearing your throat. It puts such an unnatural stress on your vocal cords, and once you start, it's hard to stop.

Rehearse, but in Moderation
Go over your audition song a few times, especially any parts that are giving you difficulty. On the day of your audition, warm up once or twice and go over your song again, but take extreme care not to oversing. When you're not singing, it, go over the song in your head and save your voice for the real audition. It helps to visualize your audition going perfectly as well.
Watch Your Diet
Avoid milk, as it will increase the mucus in your membranes, and who wants to hear your sing with a clogged throat? It will also encourage throat-clearing. Water is the absolute best thing for you and your voice, so make sure you drink plenty the day before and of your audition. Also be sure to bring a large bottle of water with you to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you will be dancing. Stay away from foods that may trigger gas or acid reflux. Eat small, frequent meals so that your blood sugar remains at a constant level. Just before you leave the house, grab an energy-boosting snack, such as some grapes or a mini Snickers bar.
The Big Day!
When the audition day comes, be sure you leave the house early. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, stretch, warm up, and center yourself. Keep your talking to a minimum. You'll certainly want to be friendly, but avoid extensive chit-chatting. During your actual audition, be sure you give off an aura of confidence. Nothing but positive self-talk here! It's amazing what the human mind can do when there isn't any negativity to pervade it. Speak clearly, and perform to the absolute best of your ability. Give it your all without going over the top. When it's over, no matter how you think you did, be sure to focus on what you did well. Save your critique for tomorrow, and don't beat yourself up when you do.
Here is the sample resume I used!

I hope all of this info is helpful to all of you who are aspiring actresses like myself!
God bless! <3

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Anne of Green Gables!!!

Hi all!

           I know this is probably WAY over due.  My lil sis over at has been posting about her beloved book line and movie "The Hobbit", so I thought I should post about mine.  In my profile for blogger, I said I LOVE AoGG.  Well, that's right!!!  I have read four of the eight books in the series, seen the first two movies, seen parts of the other movie, and watched the BBC TV series. :)  That probably doesn't qualify me to be a fangirl or anything because to do that you have to like, have everything Anne, and have watched all of the movies all of the time. :/ Even still, I love what I have read and love to talk about and re-read all of it!!!

This year I received All four AoGG movies for christmas and the audio book read by Kevin Sullivan, the creator of the movies!

The official website for the Anne movies made by the Canadian Sullivan Entertainment is here.  The BBC TV series is here  on IMDb.  You can find all of my favorite parts from the books and movies on my Pinterest board solely dedicated to Anne and Gilbert (and their friends).


Otherwise, Enjoy! ;)

Anne was an orphan adopted on accident by sister and brother, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.

Anne and Matthew
She wishes she was not just plain Ann.

Then she meets her bosom friend and next-door neighbor, Diana...
And Gilbert Blythe, the school boy. (On the right.)
He called her carrots, so naturally it was love at first slate! (Not!)

Anne: "I shall never forgive Gilbert Blythe!  The iron has entered my soul, Diana!"

She feels she can never forgive him.

Then one day as Anne was reenacting The Lady of Shallot...
Her boat had a leak, she had to pull herself onto the bridge and wait for help.
Low and behold Gilbert Blythe, her sworn enemy, came rowing by.
Gilbert: "Anne Shirely, what in heck are you doing?"
Anne: "Fishing for lake trout..."

Well right then and there Gilbert apologized that he ever called her carrots.
“Look, I’m sorry I ever said anything about your hair. You have no idea how sorry. But it was so long ago. Aren’t you ever going to forgive me?” 
But it wasn't till much later that she really forgave him.

Anne: "Aren't you afraid I'm liable to break another slate over your head?"
Gilbert: "I'm more worriedI might break one over your's, Carrots."

To be continued...

This is the end of the first Movie; Anne of Green Gables.  Hopefully in the near future I will make one for the 2nd move.  (With ya'lls approval! What did you think?)
God bless!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What I Wore Sunday: February 1, 2015

Blessed Sunday!

I already posted the dress I wore a while back here.  You can go see it!

The following outfit is NOT what I wore to Mass, but to the Super Bowl party!!!! 
The dress is from Burlington Coat Factory again.  The leggings are from Justice, and the shoes are from Payless Shoe Source.

Notice the green headband and blue flower for the Seahawks!!! ;)  Even though they didn't win, it was a great game!  Congrats to the Patriots and their fans! 

I celebrated with my Seahawks cup and desserts!

Thank you all for being such faithful followers! 
God bless! <3