Getting your dream part in a play is no easy feat. Many performers are trying out for it, and you want to stand out. But how do you do that?
We surveyed many theater directors from all over the country, including many at our Overland Park Summer Drama Camps. We wanted to see what performers need to do to land their dream roles. The good news, it is not as complicated as you might think. Here are the top five ways to get that great part in the play.
- Spend less time reading, and more time talking and moving
Sometimes people think to get their dream role, they need to read the play repeatedly. While it is a good idea to know the play well, being able to perform the lines is even more critical.
In our poll of theater directors at summer drama camps for kids, 84% of them said the performers who sounded most like their character during their audition were the ones who got the role. Those directors noted that they appreciated when performers were not only fully memorized for an audition, knowing all of the lines inside and out, but also made bold choices in how they moved and behaved like their character.
Directors want to see an actor come alive during an audition. Even if the performer only talks for a minute or two, they want to see fully formed characters onstage.
To do that, performers need to practice their lines out loud, repeatedly. They need to make the lines they say sound conversational and not memorized.
When preparing for an audition, read the play many times to understand the material. Then get up and start talking and moving! Get a partner to help you act out the role, making sure they correct you if you make any mistakes. If you are enrolled in a local acting class for kids or a summer drama camp, practice those lines with other campers. The more time you spend acting out the part at full volume, the better your chance of landing that role.
- Interact with your surroundings
Top performers make their scenes come to life by interacting with their surroundings. For example, say there is a chair on stage for your audition. How can you utilize that chair to your advantage?
Is your character relaxed? You could lazily sit in the chair.
Is your character nervous and anxious? You could sit, then stand, then sit again, then squirm in the chair.
Is the role someone who proudly gives a speech to a large crowd? You could stand on the chair, using it as a raised platform to speak passionately to the masses.
Find ways to interact with whatever objects are around during your audition. Let the nature of your character show through your interactions. The directors at our Overland Park Summer Drama Camps said that performers who use found objects during auditions were much more likely to get the part they wanted.
- Watch movies or TV shows with similar characters
You can improve your character research by watching movies or TV shows with characters that are like yours. If you are in a kid’s acting class and trying out for a part of someone heroic, look for heroes in your favorite action movies. Note how they stand, talk to others, and move through a crowd. If your character is eccentric and funny, look for a similar performer in a comedy movie or show.
You can use the performances of other actors to help inform you. You don’t want to copy or imitate someone, but you can try to match their energy in your audition.
- Dress the part
If you are trying out for the part of a mermaid in a summer drama camp, you don’t need to wear a fishtail to your audition. But you can wear something that suggests the character.
For example, if the play is a western, wear boots instead of tennis shoes. This will change how you move around the stage and give the director a brief view of you in the role. Another example would be if you are playing the part of a politician, wear a suit coat and maybe a tie.
Directors prefer performers who pick unique clothes to wear to the audition. It shows that the performers have put a lot of thought and care into their preparation and take their part seriously.
- Play fun music right before your audition
So the big moment has come. You only have a few moments before your audition. Don’t spend that time fretting, sweating, and worrying. Play some of your favorite music, dance, and even jump up and down. You want to get yourself in an excellent mood before you go into your audition so you are relaxed and happy. 90% of the directors we polled said they would more like cast a confident-looking actor than a shy, timid one.
Now you are ready to land that dream role. Something else you can do to improve your acting is enroll in one of our Summer Drama Camps in Overland Park. In our drama classes for kids, you will learn how to memorize lines, create a character, and give a great performance on stage.
Use these tips, and you will be premiering on a stage near you before you know it!