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10 Reasons Why Established Actors Should Audition

by Tim Krause

1. We have new auditors. PATA is working hard to expand the auditor pool, tapping not only the new theater companies that have taken up residence in Portland this year, but also representatives from nearby communities and related industries. We are reaching out all along I-5, inviting participants from Seattle to Ashland. We're also posting on regional and national boards. Recent auditors have included representatives from Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Northwest Film Center, an indie feature film, and several recently established companies. Many of these companies also have Equity contracts available for those of you who are union members.

2. You have new competition. As PATA auditions grow, so does your competition. Don't let yourself get lost in the shiny-object shuffle of fresh faces or miss an opportunity simply because you weren't in the right place at the right time. Keep your edge by leading the pack.

3. Be sure directors actually see first-hand what you can do. You may think that because you are continually working, you are in the community's eye, but can you guarantee that the 40+ auditors typically at PATA auditions really have seen anything you've done recently? You know how hard it is to get out and see other shows when you're working on your own and holding down a day job or two. By participating in the auditions, you not only guarantee that you'll be seen, but you control what they see.

4. Show them something different. Directors may have heard that you can play a cool Touchstone, but do they know you can pull off a hot Hamlet, too? If you find yourself boxed into a bit of niche, PATA auditions can be a great opportunity to demonstrate your range by taking a chance on some material that's different from the roles you usually get.

5. It's like an automatic callback. Just because you take part in a theatre's general auditions once doesn't mean they've seen enough of you. Directors have short memories and messy desks. Like marketing anything, you need multiple "marketing impressions" in order to sell your product, in this case you. PATA auditions help you to ensure they remember you and keep their files up to date with your latest headshot, resume and contact information.

6. The more diverse offers you get, the more choosey you can be. Don't let a special project slip by unnoticed just because you think your plate is full. Are you really working on the projects you want, or simply settling for roles that hare handed to you? If you're lucky to have enough work, then think of it this way: the more offers you get, the more choosey you can be about the projects you accept.

7. It's good practice. PATA auditions are a great opportunity to continue to hone your audition skills and keep your material fresh for the day when you really do have to audition for that part you really want. It's also a safe place to experiment with those risky monologue choices in a supportive environment.

8. Give back to your community. Your experience and advice are invaluable for those just starting out. Sharing your own story of how and why you do what you do is both educational and inspirational. And the shared experience of citywide auditions not only cements your relationship to the community and the next generation of theatre practitioners, but also fosters a camaraderie that is supportive of local theatre.

9. When the tide comes in, it raises all the boats. By participating in PATA auditions, established actors raise the bar. You lend credibility to the process, a credibility that encourages attendance all around. More actors – both new and experienced – participate as PATA auditions become the place to not only get your foot in the door, but to maintain your presence among your professional peers. As the quantity and quality of actors rise, so do the number of theatres — and therefore the quantity and quality of opportunities.

10. It's fun. And we all need to do more things just for fun.