Try Something New: Audition!

Advice From RCP Veterans For Your Audition!

Next week, Rosedale Community Players will be holding our first auditions in over a year! And we want YOU (yes, you) to consider auditioning.

After over a year of having your activities limited, aren’t you ready to stretch your acting muscle, or try something new? Whether you are an experienced actor, or you have always wanted to try your hand at acting, we will be rooting for you.

When you audition for our upcoming One Act Fest, you will be given scenes from the One Act scripts to read and perform for our show’s directors via Zoom.

I will admit that for me, personally, auditioning rattles my nerves more than performances in front of an audience. But it doesn’t get easier until you just start jump in and try it.

“Take a deep breath and audition,” says RCP VP Barb Mathers. “Veterans are only veterans because we took that first step, gathered our courage, found our passion and hit the boards running.”

It is easy to feel like you are being judged when auditioning. But remember that directors aren’t looking for perfection. Characters and stories tend to evolve once they start putting the puzzle pieces of their production together, which includes finding the cast that helps bring their vision to life.

“Don’t try to be perfect,” says Eric Goldstein, who both acts and directs at RCP. “We’re looking for willingness. We’re looking for potential. And if we give you some direction, we’re looking to see if you can take direction.”

And in fact, when you read for a part, don’t try to jump to conclusions about a character and their energy.

“Change it up if you get to read more than once,” suggests RCP actor and director Larry Rink. “Directors like to see versatility.”

And don’t get stuck on the character you want to play.

“Read for any part that is a possibility, no matter how slight,” shares RCP member Janet Turner.

I will tell you honestly, my favorite character that I have ever played is a character I don’t think I would have ever purposely auditioned for. It stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of. When I said I couldn’t, my director, RCP member Claudia Scott (who will also be one of our One Act directors), encouraged me to go above and beyond. It was scary. But it was so very rewarding.

And while at its surface, acting seems to be about pretending, the most successful performers are able to bring an authenticity to their roles.

“Find the character’s motivation and make the character your own,” says RCP member Carole Shirley-Browne. “Be ‘real’ and have fun.”

Laurie Smalis, one of our One Act directors, agrees. “Be honest and true to the character. Relax . Be natural,” she says.

No one knows his characters better than playwright Tony Targan. His script “Home for the Challah Days” will be performed in the Virtual One Acts Festival. But he likes to see the different interpretation of these characters.

“Don’t try to become a ‘character’,” he recommends. “Draw upon an authentic, slightly dramatized version of yourself.”

And if you are thinking that it is too late to start acting now, I want to challenge that. I did not step on stage until I was nearly 40. If I can do it, I can guarantee you that you can too, as long as it is something you have a drive to do.

“Most community theaters I know make room for people exactly in your shoes,” says RCP member and playwright Dave Durham, whose script “Moments” is part of the festival. “If they see a spark of ambition and even a glimmer of talent, there is a good chance you will get a call to join the cast. Obviously a MUCH better chance than if you don’t audition. Come to auditions. You are welcome there.”

Most of all, we want everyone that comes to auditions to have fun. RCP president Chuck Goddeeris stresses this with his words of wisdom.

“Relax, have fun, make big choices, have fun, be confident in your decisions,” he says. “Have fun, don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself.”

So take a deep breathe and jump in. And no matter what the outcome, be proud of yourself because it is hard to break out of your comfort zone. But trying new things is the spice of life.

“Take a deep breath and let it out right before you start reading/monologuing,” says Meg Berger, who is spearheading our Virtual One Act Fest. “Have fun. Go big. It’s always easier to bring an actor’s energy down rather than bringing an actor’s energy up. Directors will notice that. Reward yourself after your audition whether you get the part or not. Auditioning is hard work and you’re awesome for attempting it!”

For up-to-date information on our Virtual One Acts Fest see our event page on Facebook.

If you are ready to claim your audition spot sign up here.

Devene Godau has been a member of RCP since the 2018 One Acts Festival and is currently the Promotions Chair on the Board of Directors. Devene holds a B.A. in Journalism from Michigan State University. She works as a freelance writer as well as a professional dog trainer when not helping out at the theatre. She lives in Metro Detroit with her husband, three kids, three dogs, two cats and a tortoise.

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