Generally speaking, if you are heading to a group musical theatre audition, then you are heading into what the business commonly knows as a ‘cattle call’. You’ll most likely perform in groups and the panel of creative team members decide if they want to see you in the next round, and the next, and the next. It can be gruelling at times, long days and lots of energy spent working hard.
Whether you are a dancer who can sing, a singer who can move or an all round triple threat, you are bound to find yourself in a cattle call for a big show one day, here are some tips to get you through the first one.
1. Early bird
If not just for looking professional, you’ll want to be early to find a good spot in the waiting room/studio/stage wherever they put you and claim your bag space for a few warm up stretches before you go in.
2. Packed lunch
It may be a long day and you may not get a chance to get out to the shop next door for some food. It’s a safe bet to pack your lunch and graze in your breaks as to keep the energy up.
3. All the shoes
In some dance calls you don’t know what they’ll throw at you, so if you’ve got them, bring all the shoes you have, character heels, jazz sneakers, ballet flats or point if the show requires, and tap shoes, but I’m sure you’ll be warned about that one.
4. Your music and more
If you get through the singing call, of course, you will have the music to a song you’ve been practising for this particular moment. Even better is one or two more in different styles up your sleeve, just in case.
5. Girls wear your hair back
Long hair worn out in a dance call is a definite no-no, the people casting this show want to see your face, so let them!
6. Put a face on
Treat it as if you are going to work. Show them what you’ve got and put makeup on.
7. Change of clothes
After the dance call, take a moment to change into something nicer for the singing call. Show them who you really are when you are not sweating and kicking your heels behind your head.
8. Know yourself
You may need to fill in some forms about yourself when you hand your photo and CV in, make sure you can actually fill everything out! Name, agent, age and phone number, but it may also need you to fill out how tall you are, dress size, shoe size.
9. Make friends
If you are there most of the day you’re bound to strike up a conversation or two, you may even know some faces from classes. Don’t be afraid to say hello, you’re all in this together!
10. Have fun
Cattle calls can be gruelling, but they can also be a roaring great time. The camaraderie with your fellow auditionees and the friendships you can make in between calls is a great way to meet fellow thespians. So enjoy it, even if you are cut earlier than you had hoped.