Every applicant to the Acting course will be given an audition to demonstrate talent and the potential to benefit from the course. All applicants must attend the audition in person. It is not possible to audition through providing a video of your presentation.
NIDA looks for people who show the potential to become good actors in the future, people who have talent but need to acquire technical skills.
Auditions can be nerve-wracking, although NIDA tries to conduct them in a friendly and informal manner. It is important to understand that professional actors are required to audition every time they go for a role. All aspiring actors should treat the audition process as a valuable learning experience.
At NIDA auditioning is an important part of the Acting course. All students are taught how the industry works and how to find employment. Talent is not enough. It must be supported by skill, technique and knowledge; these things can be learnt at NIDA.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN ACTING AUDITION
Please read the following information and instructions carefully, this is intended to help you with your audition.
IMPORTANT NOTE – if you are applying for the Music Theatre stream of the course please note that you will be required to prepare additional material for your audition. This is an Acting course and you will be auditioned first on your acting ability. Recall auditions for the Music Theatre stream will only take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
RELAX AND ENJOY - NIDA auditions are informal and active. We find that most applicants manage to relax and actually enjoy the experience. We hope that you will too!
REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS IN 2013
All applicants must thoroughly prepare and memorise THREE short monologues:
1. One Shakespeare piece
2. One contemporary/modern piece
3. One piece of your choice
These pieces must meet the following requirements:
Classical - One short monologue by William Shakespeare - This must be in verse or prose. It cannot be a sonnet or a poem.
The Suggested Shakespeare Audition Monologues will be available here from 1 July 2013.
Modern or Contemporary - One short monologue from a modern or contemporary play (Australian or international).
A modern piece would be from a playwright such as Chekhov, Strindberg, Ibsen, O'Neill, Williams, Arthur Miller etc. A contemporary play would be those that are written from the 1970s onwards.
Your third piece - can be either classical or modern/contemporary
- Your monologues must be no longer than two minutes.
- Your monologues must be memorised and fully prepared for the audition.
- Bring two clean, hard copies of your non-Shakespeare monologues with you (one for you to have on hand, and one for the audition panel).
- Bring two clean, hard copies of the Shakespeare piece if you have not selected this from the Suggested Shakespeare Audition Monologues.
SELECTING YOUR MONOLOGUES
You may choose your Shakespeare piece from the Suggested Shakespeare Audition Monologues.
Only choose monologues from Plays - DO NOT select from films, TV shows or poems.
DO NOT prepare monologues from self-devised work.
Try to choose a character that is closer to your age range now. While you don't have to stick to your exact age, try to avoid the extremes of age ranges, such as King Lear (Shakespeare) or Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman).
Avoid using a book of monologues except as a reference. If you find something in an audition book you like you must still read the whole play. Research is an important part of the process.
Choose characters who are in circumstances you can identify with.
Choose a piece that is new to you that you have not presented before and that you can identify with and will enjoy exploring.
Pick monologues that showcase you and your acting choices. While there are no real rules around this, it might be wiser to avoid material with strong sexual references or excessive use of expletives. Selecting material for 'shock value' often backfires. Let your boldness stand out in the strength of your acting choices.
Important: Do not present a monologue you have prepared and presented at a NIDA audition in the past; nor should you present any monologue that other institutes (eg WAAPA, VCA) have on their audition monologue sheets. We understand that this may be extra work for you if you are auditioning for other institutes, but if you are auditioning for NIDA we are also looking at your curiosity, hunger and level of preparation.
In choosing your monologues feel free to use contrasting material such as serious or comic.
Most importantly enjoy the search.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE DAY
Read and re-read the play to know the character, the context of the piece and understand what you are saying.
Think about who you are talking to and what you want from them. Know what you mean and what you say.
Make all of your monologues active. Use an invisible partner – eg. your audience – as a friend, a conspirator, a confidant, or whatever is needed for the scene. Think of a monologue as a kind of dialogue – so that your desire to communicate becomes stronger.
As with everything in theatre, your ability to get as much as possible out of your work will depend on your preparation. In the audition process, we are looking for you to demonstrate the choices you make and the preparation you've done. To quote Stanislavsky "An actor prepares".
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY
Remember, this is your audition. While it is useful to test out your monologue on a friend, do not worry about acting "coaches" and don't let anybody tell you how to act it. The NIDA audition is not an acting "exam". There is no right or wrong way. Prepare your audition pieces carefully and have the courage to do them in the way you decide.
