I have a little down time right now during my 3rd round of auditions for this film, so I am going to take this time to talk about the things I do when planning an audition.
Finding a Location (The No-Budget Way)
DO NOT HOLD AUDITIONS IN A HOME OR APARTMENT
After graduating from film school, one of the first hurdles I encountered was not having access to the studios to hold my auditions. I held my first post-school auditions at a local public library, and quickly learned to scout the libraries before the audition to make sure they meet the following requirements - actually this is true of any place where you will be holding auditions:
1. You want a large enough room with at least one table and 1-3 chairs
2. Make sure there is a waiting area (preferably with seating) for auditionees and those who may accompany them. I tend to do this in the hallway right outside the audition room. If there is no room for a table to have snacks and sign up sheets out, bring a clipboard and have your greeter offer them something from inside the auditioning room.
3. If there will be screaming parts in the audition, you want to make sure the room is removed from the library section, or that it at least has complete walls to not distract or worry those that have no idea what is happening in the room. (Sensor yelled curse words in the library.)
****You want to book your room far in advance because people use the library for a million things. This week, Early Voting made me resort to another option which has turned out to be my favorite of all the spots I have held auditions: A Rec Center.
Look into the free resources your city has available. In Austin, The Dougherty Arts Center is a great place to hold auditions because it is set up for Theater groups, but it is hard to book - especially on weekends.
Other Free Places to Consider:
- rec centers
- community centers
- if you know someone with an establishment that is closed during reasonable hours
The People You Will Need (Don’t Do it on your Own)
1. A reader - Make sure they get to read the script or sides ahead of time and that they are proper readers. (Having someone else read lets you focus on the performance.)
2. A greeter - Have someone sitting outside the room, ready to welcome the auditions, making them and the people with them feel comfortable. They will set the tone for what they will expect from the film. ( I like to get my smiliest, nicest friends for this. )
3. Yourself ( who can be the reader, but is typically not a good idea unless you want to interact one on one with your actors for some good reason.)
4. Camera person (I like to record my auditions, but I always ask the actor for permission)
1. I like to take snacks and refreshments that are weather appropriate and presentable.
2. Print out signs that will guide your auditionees to your room/waiting area.
3. Print out a sign in sheet.
4. Print enough scripts for you, a reader and as many actors as will be auditioning at one time.
5. Give instructions to all who will be helping you.
6. Leave the place clean - you do not want to burn bridges for yourself or others!
Bonus: My co-producer printed out a questionnaire for auditionees so that we can get to know them and their restrictions such as fear of heights and what their hobbies are. It has been useful.