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Audition Tips and Suggestions

The application and audition process can be overwhelming. Explore our tips and suggestions below to help you feel confident and prepared throughout the entire application process and on the day of your audition.

  Getting Ready to Apply
  • If you have a quirky email address (wassupbro23@gmail.com, superfunmusicgirl@hotmail.com), consider creating an email address that contains your name in a clear format (johnsmith1999@gmail.com).
  • If you have a quirky message on your voicemail, consider creating a message that clearly identifies you by name and politely asks people to leave a message.
  • Think about how your social media presence (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) reflects you. If a program is interested in you, they will likely search you on social media.
  The Application Process
  • Deadlines: Meet them! Better yet, beat them!
  • Carefully review the audition and application requirements. Much of the information that you’ll need is already listed on our website. 
  • Pay attention to the order in which information is requested. 
  • Don’t forget to list all of your extracurricular activities, fine arts and otherwise.
  The Live Audition
  • The audition begins the moment you arrive on campus, and it ends when you leave campus.
  • Dress appropriately for your audition/interview. Even if your art is cutting-edge, you can still dress up for the interview or audition. Err on the side of modesty.
  • Engage the whole body in the audition; don’t perform from the neck up.
  • Treat other students who are auditioning with respect; they might end up being your classmates for the next four years.
  • Treat student workers at the auditions with respect. The faculty value first impressions and input from their student workers.
  • Assume that the faculty will know the play or opera/score/oratorio from which your pieces originate. There is no need to summarize the plot of the play or opera before you begin.
  • Parents should not enter the audition room.

Monologue Preparation

  • You might want to research the “do not” lists on the internet for audition material to avoid.
  • As a general rule, avoid “monologue books” for your monologue material. 
  • Read the entire play from which your monologue is taken. You should be able to talk to the audition panel about why you made a particular choice for that character at that point in the play. 
  • Don’t select a monologue laden with profanity or sexual themes just because you think it will shock us or show us that you’re mature.
  • Choose pieces/characters that are close to you, for which you feel something, that speak to your own humanity.
  • Avoid using the members of the audition panel as your scene partners. Select a focal point above their heads, and visualize your scene partner there. Face front.
  • Don’t bring props; choose pieces that are prop-free.
  • Don’t throw furniture in the audition. (It happens, and it’s frightening.)

Musical Theatre Preparation

  • If an accompanist is provided, treat that person with courtesy and thank her/him afterward. She/he may very well be one of the faculty members evaluating you for the program.
  • Have your sheet music hole-punched and neatly placed in a folder for the accompanist-- no loose sheets of music.
  • Be sure you sing what you do well.  Don't choose a song that stretches you beyond your capabilities at your age.  We would rather hear a simpler song done superbly.
  • Sing with your eyes open, in character. 
  The Recorded Audition
  • Pay attention to digital details! Choose file names that are clear and concise.
  • Make sure that you upload the correct audition for the correct school. Don’t say, “Hi, Chapman!” when you’re uploading the video to Pepperdine.
  • Dress appropriately. Just because this audition is recorded does not mean that gym shorts and a tank top are acceptable. 
  • Select your filming location carefully. If you are filming in your bedroom or in your house, think about an area that has a neutral backdrop. You want the viewer to focus on you, not the poster or family photographs behind you.
  • Check the audio levels before you submit the video.
  • The camera doesn’t need to zoom in and out.
  • Allow the camera to capture your whole body, not just your face. Engage your whole body in the performance.
  • Remember to breathe.
  Production and Design Interview / Portfolio Review
  • If you are interviewing for production and design, create a portfolio that is a reflection of who you are; use it to show what you’re passionate about and what experiences you’ve had so far. Be sure to save photos of projects you work on: scenery, props, costumes, scenic painting, etc., as well as related creative work like sculptures, collages, drawings, or videos.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Fine Arts Recruitment Office at 310.506.4111, or via email at fineartsrecruit@pepperdine.edu.