The purpose of college auditions is fundamentally different than the purpose of professional actor auditions.
Professional actor auditions are casting you for a paying gig where you will learn script, develop character and work a contracted amount of days on a set in exchange for money.
Colleges on the other hand are essentially casting groups of talented actors with what they believe to be great potential that can be developed through their particular program.
Professional actor auditions are looking to hire someone they believe can be believed in the role of the very specific character they are casting.
Colleges are casting groups of fresh and hungry minds that can be sculpted into the type of actor that can inhabit different characters and tell different stories.
In a professional acting audition, the actor is expected to sell his or herself with a combination of appearance, talent, type, reputation, disposition etc.
This means that professional actors prepare in a way that is polished. Professional actors auditioning are under pressure to “perform“ and “present” because there is possibly a substantial amount of money and the furthering of their career at the other end of a successful audition.
There is an expectation in a professional audition that the actor present a polished or close to perfect version of themselves. This may mean tucking away the parts of themselves they deem imperfect and highlighting the parts that they have come to perceive as profitable.
Operating under this assumption while auditioning for schools is a sure way to either not get accepted only get into schools that you dont want to train. The same is true for the inverse. Preparing for a professional audition the same way you would audition for a college audition is basically guaranteeing that you wont get the job.
Casting directors and producers dont want to see the real, full honest version of “YOU”; they want to see the version of you that they believe that can sell as the actor that will play whatever role they are paying you to play.
Colleges on the other hand, want to see YOU.
Colleges want to see you in all your glory and they want to see where you will need work.
They want to see what type of choices you make; How imaginative you are;
They want to know how bold you are; They want to see how personable you are; How open you are to adjustments; Are you a collaborator who gives and takes ideas? Or are you someone who makes a plan and cannot let it go for fear of the unknown? Are you capable of vulnerability? Or do you hide so far behind your mask that you are unreachable?
You will exhibit everything you need to show as long as you are finding and working audition pieces that excite you... That’s it, really. You just need to be excited about exploring whatever pieces you decide to audition with.
No need to worry about if its the right “type” for you, or the right sex or the right race... if it excites you, then its the right choice.
A lot of auditioning high schoolers think they are auditioning but in reality, they are displaying the fear and the angst brought on by operating under the assumption that these colleges want to see some perfect version of who they are. The college audition waiting rooms will be filled with nervous teenagers rehearsing their “plan” in their heads, while smiling and chatting to hide the truth.
Nothing is more powerful in those moments before you walk into that room, than relaxing into the knowing that you are prepared; that you are open for whatever comes at you; that you are fully in the power and awareness of who you are and what you have come to share about yourself through the monologues you have selected.
That is your goal.
That is our goal.