Got stage fright for your upcoming audition? If you're applying to audition at a dance school or for a part in a show but feel panicked, we're here to help. We attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy's (AMDA's) workshop at MOVE IT 2019 to get some top tips for you on auditioning. Read more to find out what we learnt in the workshop.
What did we Learn at AMDA's Broadway Audition Tips Workshop?
Have you got the triple threat? The workshop was led by J. Elaine Marcos of AMDA who's got the big 3 and studied singing, dancing and acting. She's been on 10 Broadway shows with roles like Connie Wong. She earned the Astaire Award nomination for Excellence in Dance for one of her roles (Cynthia in Priscilla in Queen of the Desert), so she's definitely got the experience to help you succeed. Here's a quick run-through of what J. Elaine covered in her Broadway Audition workshop:
J. Elaine began the workshop with encouraging the dancers taking part to share what they think their weakest performance area is: singing, dancing or acting. It's important to establish your weaknesses and not to just shy away from them by continuing to perfect your performance skills that are already strong. Bad at remembering your lines? Struggle with a certain dance move? Your audition will lay bear any lack of confidence that you have in yourself, so you should really push to progress your less strong skills to a level you're proud of. Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong.
"Think of your audition as a mini show" is what J. Elaine advised the dancers at MOVE IT. This is your one opportunity to shine and impress the interviewers, but you should still enjoy it and think of it as a performance.
Be memorable, be unique. What makes you better than the actor who's sat right outside waiting to audition (who may even have the same name as you)? J. Elaine gave us a mini performance of her comedic audition song that she sang when auditioning to be Connie Wong - it included jokes challenging Asian typecasting but in a humorous way. Another way of thinking about your individualism can be to introduce yourself with a memorable adjective, J. Elaine advised. She introduced herself as "Jumping J. Elaine" and asked the group to quickly attach a word before their name that told of their personality. Even if you don't want to introduce yourself in this manner at an audition, it's still a good way to reflect on yourself and your skills to see if there is a word that shortly sums you up.
The class finished with a few fun rounds of the game "Big Booty". The group were assigned a number and the lead of the group was dubbed the "big booty" who would begin the game by stating their name ("big booty") and then calling the number of another in the group. The game played on where each person would state their called number first before calling out another one and if they got it wrong, they would become the "big booty". This game teaches you to listen to one and another but also to learn to improvise. It's fantastic if you know your lines backwards and forwards, but what are you going to do if another actor says your part by accident or maybe skips a few lines? You have to be able to think on your feet to do well in the world of performance!
Watch this video to see what applicants have to say specifically about AMDA's audition process.