AUDITION PIECES FOR ROUND ONE
Test 1 - 'In the restaurant' Test 2 - 'Diana and her treasures' Test 3 - Janice and Victor Test 4 - Diana on stage
Print out the READINGS from this site. Have enough copies.
Record notes in the RADIO SPOTLIGHT BOOK or AUDITIONS BOOK These TESTS (READINGS) are only suggestions for ROUND 1. You will probably best select your own test pieces yourselves, as you need to tailor these for your own radio project. These TEST PIECES are only suitable for student age and above, because of the content. Please choose suitable pieces for school children.
Each READING contains difficult words, and your auditionees should enquire the correct pronunciation of these. Perhaps leave them to take the initiative to ask you? This is an interesting test. Or give them pronunciation advice from the beginning - say 'if you need help with any difficult words, come to me'. But give them lots of support. You do not want them to collapse at the microphone. That's a waste of time for you, and upsetting for them.
You have to discover the correct pronunciation yourselves, and make sure that each member of the team knows the correct pronunciation. Do not say 'pronounce it as you want'. This is unfair. Also you wish to test them on taking a note about pronunciation.
Make sure each auditionee has a pencil for marking up their script. Really encourage them to do this. And to create their own 'mark-up' pronunciation notes that make sense to them. Every professional actor has his or her own individual 'mark-up' pronunciation system.
Each of these pieces also has IRONY or SATIRE or WIT or JOKES. They are each intriguing. You do NOT give them an explanation or a context. (I only suggest this - it is over to you to give what support you think needed for that auditionee.) Encourage them to use their own imagination, and to provide the BACK STORY for this little word picture themselves. This is because you wish to test them on their imagination. Maybe a good actor will need support notes from you on context. Do not hold back - give them notes and have your homework done so that you can come up with those context notes fast.
As these readings are in the style of the fictional novel, you are challenging your auditionee to change their expression for the differences needed - the narrator, the characters. Your auditionee must not do the whole reading in the same voice. You wish your auditionee to 'perform' each of the character's dialogue sentences in that character's own voice. So in Test 1 - 'In the restaurant' , you want to hear the voices of Beryl and the man. And you want to hear the difference between a male character and a woman character. If needed, encourage your auditionee to make the effort. You have to get this out of them. If they cannot do this, then this indicates that they are below average as a radio actor. This is the way the readings from novels are done on BBC Radio 4. (Listen to these on the BBC web site.) Assure them that you are not forcing their voices to become that male character or that female character. Just touches are needed. Hence the importance of you knowing what professional radio actors do in novel readings. See also audio books for this.
Make any SCRIPT CHANGES you wish to these readings. Make them work for you. You make need to make script changes for an individual auditionee. Do it! Get what you want out of the audition. If a script change is made, you must ensure that this change is written in to the script - hence the importance of pencils.
Test 1 In the restaurant'
Test 1 - 'In the restaurant' Some notes - There are some articulation problems here (pronunciation) - particularly the 's' and in ' Does Beryl still have the little come-hitherish lisp ? ' So this is a good test to go to if you are worried about the 's'. See sigmatism - VOCAL PROBLEM - PRONOUNCING 'S'. Presumably the situation is that Beryl is out on a date with a married man, possibly an alcoholic, who misbehaves in this restaurant. He is disgusted at the water and wants strong drink. He is rude to the waiter and the ''London water,' he said. 'Drunk first in Reading, flushed in Reading, seweraged in outer Essex, filtered in a bed, and reserved in King's Road Chelsea for regular customers. Bloody scandalous.'' is to be said sarcastically.
Test 2 - 'Diana and her treasures'
There are lots of big words here. And some Spanish ones. Can you research this - Spanish pronunciation? Diana is a devoted fan of Julio Iglesias - the Spanish pop star of the 1970s-1990s. You can substitute another European pop star if you wish. Can your auditionee get the wit and the satire? And what Diana's admiration is about?
Test 3 - 'Janice and Victor'
The first line has a twist - 'I'VE BEEN SO LONELY,' says Janice, from beneath Victor. 'I've enjoyed it in a way but it's been so unnatural.' - suddenly the reader is to indicate to the listener what the word picture is. Some humour needed here. This is a short piece. Deliberately so. See the note about the square brackets. Does Victor like Janice? Only a convenience? Or is this love?
Test 4 - Diana on stage
It's Diana again, as in Test 2. Get the fun. 'Julio' is the object of her adoration - the Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias.
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