So I thought I'd do this post as I've been to a few open auditions and thought I'd share my thoughts and insights with you on what happens and what to expect.
( I apologise for the poor state in which this blog is written by the way, since I'm extremely tired but thought this is probably a necessary topic for you all to read!)
I have attended 4 open casting auditions in my life time, 2 in London and 2 in Ireland. In London I attended the open casting for Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. And also for Lavender Brown for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. So lets discuss these two first.
So, Harry Potter certainly attracts attention, and both auditions went very similarly. Firstly, there is a lot of waiting involved. Approximately I waited for about 4-5 hours to be seen in each audition. And they were both the same, you end up in a room, where you are asked to fill in a form, they take a polaroid photo and attach it. Once that is completed they call you into a different room in groups. In this room, you stand in a semi-circle and essentially get crossed of their list by appearance. They say to certain people 'please step forward' and then those who have not been asked to do so, can leave and thank you for your time.
So that was a waste really... but not entirely. In the Lavender Brown audition I was sent straight home. In the Luna Lovegood audition, I was asked to step forward... so this is what happens should this happen to you!
I was taken to a room with a few other girls inside, and was given a page of the script to read over, and then once I was ready I could go and read it to a person with a camera. If you've seen the film, the scene you were asked to read is the one in which Luna is petting and feeding the Thestral and talking about how her mother died. So that was an interesting experience!
After all that I learned from the newspapers that I was one in 500 that were asked to read from the script so I guess that was a little achievement in itself.. but really these auditions are all based on looks.
Ok so lets move on to the next two auditions I attended here in Ireland...
Star Wars.. if you lived in Ireland and you are in any way interested in acting, you most likely attended these auditions or sent in a tape! So this was a great experience! Again, a lot of waiting, about 6 hours maybe.. in total.. I think I was there at 6am and got seen at around 12 or 1...
This audition was very different from the Harry Potter ones I had attended before. They asked you to bring a headshot, on which I wrote my agent's contact and my own contact on the back. I also included my height, hair and eye colour. And this is essentially how they judged you. Yet again people, these auditions are primarily Superficial auditions!!
I was asked had I any acting experience, and she recognised that I had a good quality, professional photo and she recognised my agent... and this is how I got through to the next round. If you didn't have either the looks, the experience or the correct kind of photo, they were more likely to dismiss you straight away, and your photo was put into a large storage container on your way out.
In the next round I was introduced to a casting director and had a small discussion about myself, my experience, and what I had attended for... And I must have impressed them, as I got a 'side' (that is a small section of script to read) and an arm band, and was told to come back at 5pm... WOOHOO! I got through! I was over the moon!
Anyway, round 3, you attended an audition, in a room where another audition was already going ahead at the same time. The room was quite large though and so their audition didn't affect yours at all.. except mentally... Anyway, you were asked to introduce yourself on camera and then read opposite the casting assistant. Also, you were standing, not sitting...
Anyway, what can you do but wait, and sadly, nothing came of it! But at least I had auditioned. I had met a new casting director and had the opportunity to perform, so all in all, I thought my day was pretty successful!
The most recent open audition I have attended was for 'Red Rock', a new soap opera currently under pre-production here in Ireland. So, the waiting was much less for this, as I arrived at 7am and expected a group of over 100 people to be there already, since the auditions started at 10am... there were 50 people ahead of me. Over all between the time I arrived, and the time I left (11am), I think there were about 200 people who were there, most of which had already been seen. But I believe more people came out after 11am.
In this audition, you were asked to prepare a monologue of no longer than 1 minute long, of which the character needed to be the same age and 'type' as yourself. And this, is incredibly difficult if you're in your twenties and a female... It also needed to be from a film or tv series. I chose a scene by Lexi Grey in Grey's Anatomy in which she discusses how her father is an alcoholic.
At the top of the queue, you were asked to fill in a form, and they filled a piece of paper for you to hold up for the camera. The information on this form was your name, mobile number, age and contact email.
There were 5 rooms in which were one casting director each and a camera. You entered, Said your name to camera and answered a small question about your monologue, and held your information sheet up in front of camera.
Once it was over, that was it. Done and dusted. So overall, my experience with these open auditions is that the wait is incredibly long, for little less than 5 minutes in a room to prove yourself...
These auditions are mostly superficial and everything about you can factor or alter your fate.. you're too small, you're too blonde, etc..
But these auditions are fun! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, and the people in the queue are amazing! And we're all there for the same reason, there isn't much of a 'competition' atmosphere because it is mostly superficial.
So if you go, have fun! You could bring a book or headphones but you'll find that talking to people in the queue is a way more effective way to pass time! Bring food, and also always bring your headshot just in case, some productions take them, some do not. But better safe than sorry.
Don't be put off by the amount of people there, if you're going... Have fun! Just go with it and enjoy the experience!
Again, I'm so sorry about the poorly written state of this blog, I'm pretty exhausted! But I thought I might just take the time to express my thoughts on open auditions, so I hope this helps! And now there is nothing you can do, except to play the waiting game...
So in reference to 'Red Rock', it was so recent that I'm still currently playing that waiting game.... so... I'll let you know :P
Thanks for reading...