Advice: Auditioning for the National Theatre for Children

QUESTION


NTC Offices

Hi Michael,

I stumbled across your blog while researching where to print my headshot in the Twin Cities – thanks for the advice! I kept reading when I discovered that you toured with the National Theatre for Children last winter. I am preparing to audition for NTC next week. Do you remember anything about the audition experience? Any advice?

This is my first audition – I left my career a few months ago and have been looking for something more inspiring. When I learned about NTC, I knew I had to go for it! Just had my headshot taken Friday. :)

I’ve prepared two comedic monologues but I’m not in love with either of them. Do you have any suggestions for short comedic monologues for women? Also, is there any need to prepare a dramatic monologue for the NTC audition?

I’d love to hear anything you’re willing to share regarding your experience with NTC.

Thanks so much!
–H

ANSWER

H-

It was the fall of 2010 when I first auditioned for NTC. My auditioner was Pat Rowan, VP of Production & Operations. I performed a comedic monologue. Pat didn’t laugh. That’s okay though because the experience was fun and really a ‘no-pressure’ kind of audition. Pat said all tours were filled, but if something opened they’d be in touch.

The second audition was in March 2011 unknowingly at the Twin Cities Unified Theatre Auditions. I received a callback from NTC. At the callback another audition-er and I played some short-form improv games. Pat Rowan and Heather Meyer, a production associate, conducted the callback. Again another fun, high-energy, silly no-pressure audition.

My advice?

Have fun. Be silly. Play.

A lot of the characters that you’d be playing for NTC are bigger-than-life (dare I say, “cartoon-y”) and silly. I think in order to work for NTC you need to have fun working. Which sounds silly to write because actors essentially play pretend for a living.

If you haven’t seen any of NTC’s work, check out the NTC promo video about “The Energized Guyz.” I did two tours of this show with a few changes, but the overall high-energy zany antics stayed the same. Here’s the video:

Unfortunately, I don’t have any female monologue advice. I do, however, have some general monologue advice: be in love with your material. How can anyone else love what you’re doing if you don’t?

There wasn’t a need to prepare a dramatic monologue for the NTC audition. Although it might be fun to prepare a dramatic monologue in an over-the-top sort of NTC way. The company sees thousands of actors every year. Do something different and you might just get their attention!

Play. Be silly. Relax. Know that you left your career for a reason. Trust yourself and go have some fun.

Oh, and break a leg!

2 thoughts on “Advice: Auditioning for the National Theatre for Children

  1. Rebecca says:

    Had a similar email in my inbox the other day! Someone is doing their research! I think your advice is sound, just wanted to add my two cents:

    I really enjoyed my work with NTC. They are a wonderful company to work for – I really can’t express in words how much I miss my time there. As for monologues: the wackier, the better. NTC shows are very fast paced. Look for pieces with lots of energy. A comedic children’s storybook is a good place to look for material, beyond the usual play scripts. Or even a children’s show or movie. The more you enjoy it, the more they will.

    During my callback, I was given some of the original material they use in the show. This is the best part of the audition, honestly. Play with it, have fun, be zany! Can you do any impersonations? Put them on your résumé and maybe even give them a shot in cold reads! Just relax and enjoy yourself, everyone on the other side of the table wants you to succeed.

    And don’t forget to break a leg!

  2. Michael says:

    Brilliant, solid advice — as usual. I’m going to pass this along. Thank you, Rebecca!

What do you think?