Calling All Thespians...prior or Current!!

Updated on September 28, 2011
M.W. asks from Fremont, CA
9 answers

My 6th grade son is auditioning for the first time in his life for a school play. This boy is a performer to the very core. He has never taken acting or singing lessons. He has only been taking drum lessons for 3 years and has performed with school and church choirs. I was never one to want to take the stage but we as parents are encouraging his passion.

Any tips...suggestions to pass on to him before his audition after school today? He has a short monologue memorized and two verses from a song.

Thanks to all you mamas!! It is a comedic rendition of Romeo and Juliet. There is a girl he has a secret crush on that is also trying out. He has mentioned numerous times that he hopes they both get the starring roles. I told him to calm down those hormones and work on nailing the song and have fun with it. Boys!!

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So What Happened?

He went off soooo confident and ready to his audition yesterday. He even offered a little prayer in the car before jumping out.

Ugh...then the call home to pick him up. His voice was so far down in the dumps. (mind you. He is a natural performer so every emotion tends to be to the extreme)

He said he nailed the prob. Then when the song came on he went blank and couldn't remember the harmony he composed for himself. He said it was pathetic but the judges encouraged him and tried to give him the words. They said that a lot of kids struggled with the song but overall he did "good".

My son is more sad that some other "Romeo" might swoop in and get the girl he likes 'cause' he is sure she will get the Juliet part. sweet boy. He already doesn't want to see some other 'Romeo' wooing his fair maiden.

We will see tomorrow who gets what parts. I am just proud that he put himself out there on stage even at the jeering of some of his sports lovin' buddies. I told him that we are more than willing to help him get into acting classes,camps,voice lessons etc. He has not ever taken up the offer in the past...but now he just might.

Thank you ladies for all your kind words, encouragement and pointers. He was very enthused to read them yesterday before his audition. You mamas are all wonderful!!

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from New York on

I'd give him a big pat on the back, a two thumbs up and a wink :-). You might also give yourself a pat on the back for raising a confident performer who is willing to take risks. Way to go mom!

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answers from Portland on

Sounds like your son has this one nailed. He's done all that he can do for a tryout. I'd just keep encouraging him. I also wouldn't be concerned about him daydreaming about this particular girl having the lead along with him. This is all just a part of growing up. He'll be fine.

Be glad he trusts you enough to share his fantasy. Of course he wouldn't call it a fantasy. He's wishing it will happen and it just might.

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answers from Houston on

First, relax and rehearse the lines and the actions in his head." Start the audition with, "Hello, my name is x and I will be performing x." Use his arms, too many people keep their elbows locked at the waist and only raise their hands from there. Be loud, talk from the diaphragm but don't yell. Don't stand stick straight, but don't fidget either. Look into the audience.. or just ever so slightly above it, not at the ceiling or at the sky. He can walk a bit, but don't turn his back to the audience. If he forgets a line, he can improv that section and move on to the next one, don't stutter or say 'uhhhh'. Bow at the end of the audition. Smile! Oh, I miss the stage now.

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answers from Kansas City on

tell him to not be fidgety. I would always get marked down in drama class for being fidgety during monolouges. one thing a director always told us was to never point your finger at someone, always if you have to point use 2 to 3 fingers. I cannot for the life of me remember why though.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Tell him to relax, how proud you are of him, give him a hug (if he'll let you ; ) and let him know he can do this!

As far as the girl, sigh, yes, this is when it starts : )

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answers from Austin on

If this is something he really wants to do, then just tell him to try his best and don't give up. You could look into summer acting camps to get him more experience too.
When I was in middle school, I was in a church Christmas play- they did a great job of making sure each kid in the class got a part. My husband took a theater class in college, and got stuck with set design because he was not a theater major. He made the best of it and learned some building skills. I tried out for every single play in high school and never got a part. We didn't even have to memorize the lines to audition, just read from the script. I just looked at it as a learning experience and a way to stay involved.


answers from Chicago on

Don't rush! People (and kids) have a tendency to rush their lines if they're nervous.



answers from Washington DC on

Tell him to talk louder than he thinks he has to (but not yell or scream) and speak slowly. You might have him practice outside and you stand back quite a bit. When I was doing the church play, I'd stand 1/2 way back and tell the kids that if I couldn't hear them from there, Grandma in the back definitely wouldn't hear them.

Tell him also not to get discouraged with one audition or if he doesn't get the part he REALLY wants. He should do the play anyway if he's cast and enjoy it. If he is really into theatre, there's next year, the church play, the community theatre.

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