Fall has officially begun, and the Teen Cohort of Downstage Arts is chugging along! We recently began a series of blogs devoted to the art of auditioning. Our first blog of the series offered an opinion about overdone material. Today, we are sharing what DSA believes to be one of the most fundamental audition material factors: to tell a complete story. Maybe the concept of “telling a complete story" seems impossible—after all, aren’t audition cuts technically just a fraction of the story? While compressing an entire show into a one-minute audition might be an impossible task, we can focus on composing a moment of the story in all of its fullness and greatness.
A word that DSA perpetually uses when discussing audition prep is “journey,” because we want our students to indicate the transformation from the beginning of the piece to the end. Characters (just like humans in real life) are always wanting or needing something—and as with the rest of us, characters in a story are constantly trying to figure out how to achieve what they desire, determined to jump over the hurdles that are placed in their way, either by accident or design. Your audition cuts should showcase these components (often called “objectives” or “obstacles”) that will help you uncover and perform the journeys that your characters are living.
As you prepare your next audition cuts, ask yourselves, “What has the character discovered or decided to do?” and “Did the character achieve what they want?” Hint: If you find no turning points (or moments when your characters have big revelations or choose new action plans), you might find better cuts out there, so keep digging! Most importantly, prepare your pieces so that the characters you are playing are fully seen and realized no matter how big or small the moment may be. When we tell you we want you to “show us” your characters, we want you to explore and reveal every aspect of the characters’ interior lives and unique character details.
Until next time, Downstagers! You are you, and that is your artistry.
If you know a high school junior who would be interested in joining our Teen Cohort, there are still some spots left! Learn more here.