You didn't read the whole play?! What's the matter with you?!

Aug 09, 2016

Audition scenario: You're feeling like a million bucks as you walk into the audition room. You have your organized binder of sheet music, your headshot and resume, you've practiced like a yeoman and you're dressed to the nines. You turn, happily, to the audition panel and introduce your monologue. You rock it. Then Woman 1 behind the desk says politely, "Interesting choice with the character."
Your smile, no longer naturally big, is held up by will by your facial muscles, as you feel a growing lump in your throat.
She continues, "Interesting in that she is an Irish revolutionary, and you played her an American with a casual agenda."
Your stomach lurches. This isn't what you planned at all.
She asks sweetly, "What did you think of when you read the play?"
What did you think of when you read the play, hm? Oh, dear. But you didn't read the play. Why didn't you? You did everything else like a professional, to the highest standard anyone could apply, but you didn't read the play! "I...uhh...yeah...thought also, it was interesting. Irish. Revolutionary, or American, and....yeah.."

Other Scenario: You walk in, introduce your piece and rock it. Woman 1 says: "I love this play. What made you choose it?" You, at the ready for this question answer brightly "Because I loved his other plays like 'The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishman, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. I was hoping I could find a piece of his that had a female of my type in it. And then, thank god for 'The Lieutenant of Inishmore.' " Woman 1 beams at Man 1. "Thank you so much," she says, "It was a pleasure to meet you." Of the two scenarios presented above, I strongly advise experiencing the latter. If you're a thrill seeker and have very little interest in getting into college for theatre, by all means, go bananas and do the former. And please, do a blog post about it--we'd very much like to live remotely through you. :-) Reading the whole play is the responsible thing to do for an actor. You have this whole character's experiences to draw on from the rest of the play, and you're throwing away valuable information and extra tools if you don't read it. Often, very often, the more prepared student will have advantage in acceptance over the talented student. So, make a Sunday afternoon of it. Settle into a chair with a glass of lemonade and enjoy a read. You'll thank yourself just after the audition panel does so too.