In every audition, kids are interviewed before they start their scene, song or dance. As an executive producer, I evaluate their performance as well as their interview. This ‘unscripted’ part of the audition, which I call “The Script Before the Script,” is the scariest part for some kids because of nerves. I’ve had kids actually forget their own name!
During Skype sessions, I create a “mock audition” situation and assume the role of casting director. I ask the typical questions kids are asked in a real audition interview and practice their answers to help prepare them for a winning audition and a callback! Here is what you can expect in almost every audition:
THE BASIC QUESTIONS
I help kids answer basic questions using more than just one-word answers. Every casting director will ask these basic questions to helps kids relax and ease their nerves. Here are some examples, but create your own personal script which you can use every time to answer the questions:
- How old are you? Instead of saying “12,” your one-word answer, say “I’m 12 years old and will turn 13 next month. I can’t wait for my birthday so I can be a teenager.”
- Where are you from? Instead of saying “Orlando,” say “I was born in Orlando near Disney World… Have you ever been?
- What grade are you in? Instead of saying “6th grade,” say “I’m in the 6th grade at Crossroads and my favorite class is PE.
THE PERSONALITY QUESTIONS
These questions require kids to make a choice and give casting directors more insight into their personality.
- What is your favorite hobby?
- What TV show do you love to watch?
- What is your favorite song to sing?
Sometimes kids can’t remember a hobby, show or song. Kids are also afraid they won’t get the job because they might give the wrong answer. For instance, what if their favorite show is a Nickelodeon show and they are auditioning for Disney or their favorite song is a country song while the audition is for a Broadway musical? Here’s an easy way to make the right choice. Before answering, kids should ask the casting director:
- Do you want to know my funny hobby, my serious hobby or my athletic hobby?
- Do you want to know my favorite Disney or Nick show?
- Do you want me to sing my favorite Carrie Underwood or Beyonce song?
Not only does this help kids choose, but it also will give a kid time to think.
THE OPINION QUESTIONS
The last type of question is an opinion or an explanation that requires more thought:
- Why do you want to be an actor, singer or dancer?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- Why should I hire you for this role?
Kids, before any audition, think about why you want to be an actor, singer or dancer. What are your goals and dreams? Are you prepared to do the job? Are you confident? You can use the same answers in all your interviews and rehearse them like you do your lines. For practice, have your mom or dad interview you. Then, Skype with me and we’ll have our own “mock interview!”
Make that audition interview fabulous!