How to get cast at MOXIE

by jenthorn

Liv Kellgren in PULP

The actresses in PULP arrived 1-2 hours early for hair and makeup for every performance!

Let me start by saying acting is hard work.  If you aren’t prepared to work hard then you might as well skip the following!

There are a million books full of tips on getting cast.  I have to admit I’ve never read one.  I have however spent a year as the casting associate at The San Diego Rep where I watched countless auditions in LA and San Diego, and now as MOXIE’s Associate Artistic Director, casting is one of my gigs and I’ve been calling actors in and making offers and calling to say “sorry” for going on four years now. I can’t tell you how to get cast at other theatres.  I can tell you how you can have a fighting chance of getting cast at MOXIE. Note that last season at MOXIE 13 of the 20 actors who were in our productions had NEVER worked with MOXIE before.  We love working with new people so you DO have a chance!

1. Find out what our season is going to be and what parts are available that you may be right for.
(Please note that MOXIE will be announcing and posting our season on our website in August and announcing auditions on the Actor’s Alliance website.

2.   Schedule an audition appointment and make it easy on the person who is scheduling.  MOXIE doesn’t usually want to see monologues.  We would rather see you read from the plays we are producing and watch you work with other actors.  Seeing you perform a piece you won’t be doing and doing it all alone is a poor way to judge if you would be right for one of our shows. For this reason I will have to coordinate your availability with that of another actor.  If you say “yes” to a time and then call me back to reschedule, I have to reschedule another actor to fill in your spot…sometimes that is a domino effect and creates A LOT of work for me. Reschedule once and I’ll understand…twice and you’ll make me crazy…three times and I will tell the director your a pain in the butt!

3. Show up.  This sounds obvious but many actors don’t. I remember your names.  I remember that you didn’t care enough to show up and I assume you won’t in the future.

4. Know your availability.  I have had actors reschedule 3 times only to show up to the audition and see the dates of the show and say “sorry I’m booked”.  That is a waste of all of our time.  Look at the performance dates and don’t audition for a show you can’t do.

5. Come prepared.  If you received the scene you will be reading please bring a copy.  Come early and read the scene with your partner BEFORE you come in the room.  You will feel better and so will we.

6. ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!  If you don’t know anything about the play or the character…or even if you think you do…ask the director about the character and what is happening in the scene.  Most of MOXIE’s productions are premieres so we don’t expect you to have read them.  Why not get some insight on the scene from the director so you can give a good audition?

7. Think about connecting to the person you are reading with.  What are you trying to get from them in the scene?  How can you do that actively? Many actors (including myself at one time) make the mistake of trying to come in the room and show you their interpretation of a character.  They are only thinking about themselves and not the other actor they are on stage with.  We want to see you interact with the other actor and try to affect them in the scene.

8. Keep trying.  You may not get cast the first, second or third time we see you.  Some of the best actors in town have auditioned several times for MOXIE and not been cast until their fourth try.  This isn’t because they weren’t great actors…they weren’t right for the part for reasons out of their control but eventually they were right for a part and did get cast.  If we don’t cast you this time, we may next time!

9. Know who we are.  Knowing what type of work we do and what our history is will make your audition easier.  It’s unikely that we will be looking to cast a woman in the role of “weak damsel in distress” any time soon.  We produce bold plays with bold characters. 

10. Respect yourself and your craft.  When you enter the room and you are thinking…I work hard, I am talented and I have as good a chance as anyone here in getting this part…we believe you! Confidence is very attractive (note that I didn’t say ego…you can leave your ego at the door thank you).

MOXIE is now accepting submissions for their fourth season which begins rehearsals in September.  Email your resume and photo to jen@moxietheatre.com or snail mail it to MOXIE Theatre c/o Jennifer Thorn po box 232737 Encinitas CA 92023.

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