1) The King of the Warm Up
Hard to miss, they are flailing arms in a circular fashion while doing a variety of tongue twisters. You can hear their “What to do to die today?” from the moment you step into the hallway, and you’ll want to ask yourself the same question…
What to do: They may ask you to put your hands on their “womb space” while they focus on some grounding breaths. Do not. I repeat DO NOT engage. Also, three words for you: Noise. Cancelling. Headphones. Pop those suckers in your ears, enjoy a meditative space and focus on your own (hopefully less intrusive) warm ups.
2) The Doppelgänger
Especially common at callbacks. You walk into the waiting room, look around, and see a group of people that look vaguely like yourself. It’s odd. They turn to look at you, and you know everyone is thinking the same thing… “oh my god we could be septuplets!” It can be disarming.
What to do: Trust that you’ve done your homework. Your choices and unique energy will differentiate you from the crowd. If anything, take it as a reminder that you need to bring your own essence into the character. Yes my friends, as cliche as it sounds, always be yourself.
3) The Monologue Stealer
Maybe you hear them muttering it to themselves, or you see the script in their hands as a shiver runs down your spine. Yes, my friends. They’re doing the exact. same. monologue. as you. It’s bound to happen at least once in your acting career…no matter how “obscure” you thought your play was.
What to do: Similar to Doppelganger. Trust that your take will be enough to differentiate yourself. Also, it might be worth an emergency revisiting of your tool kit. Experiment with “Playing Opposites” (aka, making choices for your character that are opposite of expected…like playing with having the character laugh after your being told that their mom died,r whispering when the script says “scream”). Chances are, Mr. Doppelganger is making obvious, boring choices. Do not be like Mr. Doppelganger, be the opposite
4) The Stress Case
This figure most commonly appears in the form of one running the auditions, be it a stage manager or assistant. They’re usually seen flitting about, thermos in hand, talking loudly about how “they’re in tech for this show and have a meeting with that director and haven’t slept in thirteen days.” If someone asks if they need something, they usually respond with an overdramatic “I would LOOOOVE a coffee” and when it is brought to them, they respond an equally dramatic “I LOVE you. You’re a LIFESAVER.” TBH it feels more like power-play. Like “Hey, so I’m running this audition, but really it doesn’t mean anything to me because I’m SO busy.” Remember friends. Stress and snarkiness is not indicative of how important you are.
What to do: Don’t indulge them. Also don’t let yourself catch their crummy energy. Get as far away as you can (while still being able to hear if they call you. Obvs.) Maybe do some meditating or listen to a song that gets you in the zone.
5) The “Big Deal”
Casually works their Juilliard degree or child-star Broadway credit into conversations in what is clearly an attempt to intimidate the competition. Do not fall for it.
What to do: They may have a fancier resume but y’all are still here at the same audition. The playing field is level. Just get in there, do the work, and peace out, girl scout
6) The Underprepared
Will ask you to go over their monologue with them because they “just started memorizing this morning”.
What to do: Say something along the lines of “You know, I think I’m up soon. So I don’t think we’d have time.” Do not let someone’s lack of preparation distract you from your own warm up time. You’re not being mean, you’re being smart. You’re here because you are ready to work your butt off and book the role. This person, however, is not. Running lines with someone who is prepared and ready can be stimulating and full of discoveries. Running lines with someone just to help them get the lines right is doing nothing but costing you time and energy. Sidenote: this actually happened to me at college auditions. Dude…you knew this day was coming for like months.