Mums guide to auditioning in the westend!

 

“Mum I want to be on the stage” when your child is an entertainer and they are called to an audition

Here is the Mums guide to auditioning in the West-end! So what does go on in an audition? Taking your child to an audition for the first time can be quite daunting and there is so much you need to know. However it can also be a very exciting experience also. There are many parts in musicals and on TV for children and if your child is lucky enough to land a part in the west end it can be the start of a blossoming career.

It’s a big thing going up to London and auditioning in front of people here are some tips for you and your child to help you along the way.

Our story

After having been blessed with two boys I really didn’t think I would be going down the route of ballet shoes and tap shoes. But we did and it’s been so far a great ride.
Harry my youngest has been an entertainer from a young age, any music or stage and he would be on it.
I knew he needed a bit more than just the odd dance class so we sent him to a performing arts school in our local area.
It was a big decision he went for a whole day at the weekend I did at first think it would be a bit too much what with school as well but he absolutely loved it!
westend auditioning

Joining a performing arts agency

He understood that ballet would give him a good dance base so he didn’t mind donning the ballet shoes, he also then picked up tap quite quickly too. Before long we realised he could sing as well.
I wasn’t sure about joining a performing arts agency at first but after his first performance with his arts school we knew he had great potential.
So had photos done and we jumped in and waited for our first audition. This didn’t come much later in fact a matter of weeks.
So there we were faced with our first audition for Matilda the musical in London. It was a whole new world!

 What will the school say?

Having never experienced any of this it was complete minefield. First of all the school were fine, I gave them confirmation of the audition and told the school what time he would leave and be back. They allowed me to whisk him off to london for the day.

How do I find a monologue for a young boy?

The monologue was a whole other story! Google monologues and you get plenty of verbal diareah! I am sure there must be a good website out there somewhere but it would of took me years to find one that Harry would be remotely interested in.
We ended up finding an online Charlie and the Chocolate Factory script where Charlie tells his family about finding the golden ticket. I adapted this by taking out other characters and keeping it to just what Charlie says. This seemed to work really well and Harry loved it. Check out your child’s favourite book or look for poems. Take a look at funny poems or something from a well known childs author to also get some ideas.

What song should my child sing at an audition?

The song was a little easier, it needed to be a song from a musical but not Matilda. I soon realised that Harry didn’t really know a lot of musicals. I played a few soundtracks and he loved Oliver the musical. Harry eventually chose Consider yourself from oliver.
Pick a song that is relevant to what your child is auditioning for. Try and choose a song that is also suitable for their age as well.
I think really it’s best for your child to love and enjoy the song and the monologue to really show their potential.

What should my child wear to an audition?

One thing I’d say is do not worry about what your child is wearing. Comfy, casual and neat is fine. They need to be able to move about and dance freely. There can also be a lot of waiting around so take plenty of snacks and drinks for in-between.

First time auditioning in the West-end

Our First time auditioning in the west end was very interesting! We caught the train into london to go to a dance studio and were joined by lots of other boys around Harry’s age.
There were about 60 other children all auditioning for the same parts.
They split the boys into 3 groups, first group were singing, second group were acting and the third dancing.
I told Harry not to expect anything and to just enjoy the experience. So he bounced in and out of each class with great enthusiasm!

Preparing your child for a no at an audition.

The  ladies who were guiding the audition were lovely and made all the boys at ease. When the audition was finally over they were congratulated on the efforts. Some children were called to stay back and the other children were and told that this time was unfortunately a no. These children were then kindly told that it was no reflection on them and they were extremely talented to be there and maybe next time.
I do feel like I was maybe getting his hopes up and i could tell that he was upset. But to be honest it was an enjoyable day out and Harry enjoyed every minute. He simply shrugged his shoulders with a downturned smile and said never mind.

General tips for auditioning

So would we do it again? Well it’s a great learning curve, and any experience at auditioning is good.
Make sure your child is aware that they may not get through, in fact it is unlikely due to how many people turn up. However there is always a chance and that is the point of going.
It could be down to anything, your child may simply not be what they are looking for or they may be the wrong height or have the wrong colour hair. It can be quite brutal.
They are strict on height and age and really know what they are looking for. Having said that it’s good to get there faces seen if they are confident they will stand out.
Just remember the most important thing is to ensure the child wants to do it and is comfortable. No one is going to shine if they are nervous or not really enjoying it.
I always say to harry to “enjoy it and don’t worry your best is good enough”, and when he doesn’t succeed a simple, “you did a great job and what fun you had!” will suffice.
So we are many auditions down now and Harry has been lucky enough to have landed a few lovely parts. So it is worth all of the hard work.
Thank you for reading the Mums guide to auditioning in the west end! Good luck on your audition journey.
D x
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