Sunday, February 11, 2007

Audition help

I’m auditioning for Shakespeare Festival of Dallas in a few weeks and I don’t know what to do for my monologue. SFD is auditioning for their two summer shows (Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost), and an October show (Macbeth), and two staged readings at a local theatre festival in the spring (Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece).

It’s pretty much impossible to find a monologue that’s “appropriate” for all those shows. Should I do something funny or serious? I did my Two Gents monologue (the one that some of you saw this summer) for a SFD audition in 2005. I got called back, but not cast. Do I do it again? They’ll probably remember it, with all the physicality and taking off of shoes and everything. However, they do request the monologues are in verse, and that one is prose. That didn’t stop me two years ago, but still.

In addition to the Two Gents speech about the dog, I’m also considering one from 4.2 of Othello (“Had it pleased heaven…”), 4.1 of Shrew (“Thus have I politicly begun my reign…”), or anything else you guys suggest. I’d rather not do a monologue from one of the plays SFD is doing this year.

So, any ideas? If you were in my place would you do a comedy or a tragedy?


At 11:08 AM, Blogger niuzhen said...

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At 12:23 PM, Blogger Ariana said...

Hmm. Comedy or tragedy? I did not get to see your Two Gentlemen speech, but I heard it was hilarious. If you had two people to use as props, I would say do your wounded captain speech from Macbeth. You were excellent. Then again, I don't think that is in verse either. Hmm tough call. I would go with whatever you feel strongest in. Good luck!

At 12:12 AM, Blogger chitarita said...

I think it depends on which characters you want to go for. It's a bit of the "guess what they're thinking" game.

I agree with Ariana's post. The Shrew speech you suggest is a good neutral one - it shows off strong acting without being too "dramatic" or overly funny. Then again, maybe it's too typical - hard to stand out.

I'm no help whatsoever, am I? :)

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Dr. Nico Martini said...

As a general rule, I would stick to the guidelines of the audition . . . if they ask for verse, do it. Some directors will dismiss you if you "can't listen to direction." I know that no one at Shakespeare Dallas would, but it's a good general rule to abide by in your life as an actor. That's all I got . . .

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Holbrook said...

The artistic director of SFD is doing R+J. I've auditioned for him three times and never been called back. The second summer show is always done by a guest director, and the three different guest directors have called me back every time. So I'd guess I have a better shot at LLL.

The thing is, almost every decent comedic monologue is in prose. Bottom, Benedick, Trinculo, Falstaff, Malvolio, Mercutio, and the Porter all have good speeches in prose.

The audition notice says "please prepare a monologue in verse." It's possible they mean "Shakespeare only," but it's also possible that I'll look ignorant if I go in there with prose. I got called back with the Two Gents speech two years ago, and no one called foul.

I'm probably overthinking this far too much.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Sandi said...

I'm not quite sure what all their guidelines are, and please take these with a grain if salt:

Have two monologues prepared. One tragedy, one comedy. Be ready to fly with either one as the need arises. Also, If they want one verse and one prose, have that ready too. They want verse to hear if you can read pentameter properly (some decent actors can't but you can. this is a bonus). Their season is tragedy-heavy. I'd go with a tragedy, unless you really want a comedic role in something, then pull out that one. Basically, tailor what you read for who your reading for, if their cattle calls are that specific (or is it American Idol-ish? One call for all shows? Then it's a crapshoot, and you just pick your best and hope they find something they like. then, if you can pull other stuff out of your bag, it's nice.)

When you get there, you might be able to get some scuttlebutt on what they are looking for, who likes what, otherwise, go with something that strikes you but isn't overdone. Fresh material really sounds nice to the casting committee after awhile. By no means do stuff from the plays they will be doing (that will happen at callbacks when you get sides), and don't do what you did last time, especially if you were memorable. (and of course you were.)

Sorry if this rambles. You will be great.


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