Author Topic: Auditions: Open Call Auditions in NEW YORK!!?!?!  (Read 5562 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Tourist
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Auditions: Open Call Auditions in NEW YORK!!?!?!
« on: Mar 17, 2006, 06:46 pm »
I have just been told i will in running an open call audition in New York City, Nola Studios, Which i have never done before. the theatre i work for is in the midwest and non-eqity. I would like to know what to expect? any tips would be incrdibly helpful! I've never even been to New York City let along run an all day open call audition with New York Actors.

i need words an expeirence and wisdom!

thank you!
« Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 12:28 pm by PSMKay »


  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA/AEA
Open Call Auditions in NEW YORK!!?!?!
« Reply #1 on: Mar 18, 2006, 12:46 pm »
Non-union open call?  Easy gig.  

Be there 30 min early.  Set up chairs & a table.  Bring a clipboard, paper, pencils, a stapler, a fat sharpie, scotch tape, and your stopwatch (just in case).  You might need to make some ghetto directional signs:  So&So Auditions -- 3rd Floor, Studio A.

Ask the director/casting folks if they want one and a time or more, and if they'd like you to check with them before sending the next.

Get them to sign in with you as they show up.  Maintain order and have the next actor(s) ready to go.  

Know where the water fountain and restrooms are located.

Mac Calder

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 972
  • Gender: Male
  • Plan for the future, live for the now
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Live Performance Australia / Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance
  • Current Gig: Technical Director
  • Experience: Former SM
Open Call Auditions in NEW YORK!!?!?!
« Reply #2 on: Mar 18, 2006, 07:16 pm »
There are a few things I would check before the actual auditions too:

Does the director require a photograph of each applicant  (Some do, some don't, more often they fall in the later). If they do, you need to advertise that fact, and you need to have a camera on hand to take them if people have forgotten.

You need a nice big table for people to fill in forms on, and you need a nice big table for the pannel.

If it is a musical, you need a pianist and a tape/cd player

Have plenty of water lying arround - both in the waiting room and in the audition room.

Schedule breaks. Even if more people turn up than you expect, make sure that the pannel of selectors get a break, and that you yourself take one.

Find out if they want the whole thing taped. It is a royal pain in the rear when they do, but sometimes it makes life easier down the road. Usually I would not suggest taping at an open audition, but on callbacks, certainly.

Find out if the pannel will be conducting callbacks today, or later on, and if they wish to advise the auditionees of their callback immediatly, or if they wish to go through a short listing process and for you to call them later.

--Outline of an average (non union) open audition for me--
Auditions open at 9am. I arrive at 7:30/8am
I ensure I have the following:
Lots of pens
Black markers
Cups and water jugs
Cd player
Spike tape (mainly if recording)
Audition registration forms
Audition evaluation forms
2 tressel tables
2 outbox/inbox type trays

The waiting room: Tressel table along one wall, with a sign on it saying "REGISTRATION". I will usually make a few copies of the script, or at least excerpts of the script available, as well as placing a pile of pens and audition registration forms there. I usually like to have someone behind the table to accept registrations and place them in a pile, ordered by who submitted first. I also make sure that there is access to plenty of water - I have a small water cooler (about 4 litres) which I bring, and a stack of plastic cups.

The audition room: Tressel set up at the back of the room with chairs for yourself and members of the panel. At each place (Maybe your own, maybe not, ask the director) put a pen, and an audition evaluation form. At your place, put the stapler and the two 'outbox/inbox type' trays. Place a couple of jugs of water on the table and cups at each location. Spike a 'space' out for them - either an X or a space, and place a chair. Place a sign on the door "Knock and wait for admitance"

How the day runs: Doors open, people register, person behind the desk calls out the first name, hands them their form and they walk into the audition room, handing the form to you. The audition is run, you gather the forms and staple them behind the registration form, and each member of the panel gives a yay or nay. Now depending on what you agree on before hand, often if it is the majority are nay, they go into one tray, otherwise they go into the other, sometimes it would only be if all are nay. Sometimes, they dont want them sorted out. Anyway, whilst this is happening, outside, the 'registra' has told the second person to go through, and you can call for them to enter, and the thing repeats. ALL DAY. with a break for lunch of course.


  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SMA
  • Current Gig: Caroling, caroling now we go — and looking for my next gig!
  • Experience: Professional
Open Call Auditions in NEW YORK!!?!?!
« Reply #3 on: Mar 18, 2006, 09:11 pm »
I would strongly suggest you chat w someone there who works as an AEA monitor - it will be the form folks are used to.

Much of what was said is very valid with a few adjustments, I think.
Depending on your role, you may not be an observer inside the room, rather leaving the table and chairs to the auditors. Don't assume anything - AEA monitors usually are outside the room, and for SMs who monitor for their own company, it's about 50-50 inside or out.

When you are setting up, if there are mirrors try to line up the room so neither the auditors nor the auditionee is looking at him- or herself during the actual call.

Having signed in the actors in order of arrival, we gather photos (a group of 6-10 at a time) and line folks up - the actors on deck, who go into the room alone, can normally be responsible for following each other into the room as the person ahead exits. As that line gets down to 2-3 folks, you then line up the next pile behind the last person in the group before. That quick breather of you bringing in the stack of headshots every 6-10 actors allows a window where needed for a pit stop or a stretch, to relay any information or to pass along notes, among other things.

Either way, you need someone who remains outside the room to liaise with the actors waiting in the holding area. They will need chairs, water, a place to pace and to quietly run lines of vocalize or chat that doesn't get in your way, nor creates an issue for those actually inside the room.

Are you or they responsible for the basics (accompaniest, water, snacks, etc)?  

and good luck! keep a sense of humor, bring water and munchies for yourself and something to read/do in case the call is light.