Audition Notes November 13th & 20th 2007

Current members could work together, but no more than than two in a group and equivalent to two minutes per person. Something new, different, risky!? but well prepared and presented to indicate their respect for and commitment to the company. Potential new members had to prepare (i.e. learn and rehearse) an individual piece of two minutes in length.
If they were short of ideas, they were advised to look at the pages on previous auditions on NYT home page.

Three Common problems they were all asked to consider from February 07
1-Rushing - Having learnt the lines, it isn't just a matter of getting them out as fast as we can, Think about varying the pace for effect, shifting volume and tone or pitch of voice.
2-Wandering - We see as much as we hear, so always make sure you know where you are, and why for every bit of your performance. Otherwise the shuffling and wandering become a distraction.
3-"That's it" - Never, Never, Never finish a piece with "that's it!" It sounds like you couldn't care less and reminds the audience that it is a mewling, puking child who has just done their party piece, rather than an actor who has just created a character for them.

Issues from this session
1- Internet monologues- whilst they might serve your turn, one of the ideas for doing auditions regularly is for you to find real plays , read them and then select sections, to demonstrate understanding of character etc.
2- Self-penned pieces can be very unhelpful in the audition process, trying to work on two things at once, structure, direction, intention at the same time as performing, blocking, pace, timing, focus etc.
3-Preparation, commitment to the piece and your performance of it, learning the piece, blocking the piece, focus and concentration

name piece comments
1-Jade E no show
2-Chris W no show
3-Francesca L Estelle-No Exit

Interesting choice- with scope to work. Confident, vocally clear, and expression got better towards the end. Learnt, created character with sense of jaded elegance. Needed a bit more Vavavoom (energy) in performance. Lost it, but recovered, and drew us right into it - well done.
Don't know the piece? Start here

4-James S Ui- Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Good role to choose, learnt, shaped and 'loved' but could have had a bit more fun with an accent, that BB would have loved. Wandering and shuffling a bit, but just needed a bit more direction in order to free up some of the potential 'presence' obvious. Lots of potential pieces in this play, especially actor/Ui duo.
Don't know the piece? Start here

5- no show
6-Ben M own piece

Good voice, good eye contact, engaged the audience, but needs to get eyes up, thought about behaviour with a sense of presence, need to think of whole body in character, balancing on one foot with two broken ribs is asking for trouble! - or setting up expectations in the audience as in "he's going to fall over in a minute and that will hurt!"
Tip for all - whilst it might seem easier to create your own piece, don't give yourself a double headache. Here there was sensational (perhaps too much) scenario being described, but the structure of the writing did not help the acting. Better to find something

7- no show
8-Rebecca B Tomorrow/Annie
Well organised, came with own backing and recorder, Tuneful and accurate rendition, with good 'build' in the song. Looked a bit "rabbit in the headlights", static, arms hiding in sleeves, despite her ability to sing the song and be pleasant to listen to.
9-Holly C own?prayers
Good dynamic use of voice and timing, good clocking of the audience and expression, while reading with actions and gesture. Could it have been done without script? possibly. good idea for person who made bikes
10-Natalie D own
There's a powerful voice here that was lost in reading, together with any sense of movement because glued to the paper. Think about using eyes to amplify the facial expression used and getting more physicality into what you do.
11-Hannah L own/prom
No messing here, confident direct confrontation and eye contact with audience- we knew she was telling us. Created 'other' characters well and the use of the telephone/timing was first class- well-rehearsed.
12-Sophie H Whole New World

Here was a lively face, good expression and gesture gave us a visual sense of the sentiment of the song, to go with what seemed like a good voice, but difficult to hear sometimes because of the backing with vocal - could you have done this a cappella?
Tip for all-avoid singing to the actual recording, the vocal line gets in the way of your own voice. If you can't get/don't have the backing track, try doing it unaccompanied

13-Claudia C own
This piece of writing had some shape which was helpful to the performer, and she delivered this very well. Very Clear and confident with no fear of moving, this had been well-prepared, - rehearsed! well done
14-Nicole C Her Big Chance

Good piece, lots of potential fun to bring out, eyeballed the audience and kept their focus, very well learnt and some good expression, keeping the outrageous, ordinary. Enjoyable. Lots of good pieces in Bennett's Talking Heads Series

15-Martha M-L Stars

Clear powerful voice good vocal dynamics in the piece. Eye focus slipped to floor sometimes and movement at times a little uncontrolled, but when you engaged the audience, they were with you entirely. Think about how you can use your head to point lines for the audience. Natural, comfortable performance that put us at ease and masked any possible nerves.
Check out the writer, although this play doesn't appear on the wiki-list.

