Audition Nerves


  • To audition – to assess the suitability of someone for a performing role

We’ve reached the end of our marvellous season of varied workshops, and it’s that time again. My heart thumps, my palms are clammy and my voice rises a couple of octaves at the thought …(and I’m not auditioning).

But we’re not scary here at WOAS! We’re a friendly, welcoming group, and we believe our auditions reflect that.

I first observed the auditions for The Tempest in 2012 and was impressed with how gentle, kind and encouraging they were. Far too nervous to actually take part: I’d never done any acting, you see, but got involved as prompter and loved it…

A year later, emboldened by attending workshops (see previous blog – I told you how great they were!) and realising that I performed daily in my teaching job, I dared audition for The Merry Wives of Windsor. I didn’t care which part – I just knew I wanted to take part, and that’s been my modus operandi for the other 5 times I’ve auditioned . I was thrilled that time to get the tiny part of Abraham Slender, who didn’t say much, but got lots of audience laughs – the perfect part for me.

I’ve also been on the directorial team four times – and I can assure you that auditions are just as nerve-wracking and exciting on that side of the fence.

I’ve come to understand that there’s far more to casting than simply being good at a specific part. Most plays involve family and friend groupings – fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the apt phrase Sheila used (and still uses) is to ‘fit the jigsaw together.’ In WOAS, we’re happy to stretch the disbelief of the obliging audience to its absolute limits as we’re all obviously so young-looking (!) but a son really shouldn’t look older than his father…! The Comedy of Errors even required two pairs of identical twins (and was managed brilliantly). 

The auditions are much like workshops. We might play warm-up games, ask you to read from a scene or two, more than one character, see how you work with others. You may have a preferred named character (and we may ask you to ‘try out’ something). Fitting the puzzle pieces together is a challenging task for the directors, and can lead to headaches! The enthusiasm and talent of those auditioning never fails to amaze me.

If you’re thinking of auditioning for Much Ado, there’s still time. If you’re dithering – why not give it a go? There’s nothing to lose! Book in with Lesley and Sheila here, or by contacting them through the Facebook page.

I wish you the very best of luck – and can’t wait to see the cast-list!