We know that an audition can be a stressful experience. We make allowance for nerves and we try to make the process as enjoyable as possible. The auditions are held in groups and may take the whole day.
There will be a talk about NIDA to the group before the audition and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions. This will be followed by movement and voice warm-up exercises.
Please wear suitable clothing and little or no make-up. Any casual clothing that does not limit your movement is acceptable. You will be asked to work in bare feet, so it is advisable not to wear closed toe pantihose.
In the initial audition each applicant will be asked to present at least two monologues to the audition panel. After a short break some applicants may be asked to return to the rehearsal room to present the third monologue.
At the end of this audition session, if the panel want to see more of the applicants work, they may then ask some applicants to attend a second audition: a Recall Audition. This will occur on another day and may involve additional preparation.
The recall audition may involve redirection of scenes, improvisation, discussion on interpretation, musical and rhythmic tests and sight reading. You may be asked to relate dramatic roles to your personal experience. You may also be asked about your knowledge of and experience in the theatre and related media. For Music Theatre stream applicants, please see additional information below.
The audition process is friendly, informal and open, but misunderstandings can occur. Should you feel any concern with the audition process or with what is said to you during the course of the audition, please express your concern immediately, or talk it over with a member of the audition panel before you leave.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MUSIC THEATRE STREAM RECALL AUDITION
If you are applying for Music Theatre stream of the Acting course it is important to remember that you are being recalled first on your acting ability. You may be invited to present your monologues again and the audition may involve redirection of scenes, improvisation, discussion on interpretation, musical and rhythmic tests and sight reading. You may be asked to relate dramatic roles to your personal experience. You may also be asked about your knowledge of and experience in the theatre and related media.
You will then be required to present prepared music pieces and may be asked to take part in a dance/movement audition.
You do not need to prepare anything for the dance/movement audition but should wear appropriate fitted dance attire and shoes.
Please read the following carefully on how to prepare your music pieces for the recall audition day.
You will need to prepare three music pieces, details of which will be available by 1 July 2013.
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE MUSIC PIECES
• An accompanist will be provided.
• You must provide sheet music for the accompanist in the keys in which the songs are to be performed.
• Backing tracks are not permitted.
• All audition songs are available for purchase on www.musicnotes.com.
Music Theatre stream recall audition days will only take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
If you are applying for the Music Theatre stream of the Acting course, you do not need to apply for both streams of the course. NIDA reserves the right to offer applicants a place in either the Acting or Music Theatre streams of the BDA (Acting).
THE RESULT OF YOUR APPLICATION – both streams
Selections for all NIDA courses are made around the second week of December. At this time successful applicants will be advised by telephone and in writing that they have been accepted into the Acting course. Those applicants who have been asked to participate up to the end of the recall audition, but whose application is not successful, will also be advised by telephone and in writing.
If you have not been invited to present your second piece at the first audition or have not been invited to a recall audition or have not been asked to stay for the whole period of the recall audition, then your application has not been successful and you will not receive any further notification from NIDA regarding your application.
Please note that some students are accepted into NIDA on their third, fourth or fifth attempt.
Please also note that it is not possible to provide you with an individual assessment of your application, either orally or in writing.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS – both streams
NIDA regulations require that students are expected to be 18 years of age by 31 March of their first year of enrolment and have the HSC or equivalent. Under exceptional circumstances we can waive these conditions but please be aware that we are looking for students who have some maturity, a variety of life experiences and an interest in a range of issues and ideas. Applicants aged 17 years are accepted for an audition on the understanding that this may be a useful experience but the liklihood of being selected for entry into the Acting Course aged 17 years is very limited. The age range of recent students selected for the Acting Course ranged from 18 to 32 years with the average age being 22.3 years.
GENERAL WELFARE – both streams
NIDA students must be in good health and capable of managing a stringent and exhausting three years of full-time study. We cannot emphasise this enough. If you have any health concerns, please discuss these with us at the audition. Successful applicants will be required to complete a health questionnaire before commencing the course.
HELPFUL HINTS – both streams
If you live locally to NIDA in Sydney, it is beneficial to attend the NIDA Play Program performances. This gives you an insight into the types of plays staged by NIDA and the range of demands made on acting students.
You might also like to consider one of the many short courses offered by the NIDA Open Program in Sydney and other cities across Australia. These courses offer a range of acting and audition skills. For more information please contact the NIDA Open by telephone (02) 9697 7626 or email email@example.com.