16-Freddie S monologue
Excellent start to think off-stage, creating an 'other' and throughout we were given time to think along with the character. Rushed the dialogue a bit at times so we lost it but good tidy performance.
17-Angela N when you believe
beautiful voice - very off-putting start to the audition for the others!! confidently sung, but hardly any reference to the audience, might as well have been on the radio. thankfully not too much Dion-vibrato waivering about the note, it's time to develop your own style rather than imitating and you have the vocal equipment to do it.
18-Rebecca S I Feel Pretty

West Side Story Song, sung well, tune moved about a bit but so did the singer which was good that you had thought about that.
Check out the rest of it.
Try this -

19-Simmion G impro
Very short- at least made an effort but there's much more here as we saw later. in the workshop. Good diction that's an asset worth developing.
20-Joanne G &
21 Marie H
Tracy Beeker
This was oddly positioned so that at one stage you managed to completely mask each other-no mean feat! there was clarity in the speech so we were able to follow, but do think about what it looks like as well as how it sounds.
22-Carly N no show
23-Melissa C &
24 Bethany D
This piece suffered from nose-to-nose sitting-on-chairs-drama where we hardly saw your faces until half way through and a telephone call was taken with back to us so we did not even have the benefit of seeing your facial reaction to the call. But it was loud enough to follow and you captured a good shift in temperament. need some good advice, as you had clearly thought this through and rehearsed it.
25-Olivia W Adrian Mole
This got better as it went on. There was rather a lot of waiving of hands, and an uncomfortable static posture assumed, but as the character began to come out, quite a lot of this disappeared, thankfully as it was a good vocal delivery with verbal clarity.
26-Evie S Blood Bros
Our Sammy, a classic for expression and clarity of diction within the dialect and this was handled well. Good use was made of the face and a strong vocal delivery, concentration slipped but got it back, well done.
27-Samantha R &
28-Charlie L
My Mother Said I Never Should

The older character was played too much away from us, often upstage from the audience so we missed quite a bit of that. Be aware of your audience, not just 'the' audience, 'your' audience. It had been well prepared with a real sense of the speech and dialogue so it was a pity that some of it got lost.
The younger role was delivered with power and awareness, but too much profile for the audience. Clearly understood the dynamics of the piece, but rather face-to-face in delivery.
Tip for all-Profile for any length of time is quite uninteresting, not to say ugly for the audience to watch, they want to see reaction on the face if half of it is turned away and the other half is facing sideways they don't get anything.
An interesting play to have a shot at with lots of duologues to pick, check it out.

29-Nakeem D not yet
30-Baqir B &
31-Nawaal B
own duologue
Used the fact they were brother and sister to construct a piece. Good try but this needed more substance to allow the abilities of both to come through. Some muttering and wandering from B, but obviously aware of what was meant to be going on. S moved about a lot but there was a sense that this had been blocked intentionally. Vocally, S was very clear and was giving a drive to the piece.
32-Tiger C-T I'd Do Anything
This was very powerful and tuneful with expression, gesture, presence and it used the audience. It slipped a bit, but was pulled back without much fuss.
33-Nicole T not yet

34-Daniel A
35-Kera F

Shakespeare medley

A good idea, but needed more purpose to it. A lot of moving about, but to what purpose? K reading(?) the part of messenger then another part, but not very clear overall what it was all about.
There is no problem in borrowing from others , but there does need to be some purpose behind it.
"Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal" T.S.Eliot

36-Misty-Rose D
37-Bianca T
Blood Brothers dialogue and poem

Micky was corpsing and spoilt what was clearly a well-prepared and rehearsed piece. The freer movement of Micky reflected his more open character which indicated that there was understanding of the piece. Edward was clearly drawn, the innocent to Mickey's street-wise, clear vocally, learnt rehearsed with some real sense of timing on the lines. It was very well worked.
Tip for all-Corpsing - performers laughing at their own jokes- is, 99% of the time, embarrassing for the audience and makes the performers look immature and silly. You have to be very good at improvisation to be able to turn an error/stumble, giving rise to corpsing, into something shared with the audience but still within the general context of the piece. You can aspire to that 1% by getting as much experience of performing as possible and seeing as much performance work as you can.

