The Rundown: Audition Workshop with Valerie Curtis-Newton and Andrew Russell

15 Apr
Frank discussion around the table on Day 1.

Frank discussion around the table on Day 1.


eSe Taller/eSe Workshops is in full swing, with two workshops down, and three to go. Following is an account of our latest venture at Washington Hall.

Last Monday, 10 of us embarked on a 6-hour journey in the interest of both getting better at and partially demystifying The Audition Process for ourselves, with eSe Teatro’s guest instructors, local luminaries Valerie Curtis-Newton (of Hansberry Project and UW Theatre Dept) and Andrew Russell (of Intiman’s Summer Festival).

The first evening was spent around a table talking, mainly, about just *entering/leaving the room*:

1.)    Does your headshot convey what you want it to?

2.)    What type are you?

3.)    Which famous person do people say you look like or you’d like to emulate?

4.)    What is your energy like when you walk into the audition room?

5.)    How should you greet/treat the folks auditioning you?

6.)    How should you begin/end your showing of work?

We went around the table and looked at the headshots of those who’d brought them, with the instructors telling us honestly whether they’d call someone back or not based only on the photo and/or what they might possibly call them back for, which was extremely interesting, eyeopening and useful…possibly a little shocking to some participants.

This segued into a small discussion on type and again, we went around the table discussing those actors we’d always been compared with as well as those we’d LIKE to be compared with. Again, an interesting discussion and informative discussion.

We learned more about the do’s and don’ts of entering the room & greeting the folks on the other side of the table (always be friendly and easy-going!), as well as some of our instructors’ pet peeves in any given audition situation (don’t apologize for yourself or your work!) and some info on what they’d like to see (anything NEW!) when you’re up on your feet – watching 800+ monologues in any given situation can probably get a little mind-numbingly monotonous, especially with the advent of multiple repeats.

Given the sometimes brutally honest comments made in regards to our headshots and/or personal demeanor on Monday, there

Valerie demonstrating what NOT to do...

Valerie demonstrating what NOT to do…

was some tension in the air as we arrived for Wednesday’s portion of the workshop, which was spent entirely getting up, one by one, walking into the room and presenting/working audition monologues for feedback.

This portion of the class was even more useful, and the feedback helpful and constructive. Some participants were asked to enter the room more than once before monologues were even started – others were given physical, tactical and/or viewpoint suggestions (even as simple as “try it again sitting in a chair” or “pretend she’s right THERE”) that transformed their pieces tenfold.

Overall, the workshop was a wonderfully succinct and practical way to spend two evenings (and $75), and chock-full of both stock and personal  professional information that seemed to serve all participants well! Though of course, I guess we won’t know until we test it out in person!

If you’ve missed the first two eSe Taller workshops, you still have a couple chances left to participate coming up in May, with Danial Jaqeuz’s two workshops geared to Directors and artists interested in Adaptation, and Carter Rodriguez’s workshop geared towards actors wanting more exposure to Shakespeare’s work.

You can register and find more information by clicking here.

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in News


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