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Art Of War Of Auditioning

Guide to having a successful audition in theater.

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1. 1.“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

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Once you’ve booked a job with a specific company or director, they are more likely to provide other opportunities for you. People like working with those they have enjoyed working with before, so taking one specific opportunity can set you up for the future.

2. “Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy’s purpose.”

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Do research on the show you’re auditioning for. That way you can cater your performance to accommodate the style of the piece.

3. “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.”

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Know if you’re right for the show before you audition. If you don’t have the skillset for a specific show, do not go. You will make yourself look bad in front of the casting directors, and they will remember.

4. “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.”

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Don’t overstay your welcome in the audition room. The casting directors want to see what you can bring to the table, then want to get on with the rest of auditions. Time is money, so don’t waste it.

5. “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

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Belting the highest note or doing the most pirouettes will not get you the job. Knowing when to pull back in order to share a story is a skill in itself, which will get you the job.

6. “The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”


If you are in show business only for the fame, you will not succeed. It is easy to seem through someone only concerned about themselves. Staying true to the art form of storytelling is what will stand out.

7. “All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

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Make your acting choices and tactics clear. However, do not emphasize the work and technique you put into these choices. They want to see the outcome, not the process.

8. "What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”

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Do not show how hard you are working. What will set you apart is how well you perform with a sense of ease. The saying “effort is ugly” is common in musical theatre because your audience will be unsettled if it is clear you are struggling through your task.

9. "The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

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The casting directors will tell you exactly what they’re looking for in casting. It’s your job to be present in the room and actually take in what they’re providing you. (This seems easier than it is, due to nerves getting in the way)

10. “There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acid, salt, sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.”

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Go through a full journey in your performance. When performing, you cannot focus on just the one emotion associated with your that piece. Find the storyline of the piece in order to go through a range of emotions. This is more interesting for he audience, and it will get you the job.

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