Tisch Drama

Audition season is coming and coming fast. You’ve begun to finish up your application, and now it’s time for the real work to start. If you’re like I was, it came faster than you were ready for, and with a whole ton of YouTube videos, Google searches, and finger crossing. Maybe you’re having nightmares of cattle calls with straight-faced auditioners in turtle necks. But fear not, from one drama student to another, here is my guidebook to acing your Tisch drama audition!

Marisa and Cast Mates
Two actors pulling on a rope
Prepare, Prepare, and Prepare Again

Now more than ever, it’s way too easy to loose track of deadlines and due dates. So, know your stuff! Make sure you submit documents when needed. Even when submitting online, make sure you have what you need! I remember running into the nearest CVS to print out a forgotten headshot day of, and I do not recommend. Also, take some time to get familiar with the program and its requirements. Feel free to look into what studio that you’re potentially interested in, but don’t feel pressured to decide or know 100 percent.

Show 'Em What You Got!

Picking material can be tough and it can be easy to become overwhelmed. However, remember to choose material that speaks to you. There are websites where you can find free/cheap scripts that you can filter based on topics, identity, and age. My college audition piece was from Kirsten Greenidge’s Baltimore, and I still use it to this day!  Also, look into the play you’re picking from, because they could ask you why you chose what you did. Additionally, make sure you’re getting feedback from trusted people, but at the end of the day, if you feel good about your piece it will show in the room! Also, don’t fret over what you’re going to wear. Dress nice (I love a solid turtle neck, hoop earrings, and black pants combo myself), but in your style! The big takeaway from this step is to own your choices.

Marisa and Cast mates dancing
The Moments Before

You’re about to go in the room, virtual or literal, and you can’t believe it’s really time. Take a moment for yourself, and remember, you’ve made it this far for a reason. Auditioning is scary! It’s vulnerable, but my NYU audition was my favorite. My interviewer was kind, and was truly speaking to me as not an number, but an artist. You’ve already done the work, so as cheesy as it sounds, have fun! Blow their socks off while you’re at it. Remember to breathe, and warm up your body as much as you need to. You’ll probably do some guided warmups in the audition, but it doesn’t hurt to do it on your own time. Lastly, say yes! Yes to the process, yes to the madness, and yes to yourself!

So You Want To Act, Huh?

After your audition comes the interview. Don’t stress! It’s a conversation about you, and what actor doesn’t love to talk about themselves? I’ve heard people say that they talked about everything from favorite films to why they began acting. I talked about Viola Davis for probably 2 minutes straight. The main things are to breathe, relax, and be yourself. Seriously. Don’t say what you think they want to hear, be honest about your creative process, what you love, and where you want to go. You don’t need to have all the experience in the world, or the best résumé, wherever you’re at is more than enough!

And Scene!

You’ve done it! My grandfather always tells me, “The hardest part is accepting that you did good.” As an artist, it’s too easy to think of all the things you could have done. As you wait to hear back, remember why you chose to audition. There’s something in you that wants to create, and you did the work and showed your very best self. You did your part, so just let the universe do what it does. Don’t be afraid to accept the fact that you did good! Now is the time to breathe, and don’t be afraid to stop and enjoy where you are. If you did your homework, prepared to the best of your abilities, and stayed true to your artistic mission, you’ve got it made. Break a leg!

The author outside of Tisch pointing to a work by Eric Hart Jr.

Marisa is a third year student at Tisch School of the Arts Studying Drama with a Minor in Film and TV. She previously was in the Experimental Theater Wing and plans to continue studying at The Atlantic Acting Studio. She is also a Resident Assistant at Coral Towers. A Virginia native, she spends most of her time writing scripts, doing yoga, and eating Halal Guys (chicken over rice never misses). She hopes to continue to collaborate with other artist of color and create a production company that will continue to bring joy and truth to her community.