“I want to audition for a show at BDACT, but I’m nervous.”

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 “I want to audition for a show at BDACT, but I’m nervous.  I don’t know what to expect…”

“All you have to remember is “audition” is synonymous with “opportunity.”  I mean, if you absolutely hate auditioning, do you also hate opportunities?  That wouldn’t make much sense.” – Hilary Swank


For some, auditions can be the best and worst parts of the show. You have input into the process, but much of it is out of your control. I don’t have space here to give you all of the info available to improve your odds of getting the role.  You can search for common sense auditioning tips online, and there is no shortage of good ideas to help your audition.  Let’s talk about auditioning in general, and specifically at BDACT.

When I left Beaver Dam to attend college at the University of Minnesota, I left a small group of high school aged actors and the advantage of having been in shows at BDACT, the junior high, and the high school. I felt like a medium fish in a small pond.

At the University, I was one of about 400 freshman acting wannabes , many coming from bigger high schools in bigger cities across the country…and even the world. Hundreds more were sophomores, juniors, and seniors.I was suddenly a very very small fish in an ocean. I learned that auditioning was really just about opportunities. I ended up with plenty of opportunities, and plenty of successes.

A wise mentor at the University told me that if I walked into an audition, just nailed it perfectly, and was absolutely the best person for the role, but I happened to look a lot like the director’s brother-in-law, who he hated, I would not get the part.  He opened my eyes to the fact that sometimes what happens in an audition has little to do with my audition.. 

So, what are your chances when you audition?  There are many factors including your reliability, reputation, how prepared you are, how you fit the director’s vision of the character, the size of the cast, and of course, how much competition you have.  The best stats I’ve found say you generally have a 1 out of 3 chance of getting into many community theater shows in SOME role, and a 1 in 7 chance of getting the role you want.  Those odds can increase in your favor over time. That’s good news.

For some comparison, in professional theater, TV, and film, the number is 1 in 15 – 25.  My agent always hopes 1 out of 20 auditions turn into a casting for me.  I’ve been blessed.  Over the course of my professional acting career I’ve averaged 1 out of 5.  I’ve done over 500 paid acting gigs in my career thus far, and in the big picture, that’s casting success.  Yet simple math will tell you I’ve auditioned around 2,500 times.  That means I’ve been REJECTED over 2,000 times for an acting role I wanted. (Once I auditioned for a TV commercial in a market that was very familiar with my work.  The script called for “a David Alan Smith type.” I did NOT get the gig.  I’m not kidding.  Other times I’ve been cast in large roles, much to my surprise!)

At BDACT, I’ve observed the casting process for many productions in the past three seasons.  The directors are kind, welcoming, and respectful.  They genuinely love to meet new people and encourage them.  

But there is something else here that I haven’t seen to this degree in any of the many theaters I’ve worked in. In the chorus (also known as the ensemble) of a large cast production, there will be faces of some people new to this theater group, as you’d suspect. However, there will also be the faces of some people who have had numerous leading roles in past productions here.  They don’t always get the role they want either. But they realize that simply being a part of the magic is what it’s all about. The newcomers have some great mentors to work with as they navigate their first BDACT production.  The more you audition, the more a part of this group you will become.

What’s really IN your control is that you show up, know something about the character and the show you’re auditioning for, and give it your best shot.  Let the rest go. I can tell you in all honesty, auditioning here, even if you’re new to the area or to acting in general, is not scary.  You’ll be welcomed, encouraged, and get a little bit better every time.  

I want to encourage you to audition at BDACT.. We’re looking forward to seeing you here! 

Please check our Facebook page or our website for all the info you need. Head over to the Auditions page to see our current openings! And as always, I can be reached with questions regarding anything related to BDACT at managingdirector@bdact.org or (920) 887-6891.