Now that schools are back and pandemic restrictions are easing, many students are seeing the welcome return of the school play. Whether a pantomime is being planned, or a musical being made, it’s time to tread the boards at school once more. After such a long time without access to the drama department, competition for parts is likely to be higher than ever. So, how do you wow them at the audition and secure the role you want?
Here, you’ll find our top tips for acing auditions, starting with the school play.
Experience with auditioning is valuable in itself. It helps to build confidence and learn about the process, so even if you’re not thinking to take part this year, give the auditions a try. The experience will help you in any future auditions or interview situations.
Why Take Part in The School Play?
Taking part in the school play makes a difference and has many advantages. For many, it’s the first time they will experience acting in front of an audience. Most of us can remember taking part in school productions and what role we had (or wanted to have).
School plays can help you boost confidence, make friends and discover new interests, such as costume , set design and acting. They can also kickstart a lifelong love of theatre, film and dramatic escapism . So, read on to find out how to maximise your chances of success.
Research The Role
As with any project, thorough research will help you understand what you’re getting into, and provide you with more insights into how to portray the character and what they are going through. Read the book the play is based on, get hold of the full script if you can, watch the TV adaptation or film or listen to the soundtrack. Decide which roles appeal to you that you can feasibly try out for and work out their stand-out moments in the plot.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have decided on your preferred role or roles, it’s time to practise. Try to memorise at least part of the audition speech. Ask friends or family to help you prepare by reading in any other parts for you.
Practise in front of a mirror to see how you stand and move. Record yourself doing the part on video too. This will help you hone any difficult areas and correct anything that you think doesn’t look or sound quite right.
All in The Attitude
Always be polite and friendly to everyone you encounter during the audition process for the school play. You never know who is involved in making the final decisions. So stay calm, polite and good natured. Don’t get frustrated if things don’t go as expected; show your professionalism and remember, any criticism is something to learn from. Be reliable, turn up on time and be prepared to wait patiently if the timings are not what you expected.
Keep an Open Mind
Even though you may have researched and found the perfect role for you, always keep an open mind about trying out for other parts. You read all the time in the media about famous actors auditioning for a role but being given a different one that went on to earn them fame and worldwide acclaim.
Tom Hiddleston, famous for playing Loki in the Marvel franchise, first tried out for the role of Thor. Friends star, Courtney Cox auditioned to play Rachel in the beginning, not Monica.
Always an Actor
Learning how to act doesn’t stop in the drama studio. A good actor is always looking for ways to hone their craft, wherever they are. So, work on your projection and confidence by speaking up lots in class or offering to read aloud. Think about all the characters you see or read about – who are they? What is their background? What is that they want to achieve?
Aim to improve your stamina during sports classes and sing confidently during music or assembly. Even memorising facts for a test will help train your memory and help you to retain lines for your school play audition.
Don’t Forget Backstage
If acting is not your thing, but you still want to be involved in your school play, there are all sorts of backstage roles you can take on. From costumes and prop making to prompting, lights, sound or part of the directing team, editing , your help will always be welcome.
These sorts of jobs can also give you valuable skills to take on into later life, even if you don’t end up working in performing arts. Volunteering like this can also look great on a CV or college or university application form.
Upskill For Future Opportunities
Finally, if you know that you are interested in trying out for the school play or becoming involved in student film projects look for ways to boost your knowledge. Sign up for film making classes, acting or dance. Take part in summer schools and holiday courses or watch videos. Look out for work experience in local theatres, film studios or TV companies. Keep an eye out for opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge of stage acting and film work.