How to Prepare a BFA Audition
Sophomore BFA candidates for performance and production concentrations explain how they prepare for the program's audition.
This week marks the most important week thus far for sophomores at Hofstra University: BFA Audition Week. About twenty performance and production BFA candidates rushed to and fro silently mouthing their monologues or making sure their designs were drafted correctly and ready to be presented.
The air was alive with buzz of who'd get picked and who's saying/presenting what. I took advantage of the occasion to pull aside 10 of the candidates and ask them: "How do you prepare for your BFA audition?" Hopefully you'll find a tip or two that you'll take with you next time you step into the audition room.
Taylor Alvarez, Production: "It all has to do with showing up to class and showing a very big interest in working hard and having a good attitude about it. Since I'm focusing on the directing concentration, I always go back and make sure that my concepts make sense and make sure that they're up to par with what we all think the BFA represents."
Stay Positive and Comfortable:
Will Atkins, Performance: "Just make sure you have a positive attitude, and you are progressing and showing the teachers that you want to do the work. "I chose monologues that I liked so that I'd be comfortable with them. I'm not auditioning to get into the shows, I'm auditioning to show that I like what I do."
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat:
Jenna Davi, Performance: "I like to write them down and repeat them [the monologues] over and over again for memorization purposes. I will do this in front of a mirror so that way I can get comfortable with myself and see what I look like and how I perform."
Manage Your Time:
Noah Elhai, Production: "I'm making sure that I'm on the ball with keeping to a schedule. I'm applying for design (either set or costume), and I'm sort of inherently terrible at time management, so I've been asking a couple of my stage manager friends to help me plan out a schedule and manage my time well."
Release the Pressure:
Jessica High, Performance: "I stand in a hot shower and let the boiling beads of water roll off my skin and silently weep to myself till I no longer feel. Then I go to my audition… For real though, the most important thing for me is just remembering throughout the whole process to not put too much pressure on myself. Making sure that I do lots of breathing exercises and really focus on calming."
Go Beyond Expectations:
Jen McPhail, Performance: "Teachers really take into account all the work you've done and not just the specific performance audition. Basically I've just been making sure that I've been trying really hard in my classes and doing what the teachers expect of me; meeting with teachers outside of class, progressing the way that they like, etc."
Max Seijas, Performance: "I read all of the plays that are being produced for the spring semester, and went through scenes that I thought I could easily do. I then did text analysis of my monologues to ensure that I knew exactly what I was saying. I worked on them by myself to make sure that I had the basics that I thought were necessary."
Paige Spinola, Performance: "I like to pick my monologues well in advance. I memorize them and once I've got them down, I'll start saying them repeatedly in the shower or while watching TV during commercials or in the standing room line [for Broadway]. Then I'll record myself a couple of times. I time myself a lot. I'll keep a stopwatch to see how fast or how slow I'm going."
Keep It Normal:
Isaiah Stanley, Performance: "The day of my audition I try to keep it as normal as possible because if you make your day feel different, then it just makes your audition feel too monumental and you won't do the best you can."
Rachel Sutter, Performance: "A lot of what we're doing is confidence. Confidence will get you a callback, that alone. You don't necessarily have to be the best actor. Self-talk, bumping up your self-esteem is important; surrounding yourself with people who are going to give you positive feedback."