Previously on Confessions of a Rookie Director…
Not yet hit by the realisation of what he has committed to, our fearless director surges forth mostly oblivious to generally everything.
Five days before the auditions for my play Theatrical Knights, I am now prepared (including shiny audition pieces) and hopeful that people will not only show but in a number great enough to fill the board. There are only three pieces in this game, so surely all will be well?
Episode Two: Picking The Pieces
Since joining The Playhouse Theatre I have seen a few auditions, sitting quietly in the corner, keeping out of it. Picking my own cast in my mind, sometimes slightly different from the final decision, occasionally exactly the same.
I have also seen many different methods of approach at auditions. There are those that opt for just picking vast swathes of the play and allowing a selected group different chances to read the characters in turn. Others turn up with individual pieces printed off for repeated scenes, switching and rotating the performers, playing them off against one another in pursuit of the perfect blend. I have seen another, even in my inexperience, do it ever so wrong, and I have seen another where not one person arrived at the audition and they had to go off in pursuit of a cast (they were very much successful).
I have learnt from all of these and hope to be ready to almost get it right, or even just a little bit. I have selected the option of audition pieces rather than just plunge into the play. Carefully (well I hope) selected sections to allow the different characters to work together and get the opportunity in places for the performers to show the certain skills they need to have for this particular play.
However, that spectre of the one audition where no one came lies heavy on my shoulders. Sitting waiting in the theatre for someone, anyone to appear will be a prospect as a new director that scares me the most. I have said more than once in conversations with others about the play and my preparation and the pursuit of the end product, that I am happy to get at it – I know that it will either go right or wrong for many reasons because of me, the ball is in my court. However there is one ball though that continues to bounce out of the playing field I control, and that is the arrival of actors at the audition.
Confessions Of A Rookie Director | Episode 2
What if they are not interested in the play? What if they are concerned to be involved with this new guy who has spent the best part of four years just saying whether something is good or not and never proved anything of their own. I want to build it, but will they come?
As the play approaches, I have faith that I will give this a good shot, I can visualise scenes on stage already, the actors moving about from here to there, doing this and that. Saying this in that direction and entering here with that item, and not falling over that piece of furniture.
However, as they move about they still look like those early emerging pod creatures in the bodysnatcher films where their facial features are not quite clear. Hopefully this time next week I might be looking on with some improved clarity.
Auditions for Theatrical Knights take place at The Playhouse Theatre from 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th June. Further details can be found at theatricalknights.com