The Adventures of a First Time Director: Auditions

Auditions
The directors (US) on the first night of auditions!

Wow what a crazy blur the past couple of days have been.  This week my co-director, Emily, (of THOROUGHLYEMILY) and I started on our adventure of being first time directors.  We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction into the directing world than we got.  All of our hard work promoting our auditions for the past couple of weeks paid off and we had a total of 46 adults and children tryout for our show, Miracle on 34th Street: The Play.  We were both so blown away having so many amazing people tryout for us and are so blessed that they took a chance on us newbie directors.

We started auditions off by introducing ourselves and letting people know how everything would work. Then it was time to take out seats and start calling names. (It think we were to most nervous we had been at this point.)  It was a little chaotic the first day having so many people there to audition (not that this was a bad problem) and not quite being prepared for that many to show up.  Though as we got through the first couple sets of people, we started to get a better hang for it and in no time we were cruising along.  The hardest part was probably making sure that we got everyone to read at least twice and for different parts.  A nice thing was that some of those people from the first night came back to the second and we were able to read them in more in the parts that we were starting to envision them playing.  The second night of auditions seemed to go a bit more smoothly.  Probably mostly due to the fact that we didn’t have quiet as many people there but also I like to think that we just had figured out what to and not to do.

Even though auditions were a little crazy to start off, they ran pretty smoothly for us. I would say this was largely due to the fact that we were fairly well organized and made sure we had everything ready in advanced. To do this we started meeting a little over a month ago, around every other week, so that we could make sure we were on the same page and figure out what each of us needed to be doing to get ourselves ready for auditions and just directing in general.  During our meetings we came up with different ways that we could promote auditions for our show.  Some of these ways where:

  • Postcards:  We sent out postcards about auditions to people that who normally don’t tryout at the playhouse but have been in shows in the past or we knew might be interested in giving it a shot.  We also wrote personal notes to everyone on the postcards.
  • Emails:  We sent out an email to the list of playhouse members letting them know about auditions.  Also to get a lot of children to tryout we had my dad, who directs the Yorkshire Playhouse Children’s Theatre during the summer, send out a email to all of the parents who’s children had done children’s theatre in the past.
  • Social Media:  Whenever we would get together or do something to get ready for auditions or the show, we would post on our personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Then the week or so before and of auditions we started posting about when and where auditions would be taking place not only on our personal social media accounts but also through the Yorkshire Playhouse’s Facebook as well.  By doing this, re-posting and liking the Playhouse’s post and each others, we were able to get some people that might not necessarily known about auditions otherwise.
  • Posters:  Though we didn’t put up many, we hung a couple audition notices at the playhouse during the currents show’s performances.  I also hung one up on my office door in hopes that we could get some the college students to tryout.
  • Word of Mouth:  Everyone we would see, we would tell them to audition for the show and to have their friends and family also tryout.  Also our family would let people know about auditions and tell them to tryout for us.

Overall we couldn’t have asked for a better turn out for our Miracle on 34th Street: The Play  auditions, but we probably wouldn’t have had the amazing turn out that had if we hadn’t put in the little extra work that we did to promote and prepare for them.  I can’t wait to continue on our crazy journey into the world of directing.  I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who auditioned for us newbies, all of you were so great and made our job so much harder, and we can’t wait to start working with our amazing cast!

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