Always arrive early
Arriving early gives you the best chance to be calm and centered while also allowing you to scope out the scene and get to see what is required. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive and find parking.
Pay attention to what you wear. We recommend clothes you can move in, closed toed shoes, a shirt that covers your tummy, and no distracting jewelry. You want to show your personality, but still have the focus be on YOU. Wear a color that pops and will make you stand out. As many directors will see hundreds of kids in a day, you will want them to remember you. Countless times we are referring to a kid by what they wore…”who was that cute girl in the yellow dress that sang ‘On My Own’?”
A headshot is a clean photo of your face and shoulders. A photo is very helpful when casting, and will help the director remember you after the audition. Wear a solid, bright color shirt. No black, brown, gray, white or drab colors. Stripes, logos or multiple colored shirts should be avoided. Your headshot should look exactly like you and be age appropriate.
Create a simple acting resume. A resume is a summary of your performing experience and should include personal contact information. Include your hair and eye color as well, even if you are including a color headshot. Include a list of your experience, mentioning the show name, role, director and production company. Be sure to include any dance, singing and acting classes or workshops you have taken. Also mention any special skills and hobbies.
When you walk in the room, the audition begins, right? Well, yes, but really, your opportunity begins when you leave your vehicle. Someone may see you on your approach to the audition location, so make sure you’re ready! That means hair done, make-up done, and a prompt arrival. It’s best that both you and your ride be well behaved. You want the staff to remember you for your talent, and not for any negative impression that an overbearing parent might make.
State your full name and the name and author/artist of your piece. Keep it happy, bright, and authentic. Definitely practice this as part of your audition with lots of energy. Make eye contact with the casting table during this section! Remember to “take a beat”. This means, take at least 1 deep breath, position yourself, and then begin your monologue or song.
Students who are new to theatre and/or NTPA are highly encouraged to take the PAGE Class (Performing Arts Growth Essentials). This course focuses on performance basics, and includes help with audition prep.
Students auditioning for musicals are highly encouraged to listen to the entire album of the show, and get familiar with the soundtrack. Students auditioning for non-musicals should read the entire script. This will help you determine your song and monologue selection. Be memorized, and don’t read lyrics off a sheet of paper or off your phone!
All songs and monologues should be from published theatrical works. Original online sources are discouraged. Be sure to select a song that matches the genre of the type of show you are auditioning for. Example: If you are auditioning for “Grease” or “Hairspray” sing a fun song from the 50’s or 60’s that has a similar sound and style.
Examples of Appropriate Song Selections:
Examples of Appropriate Monologues:
What not to sing: Avoid singing “Happy Birthday”, singing a song you wrote, or a popular song that hundreds of kids might also sing like “Rolling in the Deep”. Save your Adele cover band act for mom and dad. Make sure your song is age appropriate and does not include any bad language.
For most NTPA musicals, you will be asked to prepare a one-minute cutting of a song, as well as provide a backing track. These tracks can be found easily online through services such as YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, etc. Make sure to come to your audition prepared with the track on either a CD or your device through the auxiliary (headphone) port. Put phone on do not disturb mode, and make sure power save mode is OFF.
When you are asked to sing with sheet music, make sure the music is in your key and that you practice in advance with the actual sheet music you plan to use at the audition. Have a friend who plays the piano make a recording of the accompaniment, so you can learn the intro. Mark with a bright color start and stop points. Do not ask your accompanist to change the key on the fly.
Even if you mess up, don’t say “I’m sorry”. Instead, just politely ask if you can start again. Be focused and in control. Even if you’re sick, don’t say “I’m sick”, “I have a cold” or “I’m getting over a cold.” If you are really too sick to audition, stay home and save your first impression for another time.
Though not required for all shows, callbacks are a crucial part of the casting process. Missing a call back should be avoided at all costs, and can definitely hurt your chances in casting. If you must miss a callback, talk to the director about sending in a video callback audition.
Casting is completed by the Director and approved by the local Managing Director. Actors should be notified of casting via email within one week of the callback date.
Just like you, many actors are auditioning for the same play, and are hoping for the same outcome to land the best part or song. As many factors are determined in casting, actors should never take it personally. Keep auditioning, performing and attending classes, and at the right time, you will have your opportunity with the right project and the right role for you!