To Be or Not To Be…Prepared for Your Audition

Are you a serious actor? Want to be one? Want to try out for your high school musical this year?

Any role in a theatrical performance starts with an audition. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is your first place to go for almost everything you will need.

You can look at just how much material we have in the catalog on the subject Acting Vocational Guidance. Here are a few to get you started:

Mike Fenton’s Actors Workshop [DVD] – a video seminar on how to go about starting a career in acting, including a section on headshots and resumes.

6 Steps to a Successful Acting Career [DVD] – about getting started, skills you need, and self-promotion.

The Acting Bible: The Complete Resource for Aspiring Actors by Michael Powell. Everything you didn’t know that you didn’t know. Advice on both the art and business sides of acting.

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The Ultimate Young Actors Guide: Getting the Role and Making it Shine by Cindy Marcus. This book is in our Teen Department. It’s about how to prepare for an audition and how to get into character.

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How to Sell Yourself as an Actor – 6th ed.  This book is in JCEC (Job & Career Education Center). It is a frequently updated volume for the aspiring actor of today (like you!).


You will need a good monologue, something that fits both you and the role you are trying out for. We have tons of choices! We have monologues for teens, men, women, from the contemporary stage, from classic literature, and of course from Shakespeare.

You can try using the ultra-broad approach by clicking the subject heading Monologues, or you can narrow your choices by using a keyword search like “monologues and teen.”

I like this one:

All Gall : Malicious Monologues & Ruthless Recitations  adapted from the French by Norman R. Shapiro ; illustrated by David Schorr.
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An audition for a musical role will also require you to prepare a song. We have song books. Hundreds – no, thousands. The Music Department has piano/vocal scores by musical, movie, voice type, age group (teens, kids), gender, and even song type such as for belters or the ingénue.

You might try The 16-Bar Theatre Audition: 100 Songs Excerpted for Successful Auditions (different editions for different voice types). You can search for the specific show you want or you can even search for a specific song. Put quotations around the song title in an advanced keyword search, and choose Music Score under Material Type. Here is an example: “I’ll never fall in love again.” If you need help choosing or finding a song, the expert staff in the Music Department can help you.

Here are a few books to help you ace the musical audition:

The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition by Andrew Gerle.
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Rock the Audition: How to Prepare For and Get Cast in Rock Musicals by Sheri Sanders.

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Once you get the role, you might have to learn how to speak English a little differently than the way you do now. We have just the thing:

Acting With an Accent is a series of books on CD that you can listen to and practice with.


Finally, here are a few links to local theater groups. You can find the best match for the type of acting you want to do:

Theaters and Theater Companies in Pittsburgh from the library’s resource guides.

Another list of regional Pittsburgh Theater Companies

-Joelle

By the way, if you want to stage a production, we have librettos, scripts, full vocal scores, and information about licensing agencies.

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