How to Participate in a School Play

Four Methods:Before the AuditionThe AuditionThe CallbacksThe Rehearsals, Dress Rehearsals, and Performances

You've seen the posters. Your school is putting on a play and you would love to be in it! Whether this is your first time ever auditioning, or you've been in plays since Kindergarten, every step of the experience is here on this wikiHow article for you to learn.

Method 1
Before the Audition

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    Find out everything you can.
    • Get to know the director (if you don't know them, just smile and wave when you see them in the halls).
    • Find out which musical your school will be putting on.
    • Watch a movie version, read about it online, or ask someone who has seen it recently to find out more. This step is crucial for you to know what you are doing.
    • Find out what is expected at the audition. Are you supposed to sing 16 measures of a song? Dance for 8 counts? Do cold readings? Most likely just yes to the song. But find out anyway. Are you supposed to sing a song from another musical? Or a music movie? Find out the rules.
    • Fill out any forms you are required to. Use your best handwriting and plan out what your are going to write ahead of time. Spell everything correctly. Use professional speech.
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    Select your song.
    • You should probably pick a song from another musical, even if you are allowed to sing from a music movie. This is more professional. Also, try not to sing from the musical itself unless you are specifically instructed to. This is boring for the directors.
    • Pick something unique! You don't want to be the 30th kid singing "Tomorrow" from Annie. You want to be the kid who stands out!
    • Pick something that has a similar music style or comes from a similar plot in the musical you are auditioning for, but don't be too obvious.
    • You should choose a song that you are very familiar with. You need to have heard it several times, and preferably sung it in front of an audience before. You will not be as nervous and now what to expect.
    • Don't pick a song you wrote yourself. The directors need to know that you are singing it right, and it sounds more professional.
    • This should be a song that is easy for you. If you can't always hit that high note, pick something else. You need to be able to sing it beautifully and clearly without faltering.
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    • Sing the song as much as you can, but not in front of the directors before the audition!
    • Watch yourself in a full length mirror. What are you doing with your hands/ Your feet? Your eyes? Does it look professional or silly?
    • Sing the song in front of your parents or a sibling or friend. Ask for tips and for them to be perfectly honest.
    • Practice your slate (this is introducing yourself and your song). Know it well.
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    Get dressed.
    • About 45 minutes before the audition, put on nicer looking clothes. Make sure that they fit you well and match! If you will be doing dancing as well, or suspect you will be doing dancing, don't wear a skirt or something too uncomfortable.
    • Do your hair. It should look nice and neat, but not perfect to the dot.
    • If you are a girl, put on a light layer of makeup that looks good on you.
    • Brush your teeth! You don't want bad breath.
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    Warm up.
    • Do several singing warm-ups and sing your song several times.
    • Smile and look confident.
    • Practice different facial expressions.
    • Calm yourself.
    • If you will be dancing (or suspect that you will), warm up your body.

Method 2
The Audition

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    Arrive 5-15 minutes early. This shows the directors that you care.
    • Find where you will be auditioning and wait politely.
    • Smile softly and be calm.
    • Don't make rude or annoying noises or drum your fingers.
    • Wave to other auditioners. If they are waiting as well and you are not in the same room as the people who are currently auditioning, speak softly to them and introduce yourself.
    • When you are called in, smile, hand in your form, and walk confidently inside.
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    When it is your turn, smile and walk confidently to the front of the room.
    • Present your slate. Make eye contact with the directors.
    • Smile and pause for about two seconds.
    • If you have accompaniment, wait for them to play your introduction. If not, begin.
    • Sing clearly and with your best voice.
    • Smile and continue to make eye contact.
    • Give a slight bow and say "Thank you."
    • Go sit in the back.
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    If you are required to learn a dance on the spot and perform it, do so.
    • Watch the director intently.
    • Copy their movements as best as possible. If you do not understand, ask them politely to show you again.
    • If you still can't get it, don't worry.
    • Smile! The directors care more about what is on your face than what your hands and feet are doing. This will draw them in.
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    Thank the directors again and exit.
    • Do not say that you did a bad job. Do not ask to go again. Don't say anything about your performance (besides congratulating other auditioners) until you get home.
    • Act happy with yourself.
    • Don't forget anything before you go! This will make you seem forgetful and childish.
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    Go home and patiently wait for the callbacks list to be posted.

Method 3
The Callbacks

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    When the callbacks list is posted, take a moment to calm yourself and then go see if you made it.
    • Look casual and calm.
    • If you make it, say "Yes!" and look happy, but don't gloat.
    • If you don't make it, say, "That's all right."
    • Each director has their own rules about casting. Some will cast everyone who comes to callbacks and then some. Some will cast only a few who go to callbacks. Keep your hopes up!
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    Find out about the callbacks.
    • Do everything listed in Step 1 of Part 1 to prepare yourself.
    • Evaluate your performance at the audition. Decide what you could have done better and what you did well. Jot down your thoughts.
    • Using your notes, practice improving sketch areas (this step is important whether or not you make it in to callbacks because you will be auditioning for other plays).
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    When you get to the callbacks, do your best.
    • Wait patiently for your turn. Do not talk to your neighbors during other people's auditions, but appear friendly and smile.
    • Be polite. Ask questions where needed.
    • Sing your best! If you don't know the song very well, look at the music but raise your head slightly. Smile! If you know the music well, look right into the directors eyes and be as happy as possible!
    • Dance your best. Do everything listed in Step 3 of Part 2.
    • Do cold readings as well as you possibly can! Read your lines with expression. Look at the directors and other actors participating with you. Look at what you should say ahead of time.

Method 4
The Rehearsals, Dress Rehearsals, and Performances

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    Arrive on time.
    • 5-15 minutes is a good rule of thumb for rehearsals, but you are usually required to arrive over 1 hour early for performances.
    • Ask questions if you need to.
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    Do your best.
    • If you make a mistake, don't show it.
    • Do not correct other people! That is disrespectful to them and the directors!
    • If you are cut from the show or the scene, do not beg or whine. Say "I respect your decision." Or nod and walk away.
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    Enjoy the experience!
    • Help advertise! Don't make your own flyers, but tell as many people as possible about your show.
    • Have fun. This is not a chore!
    • Write notes on how it went and what you could do better next time.

Article Info

Categories: School Stuff | Acting