The General Auditions: The Actor’s Guide

The Unified General Auditions can be pretty intimidating at first glance – over 400 actors walk through those doors in the course of 4 days and audition in front of over 40 different companies.  We at Theatre Puget Sound do our best to make the day run as smoothly as possible, giving you the opportunity to focus on the important things – your 2 minutes on stage!  It benefits you to know exactly where to go and what to do before you get there, so here is a step-by-step rundown of what will happen when you arrive at the Center House Theatre.

Day of the Audition

It’s important to come completely prepared, both in mind and material.  If possible, request the day off work so you can do what you need to do to be completely ready for a great performance!  Make a checklist so you don’t forget what all you need to bring:

  • Headshots and resumes – must be stapled together (or resume printed on the back.)  Make sure to bring more than enough and the volunteers will give you back any extra headshots after your audition.
  • Singing?  Don’t forget your sheet music, and in the correct key!
  • If you are EMC, AEA, or PATA, please bring your card with you.  We will not necessarily ask for it but you should have it just in case we do.

Off to the Center House

It’s time! Auditions are at the Center House Theatre in the Seattle Center House, which is almost dead center in the Seattle Center.  It’s the same building as the food court, but on the first floor.  More info on the Center House here.

  • Give yourself plenty of time before your check-in time.  Make sure to schedule in time in case of traffic, bad parking, or slow buses.
  • Free parking is scarce but there is plenty of paid parking and 2-hour street parking around the Seattle Center.
  • You may have noticed your check-in time can be up to 45 minutes prior to your actual audition time.  Since we give auditors stacks of resumes in 30-minute increments, it is important you get here at your check-in time rather than your audition time so the volunteers have enough time to add your headshot/resume to the applicable 30-minute stack and so we can find you in the warm-up rooms.

Enter the Center House Theatre

So you’ve made it to the Center House Theatre and just before your scheduled check-in time.  Now what?

  • Our amazing group of volunteers will answer any question you have, so don’t fret if you forget anything!
  • First, stop by the headshot/resume table directly in front of you.  There, you will check-in and drop off your headshots and resumes.
  • Once you’re checked in, you can head to one of two warm-up rooms.  When you decide on a room, make sure to initial your name on the attendance sheet so we know where to find you:
    • LOUD warm-up room: down the hallway on the right is the loud warm-up room.  There is a piano in there and vocal warmups are OK.
    • QUIET warm-up room: library voices for those who prefer to warm up in a quiet space.
  • Bathrooms are outside of the Center House Theatre and down the hall.  If you’ve already checked-in, make sure you let a volunteer know where you are going!

You’re on Deck!

  • Eventually, your time will come.. to audition!  A TPS Staff Member will come get you in whichever room you are in.  We generally take a few people at a time, and then it’s off to backstage!  Don’t forget your sheet music!
  • From backstage, we will cue the first person to go.  They will walk onstage and begin.  Once they’re done, you will hear them exit through the double doors, and that means it is your turn to get out there.  Smile!

The Audition

You step out blindly onto the Center House Theatre stage, hearing the beautiful acoustics with every word you speak.  How easy this will be!

  • Make sure to look for your light!  Don’t go too far down or up stage, find a comfortable spot right in the center.
  • If you’re singing, meet with the accompanist before introducing yourself.  He will be downstage left.  Make sure he knows if you’re singing before or after your monologue!
  • There will be some actor blocks and a chair available if you’d like to use them.
  • Once you’re set, introduce yourself and briefly describe your pieces (Play name, character name, song name is all you need.)
  • The timer will start as soon as you’re into your piece. This does not necessarily mean your first line; it’s the moment you’re in the scene.   You have 2-3 minutes out there (depending on union status) so enjoy yourself!
  • If you go over time, the timer will say “thank you” and you are done. Please do not continue your piece even if you feel you’re almost done.  Your time is up – finish gracefully! With the amount of actors scheduled we simply cannot afford to go over time limits.
  • Once you’re finished, thank the audience, reset any blocks/chairs you used, grab your sheet music, and then leave through the double-doors on stage left.  They will be marked “exit.”

Post Show

You made it!  You’re still alive, somehow!  You grab your stuff from the warmup room and head out.  But there are a few things you should do before then..

  • Pick up extra headshots – Often we will have a few auditors who will not be there that day, or you simply brought extras just in case.  We will have the exact count of auditors in the building and will have your extra headshots ready for pick-up right after your audition.
  • Auditor attendance board – In the lobby we will have the list of auditors on a whiteboard.  This list is up to date and will include which companies are currently attending and who from that company is there at the moment.   Make sure to check it out and it will also be available online.
  • More extra headshots – To discourage waste, we instruct our auditors to return any unneeded headshots (don’t take it personally!)  You will be able to pick them up from the TPS office at a date to be determined.
  • Callbacks – callbacks are determined by each individual company; some are that week and others you may get a call from 9 months after your audition.

Hope that helped!  Don’t forget, we’re all here for you – staff, volunteers, even the auditors – are all here to help you succeed.  If you have any questions at the auditions, ask our volunteers and they will point you in the right direction.  Don’t ever be afraid to ask!  We’re doing it all for you.

This entry was posted in Unified General Auditions and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments Closed