AUDITION ADVICE FROM BEHIND THE TABLE

chorus line

 Alright,so. Auditions. Actors, Singers, Dancers… we ALL have to do them. They are a necessary evil of the business. 

I’ve been going to auditions for about 10 years now, and I’ve been blessed to sometimes teach the dance portion of a few theatre companies’ auditions. Which this has led to opportunities to watch other people go through the nerve-wracking subjective judge fest that is the casting process.

That being said, here are a few tips from someone who has been on the other side of the table. Please keep in mind this is just one opinion in the voice of HUNDREDS, so take everything I say with a dancing grain of salt.

DRESS DECENTLY. Typically for musical theatre auditions you will have a vocal audition and then possibly a dance call (it’s usually after). Do not show up to your vocal audition lookin like you just rolled out of bed from your bar hopping the night before. Wear something that’s decent (doesn’t have to be funeral or wedding attire) but something that’s flattering and comfortable on you. Colors are great, and mild patterns are fine too.
And it doesn’t matter if you only want to be seen as a “dancer”… they can tell that in your resume. That does not give you the excuse to wear dance attire in the vocal audition. Trust me, it doesn’t make you look more like a dancer… it makes you look like you don’t care about anyone’s time but the choreographer. And the choreographer only has so much pull when it comes to casting. Ladies wear tights and a leo underneath a sundress if you know you’ll have a quick change. Wear the character shoes with it if you’re determined to make that statement. Men: FOR THE LOVE OF LIZA MINELLI NEVER WEAR A WIFE BEATER INTO A VOCAL AUDITION. I don’t need to further explain this. Just.don’t.do.it. If you’re THAT cheap on clothes, thrift store button downs are $4.tops.

DON’T PLAY DRESS UP. I know you want to be seen as a certain character from such and such musical… but dressing in roaring 20s garb or 80s flash and trash is not going to make you seem more a part to a casting director. It will make you look like a caricature. And YOU might see yourself as the perfect Millie Dilmount, but a director could use you as the lead for the next show in their season… but only if you’re dressed like YOU. Hints of show interest are totally fine!examples: going in for newsies with suspenders button down shirt and nice pants.Black form fitting (not tiny) dress for chicago. There are ways to subtlety suggest a show or role you want without looking like a crazed superfan of that show. And I know that for film auditions that can be a completely different story… but that’s not this blog post. Oh yes, since I mentioned chicago…

DON’T DRESS FOR THE CORNER. Don’t worry, a director can 90% of the time tell if you have a good body as long as your not wearing a moo moo. If you want to emphasize a portion of your body that looks fabulous… by all means! work those kneecaps! let that crossfit-worked back out in the backless dress! wear a v neck and let a little cleave come out! BUT DO NOT COMBINE ALL OF THESE OPTIONS IN ONE OUTFIT.
You should NOT be able to go straight from your audition to da’ club in the same outfit. It just gives the wrong impression of who you are. Unless you are like that… in which case… well… I don’t know. Skip this section or something.
I have been blessed to never have been in a “casting couch” situation…but I know they exist. Dressing too seductively to the point of looking easy just gives the wrong undertone to why you want to be cast. I’ve always been a firm believer of not being objectified as a woman anyways but.. I digress.

Bottom line- in a vocal audition dress nicely, comfortably, and let “you” (not your birthday suit) shine through your wardrobe choices.

THAT BEING SAID: Dressing in the dance audition you have a little bit more leeway.

The rule of “pick one aspect of your body to show off” is still a good rule to follow… but you could possibly upgrade it to two in a dance audition. Choreographers need to see your body and how your body moves… but they DONT need to see totally bare skin everywhere.

Tights are AHMAZING people. if you wanna wear those booty shorts and heels… for gods sake wear tights. Unless you’ve been dancing with the New York City ballet for 15 years and have -.08% body fat, it’s just not worth it. If you put your arms against your sides and your shorts don’t come below your wrist… put some tights on.

LET ME DISCLAIM RIGHT HERE BEFORE ANYONE WHO POSSIBLY READS THIS GETS OFFENDED.

everyone is beautiful. everyone of all shapes and sizes is beautiful to me. I get beyond excited and thankful when women with curves proudly display their body and ignore what anyone else says. I wish it would happen more often! I think the pressures that our society has placed on looks and size are absolutely ridiculous. But right now (especially this industry) that’s how it is. If it were up to me to cast every show on broadway it would be different. But this advice is not for if I was casting. This advice is based on having been in that room with casting directors/directors/artistic directors/choreographers/producers, etc for a while now and what they have said after everyone has left. So please, I don’t want anyone to get up in arms over something I say here. I was THAT girl that was larger than all the other girls in dance class. It was awful to know that I wasn’t getting cast in leads because I was twice their size but twice as talented as they were. At the end of high school for many reasons I traveled to the other side of the weight spectrum in the most unhealthy and dangerous way. Please god ladies and gents do not ever think that is ok. There are so many other ways to lose weight, gain muscle, take control or whatever it is that you want to accomplish.

phew, I had to get that out and now this post took a turn to the dark side. Where were we?

oh yes, tights. I say this because you’re moving around and there is and 85% chance your shorts will ride up and seeing two little smiles popping out of where your shortsline Used to be is not flattering. except MAYBE on sophia vergara. maybe. but even she doesn’t do that… so neither will I. And Fishnets are only occasionally appropriate. examples of such times: chicago, rock of ages, umm… tan ones are fine for a showgirlesque audition… and yeah. that’s about it.
If you’re auditioning for a dance heavy show you want to make yourself look as long and lean as possible.So you don’t want lines cutting off your legs, arms, etc. You ever see how the women in fosse wear the high cut leotards? yeah, its so their legs look like one never-ending line. The legs are more important to emphasize than the arms in a dance call.
But, just because I said that does not mean bangles are ok. they’re not. Try not to cut yourself off at the wrist.

