7 Audition Tips for The Conservatory Program

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The Second City Training Center’s Conservatory Program auditions are just around the corner– and they fill up fast. If you get a slot (or not), let these 7 tips ease your anxiety and help you put your best improv foot forward.

1. Reserve a Slot Ahead of Time

Audition slots can be reserved a few weeks ahead of the audition by contacting the Training Center (312.664.3959) or reserving a spot online. Registration opened today for the November 22nd auditions.  If you have questions about your eligibility for the audition, please contact the Training Center by phone as soon as possible to help secure a spot.

2. Don’t Be Late

We ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your audition time to fill out an application and submit your headshot and resume. If you show up the minute the audition is supposed to start, you will have most likely lost your slot to someone on the waiting list. If you lose your slot because you are late, you can be put on the bottom of the waiting list, but we cannot promise you will get a slot.

3. Dress Professionally

Wear show clothes that look sharp and that you can move comfortably in. Do not wear anything too revealing or distracting. You want people to notice your talent and personality, not your body parts or wardrobe malfunction. Avoid low-cut or see-through shirts, high heels, wristwatches and dangly jewelry. Comb your hair. Do not give off the impression that you just rolled out of bed (even if you did).

4. Read the Application Carefully & Fill It Out Completely

You’re probably nervous and thinking about a million objects to mime in a scene. The last thing you care about is filling out your email address legibly. Nevertheless, it’s important! We need to know what days you are available to participate in class, how to contact you and much more. Know that if you fill out the availability portion incorrectly, you will most likely be assigned to the least popular time slot. (Don’t fret – the days and times you are available do not affect your acceptance.)

5. Stay Calm & Play Smart

Auditions are always nerve-wracking and people get weird (looking at you). Try to breathe, stay focused and play intelligently and emotionally. If you jump on someone’s foot during your fourth go at freeze tag, then you probably aren’t as calm as you think you are. Also, try to avoid improvisational cliches, such as “seduction.”

6. It Takes a Few Days to Hear Back

You will get an email notification with your results within 5 days. If a couple weeks pass by and you still haven’t heard anything, call the Training Center to make sure we read your application info properly.

7. Didn’t Make It? Try Again!

Don’t give up or let a bad audition get you down. There are plenty of famous Second City alumni who didn’t make the Conservatory on their first go or had other horrible auditions that seemed career-ending. They lived through it, tried again and persevered. Keep working your performance muscles by getting on stage, auditioning for other things (like Writing 6 shows) and taking classes that fit your needs. Classes like Scenic ImprovDiagnostics and Dramatic Improv are great tools to prepare you for the next audition.   

Want more than 7 tips? You’re in luck!

Check out our handy audition guide for additional information!

If you have not completed the prerequisite requirements at The Second City, please submit your information via this submission form and your approval to audition will be confirmed or another program will be recommended for you. If you have not taken classes with us, it is recommended that you create a student profile for yourself when applying or you may receive a delayed response. Students who have completed part or all of the audition requirements at The Second City should submit the form or contact the Training Center to ensure the audition approval is placed on their student record.

Audition sign-up will be available online or by calling the Training Center. See the dates below for when sign-up opens and a link to the online registration system. Students are allowed to audition for two consecutive terms, but if not approved, they must wait at least one term before re-auditioning.

2013/14 Conservatory Audition Dates

November 22, 2013 (audition sign-up opens November 8)

February 7, 2014 (audition sign-up opens January 24)

April 4, 2014 (audition sign-up opens March 21)

May 30, 2014 (audition sign-up opens May 16)

July 25, 2014 (audition sign-up opens July 11)

September 26, 2014 (audition sign-up opens September 12)

Audition sign-up is available online HERE.

Special thanks to The Training Center’s Norm Holly, Matt Hovde, Kerry Sheehan and Andrew Thorp for collaborating on this post. 

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