38-James S Nothing at All & monologue
Accompanied himself on guitar, singing very clearly with reference to the audience. Very sympathetic piece, then showed us a different side through the monologue of the arrogant character played with confidence. Again confidence was distracted but he got it back very well.
39-Helen W Monologue
This talked to us very naturally about whiney friends. A mature approach with purposeful voice and clear diction that drew us into the character being created. A little rushed at times, possibly nerves, which looked more obvious in comparison to the ease with which the rest of the piece was delivered. Quite a reserved use of hands and arms, used occasionally to emphasise expression but often very neutral again contrasted with the overall comfortable delivery.
40-Eva M Monologue
Casting Call with Erica. Good shift in the character with a real sense of pace and timing in the delivery. An understanding of the humour potential for the audience and she made sure she shared it with us. Accomplished piece.
41-Meshach D Monologue
Shaving queries. very short and could have done more BUT it was delivered clearly so we could hear it, which is what needs working on, it had some comedy that needs more confidence in the fact that others might also find it funny.
42-Nicole S Tea Break
Mrs Mooney, had powerful clear vocals and used the malapropisms well, eg "decimation", "repugnant", (pity the audience didn't appreciate them more!) could have made more of the age possibly, but see below. Nice use of the audience at a distance, but was the table really necessary? The way it was used raised questions about how old she was, as sitting on a table with crossed legs may not be the easiest of moves for the older person. very well learnt and prepared, not sure about the Northern caricature, but perhaps that's just my Lancashire sensibility.
43-Katie N Mother Courage

Good stab, learnt, but focus wandered until it was pulled back. It was clear if a bit rushed in places, but she was a bit too 'nice'. MC is as rough as old boots, a great part to play and some good duologues and characters in the play as a whole. Check it out.

44-Jake Mc Monologue
This was a purposeful and clear performance on tricks. Short, but clearly delivered with a sense of the role. Be aware of the one arm/hand acting, and the repetition of emphatic arm gestures, but better to have too much activity to control than none in the first place. Used variety in the vocal range and something longer would have offered more opportunity to play. Much more possible-stretch yourself.
45-Chris G Monty Python
Taken from the script of MP and the Holy Grail, but playing all the parts, nice idea, gave us a feel for your sense of humour, it was selected well for maximum delivery impact, different, made people sit up and watch. well done.
46-Lottie B Poem
Love will find out the way ? - but did you care about this love? about what the poem was saying? It was clearly delivered, but too much concentration on remembering the lines caused fiddling feet and hands. Much more potential there than we saw, if GS3 was anything to go by. 'Nerves' can be helpful and help you focus, 'worry' is distracting.
47-Chelsi T Annie-Little Girls
Well prepared piece, with good use of minimal, but significant props. Sang unaccompanied and kept the tune very well. Lost concentration at one point, but did not let that hinder her, got it back without fuss and carried on. well done.
48-Jamie RT Jabberwocky

"I have a big sword for a prop" and he used it well. semi-nonsense poem, with a story. Made good sense of it with gesture and some movement. Intelligently performed with a real sense of entertainment. Watch the eye focus, learn to scan all the audience, to include them.

49-Hannah B Monologue
Cinderella's step-sister speaks out. Well-thought through, learnt, prepared, confidently delivered. Sense of comedy indicated to the audience with a twinkle, worked the final line well in terms of timing "Princey, here I am!" good fun. Need to look more widely now at a range of parts to use some of that confident skill and preparation - stretch yourself.
50-Josie MW own piece
Obviously thought a bit about this, but still in gestation, father a NY fire officer on Sept 11-internet influenced possibly? Consequently this was fighting itself a lot of the time rather than communicating to us. The delivery was clear but on a rather restricted vocal range, so it was all on a monotone. Last line "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" (Thanks to Joni Mitchell) however helped to shape the piece more fully and came as a welcome surprise at the end.
Tip for all-This type of monologue uses second-hand empathy in which the character wallows. We all know what happened on 9/11, sadly many died including firemen, many relatives were affected, but in order to make this more interesting, it would have been better for us to learn/discover the setting and situation at the end having been led on a journey as the character was created. The "I remember it like it was yesterday..." drama monologue convention is over-used and should be avoided.

51-Erin Q
52-Natalie E

Good dialogue piece into Consider Yourself. Dodger took control of the scene, as he should, and it was obvious that this performer was enjoying playing the character. It communicated well. Oliver was more subdued, but should not be following, he has a role in the piece as well, he is the lead after all. So whilst the dialogue was audible, it was significant that O was seen to step back a lot after offering 'his' lines. You have to decide the status of the characters, establish it and maintain it. He's not entirely sure about Dodger, but he must be seen to gradually accept inclusion in Dodger's world, or the song the dialogue is leading up to doesn't make sense.
Tip for all-If you enjoy doing it it is likely that the audience will enjoy watching and listening to it.
53-Simon C MND epilogue
Puck's epilogue is an entreaty to the audience to applaud -"give me your hands"-if they have enjoyed the play. Got through it here but only just. Needs more preparation and then concentration in delivery and taking the idea of performing seriously, even if a light, comic role to play, if ever going to get over the feeling of awkwardness. Can do it - need to apply yourself to other characters more, rather than trying to create Simon as a 'character'. It might entertain your friends, but others won't be impressed until you can channel the ideas, talk, chat into something structured and polished.
54-Luke C Arturo Ui