Also, I know its super trendy a la so you think you can dance for plaid button downs to be open over a sports bra for an audition… but unless you are going to a contemporary dance company audition, it’s really not ok to wear that. Even then I don’t know if it’s ok. so, just save that outfit for class.

Personally, if you are new to this whole “dance call” thing… this is my recommendation for an outfit:

bright (not neon) leotard or tank top
yoga/jazz pants (and not the kind that fold over.. they give an extra width at the waist)
-OR-
jazz skirt
-OR-
Jazz shorts (remember the tights thing)
if the audition has character shoes, tuck your tights into your shoes…rolling them up at the mid calf is cutting yourself off short again. so if there is any chance of the audition having to be barefoot… just wear something you don’t need to wear tights.

SHOES: always bring several shoes. I know it’s a pain to schlep the stuff with you… but having options is great. I’ve had times where at the end of the audition they have asked for people who tap and I had to opt out because I didn’t bring my tap shoes. Same with if you do ballet (and more specifically)pointe. My suggestion is bring character shoes, flat jazz or ballet shoes (so if the combo is more jazzy rather than showgirl-y you can change shoes and not roll your ankle), tap shoes, and pointe shoes (if you are really comfortable doing pointe in front of casting directors at the drop of a hat).

well, I think I’ve rambled enough about this for now! Just a few tips on what to wear/not to wear for an audition. I might make another blog post about behavior choices in an audition, because I have seen many people get put in the NO pile for reasons that could have been avoided.

Good luck at your next audition!

Easter crafts!

For those of you who do not know me, I am an incredibly crafty person. From a wee young age, I have been glue-ing, sew-ing, paint-ing, and concoct-ing. So, a few years ago when my friend Olivia introduced me to Pinterest, I fell in a deep and passionate love affair that one does not recover from easily. Anything that I could possibly want to know, I found at my fingertips.Even if I didn’t know I wanted it. My boyfriend begrudgingly got a Pinterest last year with the intention of using it for our trip to Ireland. He found it incredibly helpful to find my Christmas presents and pick recipes for me to make.We also spend a great deal of time sending funny ridiculous memes back and forth to each other.

One of the handiest uses of Pinterest is finding presents for others. Whether they are crafts or pre-made, it makes birthdays and other holidays easy decision makings for me.

So for Easter, my mom saw a neighbor’s wreath and loved it and wanted me to recreate it. I found this tutorial from Mrs. B’s Hive blog (Link below). I made one for my Ma, our neighbor, and Drew’s Ma. I only have a picture of Drew’s Moms wreath, I will try to post a picture of Mom’s later.

Easter Ears

Isn’t it cute? It was super easy!I decided to use green bunny ears since green is her favorite color. I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures during my process, I hope the link below is enough if you wanna give it a try!

I will probably post crafts that I do every once in a while!

Till Later!
Becca

Samantha Brown Opening!

Tonight is the night! after a week of great previews and several months of amazing work, we’re ready to open this fantastic show!

I honestly could not be more proud to be a part of this production. Justin Anderson (our director) is amazing and one of the kindest, most selfless human beings I’ve ever met. The cast is beyond. I can’t say anything else but “beyond”. this is a group of five unreal talents who work hard and want to bring everything they can to the work every day; and that is not always something you see (although you should). Not only that, but they are some of the most open and free actors I’ve ever met. Justin and any of the actors could have a suggestion,  and anyone and everyone would say “let’s try it” without any judgement or second guessing. Which is, how true collaboration and great work can happen. When we’re a team. The writers Kerrigan and Lowdermilk came in this week to see the previews, having visited twice before in the process. They were happy with most of what we had created of their work, but there were some things that they felt were very important that they felt needed to be incorporated. And for a new work that is incredibly personal to them, it’s completely understandable. But the cast and crew rolled with all the punches of changing some intentions in scenes and rearranging blocking and choreo. Without any semblance of bitching or moaning. it is also incredibly evident to anyone who watches the show how close they are with each other. The giggles and love can be felt onstage and off. I am in awe and inspired by what remarkable artists these 5 actors are. 

 

All that said, Merde to my cast crew and creative! and Cheers to opening night of The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown! 

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for Tickets: visit http://www.AuroraTheatre.com

runs tonight through April 6th!

Snowpocalypse Part Deux

Jeter trying to push me down the hill.

