Working for ASC demands a kind of lifestyle that many actors cannot endure; we expect you to think beyond the immediate benefits of getting an acting job and consider the pros and cons of working in this type of intense environment.
Company members must arrive for the 1st day of rehearsal OFF-BOOK. The first day of rehearsal for each play will contain a full run-thru of the show without any direction to get a taste of how the Renaissance acting troupes mounted plays so quickly and without a modern director. We call this run-thru the Ren Run. All company members will be also be assigned production duties that will, at times, be more important than the acting work. Duties include assisting the stage manager and music director, working on costumes and props, workshops, travel, etc. These production jobs may also include nit-picky weekly reports.
If you are not five minutes early, then you are probably late.
(depending on the season for which you are hired).
$1,200-1,500/month salary plus housing and partial board (partial board for touring actors only) for first-year, non-equity company members. Partial board = many (most) meals provided or paid for on the road when a venue provides food or per diem. Partial board = no meals provided during rehearsals, runs in the Blackfriars, extended runs at theatres who do a ticket split.
(water/heat/electric--some rooms with a/c)
Company members may be in double rooms in the ASC houses and will be in double hotel rooms on the road most of the time.
Approximately two weeks of vacation will be spread out over the year for the Touring Troupe contracts. Some vacation will be in week-long blocks; some traditional holidays will be vacation time, some will be work days. In the entertainment industry, we work on most holidays. Be prepared for that and keep a good attitude about it.
Road housing alternates between hotels and college dorms/guest housing.
Actors explore a variety of roles for a wide range of diverse audiences in many different venues, including professional theatres, high schools, and universities. It's an entire season to hone your skills in great plays!
We're one of the only companies in the world to mount shows using these Renaissance staging conditions. Actors are trained to use living thought, to use scansion to discover iambs directing from the grave, to act without unnecessary pauses/air, to distinguish multiple roles, to interact with audiences under universal lighting in 3/4-thrust staging, to maximize cross-gender casting, to understand principles of safe stage combat, and to be fully immersed in the texts.
At the Blackfriars and on the road, our actors conduct workshops with high school/university students and teachers.
Touring all over the U.S. and occasionally abroad
By using staging principles that are 400 years old, we create exciting entertainment that feels fresh and new. Bringing Shakespeare home to his original staging principles makes the plays accessible and fun to audiences that often think of Shakespeare as stuffy, boring "culture."
Although this job requires a ton of hard work, the personal and professional rewards are exceedingly high and the amount of sheer enjoyment that comes from being a part of this special group should be a major incentive for seeking employment.
Keep it short, 5-10 lines is plenty. We will have you perform your piece as you have rehearsed it; we will redirect you in your piece and ask you to do many crazy, silly things; you will be asked to display your versatility on the spot; you need to be able to shift gears quickly and cleanly. (If you don't have any Shakespeare memorized, we'll work with something else you do have memorized, the point is to see how you respond to direction with something that you've got in your head rather than something that you're reading.)
If time allows, we may ask you to read at least once from one of the upcoming plays we're casting. In addition to giving you a workout with something you know, we want to see what you can do with something cold.
If time allows, you might get a chance to sing…if you want it.
In most cases, the best thing that can happen is that you get invited to some sort of callback. Showing your talent, your flexibility, your willingness to play, your sparkle is what these initial auditions are all about. There may also be cases when we do not have a callback so be sure to give your best every time.
Most of the Final Callback will be reading short sides from each play we are casting
You should get the opportunity to play a musical instrument (if you can bring it) and sing 16 bars a cappella (if you wish)
Please note the following characteristics of ASC productions and allow them to inform your audition choices:
We leave the lights on our audiences and look for sections of text that work well when spoken directly to audience members. Please make eye contact with your directors and any other auditors or audience that may be at the auditions rather than acting to the exit signs.
USE AND RELISH THE WORDS
Big, Bold, Daring Choices
Many actors are so afraid of "over-acting" that they over-compensate by making safe, boring, beige choices that are too small for Shakespeare's strong emotions and bawdy fun. Look for the humor and emotional intensity in your lines; let us hear every word; don't "play it safe"; use this opportunity to surprise us with your creativity.
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