The accent was flexible, but there was the persuasive subtlety, good timing on "more outside" to underline the pressure being applied. Very clearly delivered if a little static. Protection of the vegetable traders speech and there are more useful scenes, characters from this funny play on the rise of Hitler. Again another Brecht role that notable actors aspire to, not the least of which was Leonard Rossiter, who played Ui at Nottingham Playhouse in April 69 prior to the West End:

55-Roxie K Conversations with a Golliwog

Clear, but rushed and too much profile. Much better when you let us see your very expressive face and reactions as you were creating different characters for us. Canny re-creates her friend Boswell for us.
Title by New Zealander one-hit wonder Alexander Guyan, but the early '60s progenitor of all the rocking, doll-holding, gone insane teen-girl coming to grips with insanity/reality-growing up monologues. Going back to the original was a better choice than writing - and performing one yourself (see Tip above) largely because he captures the sense of not knowing, uncertainty, innocence rather than what often is demonstrated in drama classes as indulgent, "I know and understand these things and I want to be serious about them and let you know I know" tedium.

56-Vanessa Mc
61-Zach BM

My Life in nyt
What this lacked in script value, tension, structure, character, dialogue and interest for anyone outside of NYT was more than made up for with the keen observation and insightful, nay flattering, caricatures. To be able to laugh at yourself is a major step in the maturation process, not just as performers, but people. Think this was universally enjoyed as something that these two had spent time on in creating something different. As we said on the day, there was a time when everyone returning from Edinburgh had to create their own sketch/revue piece for the post-Edinburgh cabaret. Very interesting, but now it has been done, it belongs to Zach & Vanessa, we don't want endless repeats....think of your own sketch ideas in future!
57-Melissa Mc Originality is Dead
There was a good sense of expression here in a piece taken seriously in terms of presentation. Some of the gestures were limited and needed extension.
Tip for all-In the real world, sadly, if you waive your arms about too much, people make comment and ridicule one, on stage however, it is most important to use all the tools at your disposal in order to get the message over. No, that doesn't mean semaphore (look it up if you don't know what that is!) but it does mean thinking about what you might look like.
58-Edward B The Vortex-Coward
Good character and creation of 'another' but had you thought about hands in pockets, a pianist?? but never tell us that you have forgotten your lines! Needed a bit more sense of the style of this
59-Calvin K Forest Gump
Didn't take this seriously enough - an impersonation, read most of it and in profile too, not representative of what is possible. Wasted skill and ability.
60-Hannah N St Joan
Vocally strong with good diction, but eye contact with singular audience caused this one to go onto the rocks. It was known sufficiently, but the concentration was too easily disturbed. Scanning the audience is crucial, otherwise the person upon which you focus feels uncomfortable and the rest of the audience feel left out.
62-Chloe C
66-Maddy B
Star Wars
Novel, different and deadly serious. This was a good idea, and despite the 'audience's' view that perhaps it was up for laughs, they both kept at it until they got the audience where they wanted them. Clear and confidently delivered, but avoid pulling up clothes when you are performing a
63-Sam R WWII monologue
Own monologue based on response to learning of atrocities of war. There seemed to be something of a mix up about which World War it was. There was good engagement with the audiencewith eye contact that offered conviction to the delivery of this and despite the comments above about writing your own, there was shape to this that also helped the dynamic.
64-Marcus C 5 kinds of silence

This was a disturbing performance and an interesting choice. It represented one of the key aspects of all our auditions, to look for new and have a try at it. Well done, introduced everyone to something fresh and exciting. Check out Shelagh Stephenson:

65-Ashley G Mack the Knife

Accomplished delivery of this song from The Threepenny Opera with good tone and tuning, a dynamic and confident rendition

67-Wolf B Monologue
Remarkable for the fact that it was learnt on the evening! The question is, what could he have done if he had prepared something properly?
68-Felicity H Monologue
a short somewhat half-hearted monologue as a thief. We don't need to know what it was learnt for, we want to feel that we are getting this individualised performance and at that time it is special. Why were the hands in the pockets? There was some sense of a character but you do have to be believe in what you are doing.