Knowing how to behave in a rehearsal room can get you hired (or fired). Don’t know where to start? Read below for some tips.
Are you entering a professional rehearsal room for the first time? Or a seasoned actor that has had to take a break before returning to the stage? No matter what stage you are at in your career, it’s important to keep rehearsal room etiquette a priority. Remember, each person you meet could hire you for (or fire you from) your next gig! Here are 8 ways to to behave in a rehearsal room (according to me).
Tip 1: Arrive early and warm up
Arrive early and warm up. Athletes always warm up and so should artists. Being an actor requires athleticism of the mind, language and body. Do whatever it takes to get those tools in top shape for your audition.
Tip 2: Be real
We love human beings and we deeply respect different human beings. Please speak your mind, be straight forward. We might not agree with you on some points but that is ok, in fact it is welcomed.
Tip 3: Choose monologues from plays
Choose monologues from plays written for theatre not film dialogue or monologues. You are auditioning for theatre, a specific medium that is very different from film. Not sure what is the difference between film and theatre monologue is?
Tip 4: Study theatre
Study theatre, its history in Canada and around the world. Show off your knowledge, share your favourite theatre actors, theatre directors, and theatre shows you have seen.
Tip 5: See theatre shows
At least watch one in the week you audition. We might ask you about it. Conversation about theatre is just as important as the performance. It shows us your ability to understand and discuss characters, themes, genres and style.
Tip 6: Don’t Paraphrase
Please don’t paraphrase if asked to cold read or memorize a piece. Paraphrasing is ‘speaking the script approximately not exactly as written’. Someone took a lot of time and effort to write it, please be respectful of their work by actually memorizing what they wrote precisely.
Tip 7: Read punctuation and meaning
If you are not familiar with how to read punctuation or meaning, consider taking a workshop. These are two of the most useful skills for an actor to have.
Tip 8: Know about the Company
Read the mandate of the company and browse their website. Learn what’s their purpose, and what they do. Imagine you are hiring someone. Would YOU hire a person who only wants money from you but doesn’t actually care about the job? An employment is a relationship. For this relationship to work there needs to be mutual interest from both sides. We want to get to know you, but do you want to get to know us? And once you do, do you want to spend many hours of your life with us?
Tip 9: Nice to socially meet you
Browse through the social media of the company. See what’s posted, find what speaks to you. Follow us on social media and like the posts you enjoyed. It is a way for you to express support for what we do.
Tip 10: The 3 Pillars
Our work with actors is based on three pillars: character’s relationships, actions, and reflection of the world. Think about what relationship a character you’re playing has with the people, objects, events, times and places in their life. The word acting derives from actions. What actions does your character do? What are they thinking in the moment and what are they doing? These are three different things. Most importantly, we don’t need you to emote or feel anything. With a combination of thought and action we want you to make us feel something as audience members. That is what theatre is about: the actors using their reason and skills to think and perform actions that make the audience feel powerfully and identify with the actors. Choose a monologues based on how well it reflects today’s world not when it was written.