I had an audition last night at OnStage Atlanta for Doubt. I thought I read well, the monologues and a scene with the actress playing Sister Aloysius. It was not until later and thinking about my choices, that I realized my reading was not done so well after all.
During the audition, the actor needs to make the boldest choice possible for the character even if it may be wrong. Scripts are only interesting because the characters have made choices, known and unknown to the reader/viewer, which makes the play interesting. So the actor needs to make that character interesting to the director, casting director, etc, by making bold choices.
Believe it or not, I have not seen Doubt, movie or play, so I don’t know the story. When I read the scene with Sister Aloysius, I played Father Flynn as being innocent and trying to convince Sister Aloysius I was innocent. How very uninteresting. The bold choice was to play Father Flynn as being guilty and trying to convince Sister Aloysius of my innocents. That is interesting. That makes someone want to see the play. That will make the character you create interesting enough for the director, etc, to take notice.
Directors, Casting Directors, etc, would much rather see you create a very interesting character than you playing a dull one. They want to see what you can do with minimal information in just a few lines. Who cares if you know all the facts. You need to create something interesting; that grabs people’s attention. The real character will be created during rehearsal. But you can’t get to the rehearsal if you don’t make those bold choices during the audition.
But wait: Why does that make the character more interesting? The lines are the same. And you are not going to betray your guilt to the other character. So, what gives?
It gives you more for your character to fight for; more too loose. It will up the stakes within the scene and increase the energy. Every moment within a play is the character’s struggle to get what he wants from the other person. And the more that is at risk, the more the character will fight.
So don’t make the easy choices, make the bold ones.