Jeter trying to push me down the hill.

wanting to take run for himself.

wanting to take run for himself.

drew and Jeter, going for the sled-steal.

drew and Jeter, going for the sled-steal.

Snowpocalypse….Snowmeggedon….Hothlanta…Whatever you want to call it…. we had another taste of REAL winter weather. I say REAL winter in that if we were up north, this would be nothin! But alas, we’re in Georgia and we have no need to spend a big ‘ol budget on snow gear. For those who missed it, two weeks ago we had impending snow and ice forcasted for most of Atlanta. We didn’t do a whole lot of preparation because not only do we not have the budget for supplies, but we also are notorious for jumping the gun and cancelling schools only for zero flakes. Anywho, two weeks ago there was 1″or so predicted… they did not cancel 90% of the schools for that day. Then, at about 12:00, they decided to quickly cancel school (there was about 2″of snow down at that point). Parents left work…along with the rest of the metro atlanta area to try to get home. Now, without any sort of metro transit for people to choose…. almost all of our transportation is by car. So, imagine your ENTIRE city decided to get in their car and go across town AT THE SAME EXACT time. PURE UNADULTERATED CHAOS. I could go on about all of the horror stories… but that’s what google is for,kids.

Ill just tell of my horror (and coincidentally my boyfriends) horror story.

I do children’s theatre for Children’s healthcare of Atlanta, where we go and a show called Strong4Life to schools all throughout Georgia. Well, this day we had a show out in Lithonia (past Stone mountain). Our shows first got pushed later than when we were scheduled… and then the snow came. Remember what I said earlier about schools figuring out the impending snow/ice halfway through the school day? yeah. that means I was leaving the school at 1:15. Now, what I knew was it was snowing and it was cold. What I didn’t know was that everyone in Atlanta was in a panic and decided to leave at the same time I did. I was cruising on 20, got on 285 and DEAD STOPPED. I figured I’d be in my car for a while, maybe 3 ish hours… which I didn’t mind. I had my phone plugged in, I had a bag of snacks, and a full tank of gas. Good to go.
It was about 9 hours in when I didn’t think I was EVER getting home.

My poor mother and boyfriend had to deal with my academy-award-winning range of emotions.

Speaking of boyfriend, mine was on his way from work to my place, and after 4 hours (with dying cell phone) he finally couldn’t drive his little car any further. So, he walked about 10 miles from his car to my house. Like any halfway intelligent human being, he stopped at the liquor store to pick up a walking buddy.

I was still in the car, doing the dance of moving 50 ft and sitting for 30 minutes. By time 11 pm rolls around, there really was no way I was getting home. I was too far to get out and walk, and the roads were starting to ice over everywhere from all the cars sitting idle on the highway. Luckily, my friend Ethan’s fiance Sarah has a sister that lives right at the exit I could see the sign for. We went to high school together,she was by herself that night, and was incredibly eager to have me come stay. When I finally made it past the abandoned cars on the exit ramp and the struggling un-rugged vehicles…I was greeted with Julia and a homemade dinner. I have never been so relieved and so grateful in a single moment. Someone I barely knew took me in and treated me like family.

The next day after hanging around and watching the news with Julia, I finally ventured successfully home.
Words cannot express my appreciaton for everyone I encountered. Julia, for taking me in; for Ethan and Sarah, for insisting I get in contact with her; for my ma and boyfriend, for dealing with me; and all my friends and family (including Drew’s parents), who called and texted checking to see if I was alright. Even in the face of incredibly unfortunate and stressful circumstances… I felt so lucky when I closed my eyes that night.

NOW WE’RE ALL CAUGHT UP!

So THIS snowpocalypse time around, I got to stay home the whole time and spend it with those I love. Today we finally ventured out with the discus and sled down the hill. Bulldogs LOVE sleds or sled type objects, in case you didn’t know. Drew, Jeter and I were sliding down the hills of the yard; with Jeter wanting to push the slider down the hill. So, I have attached a few pictures and a video of us sliding. A fun day was had by all!
This was my DAY 4 of 100 days of happy.

100 Days of Happy!

I’m starting this personal blog on a somewhat strange note/ challenge.

I have made a few feeble attempts to blog and have always failed a short time after. That being said, after launching my website
I thought a blog would be a great way to round out the shell of whats given on my website. This blog will usually consist of rehearsal/audition/show experiences, possibly some motivational/artistic posts.

A few days ago, my best friend Liz posted a challenge to her facebook. It’s called 100 Happy days, and it’s challenging people to “be happy for 100 days in a row”. With schedules getting tighter and tighter, there is less opportunity to pause and enjoy the moment. The 100 days challenge encourages you to to take a picture and share something that made you happy each day. It could be something as little as a coffee you had, or something as big as a promotion or what have you.

As a perpetual happy person, I am excited to have a “platform” on which to pause and document moments of happiness.

I will be posting to Instagram, and coincidentally this blog! I will be using #100happydays and #happypotter

I apologize in advance for the possible abundance of dog and rehearsal pictures. I will try to vary it up for 100 days!

If you are interested in getting involved in the 100 Days of Happy challenge, visit !!!

You don’t have to be motivated to be happy, you have to be observant.
Becca Potter