Wednesday, January 5, 2011

F.A.Q Ensemble Auditions!

F.A.Q. : Ensemble Auditions

What exactly would I be auditioning for?
This is unlike most auditions in that we are not casting for a particular show. We are looking for artistic partners/collaborators/creators/co-producers, people to be a part of the Rising Sun Performance Company for the foreseeable future, invested in the well being of the company as a whole. If you are an actor looking for a resume credit or single show experience, we wish you the best, but this is probably not the place for you. On occasion, we do have opportunities for guest artists to join us for role specific opportunities- these casting notices are listed seperately and are not a part of the once a year Ensemble auditions.

What are you looking for in an artist?
It is very important that you read our Manifesto and Mission statement. These are our core values and we take them very seriously. Our company puts great emphasis on the entire creative process, recognizing that not everything needs to become a fully staged performance to have creative merit. Likewise, the believe that everyone shares the hard work to strengthen our ensemble.

We are looking for multi faceted theatre artists with a passion for group dynamics and process oriented ensemble work. Individuals looking to stretch themselves, their talents and both creative and technical theatrical skills. Hard workers who live, breath and eat theatre. We welcome artists of all backgrounds, techniques and training. We encourage our members in cross-disciplinary experimentation. Actors, dancers, singers, storytellers, Directors, Playwrights, Designers, and Technicians are all welcome to audition and/or apply for an interview.

What exactly is Rising Sun Performance Company?

A Theatrical family of varied backgrounds, training, techniques all with a shared philosophy and committment to supporting the ensemble as a whole. We value exploration, community and collaboration along with some good old fashioned elbow grease!

Rising Sun Performance Company (RSP) is one of the current theater companies in the Off-Off Broadway community with an established reputation for its talented ensemble of writers, directors and actors in a strong selection of original works balanced by revivals of offbeat published works. We are a collaborative theater group of actors, directors, designers and playwrights with shared theatrical values. We value mutual respect, hard work, & the acceptance of occasional "failure" by traditional standards in order to have freedom for creative discovery, collaboration, play and learning. Rising Sun does not aim to limit or define itself in any way. RSP focuses on the journey of present, what passions, voices, visions and talents represent the ensemble in its present form. The work chosen is representative of the given time and make up of our company. Each ensemble member is considered a part of the production team and has direct involvement at all levels of the process.

What sort of commitment is required in being an ensemble member of RSP?
As a member of the ensemble you are expected to:

Creative involvement in at least 1 creative project or production per calendar year (As Performer, director, designer, writer) Rehearsal periods can be anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months depending on the project. Rehearsals times vary. Performances can run for 1 night to 6 months. It depends entirely on the project.

Serve as collaborator/co-producer/co-creator with your fellow ensemble members which includes:
Proposals of new works, review of outside submissions and development of performance projects

Active involvement on Marketing & Promotions of all shows

Active and Continual involvement with Audience Development & Promotions

General support/involvement for production and running needs of company

Prepare for and attend monthly company meetings that will have varied agendas including business and fundraising.

Prepare for and attend scheduled company functions (e.g. benefits, conferences, Retreats, NYC Theatre events, etc.)

Serve on at least one committee as an active producer of the company

Completion of 2 Technical/Production Jobs or a Staff Position per calendar year

Share in the Financial Responsibility of the Company : Active involvement on Fundraisers, Continued Fund-raising thru the year and ticket sales (everyone must work to raise our yearly expenses of $20-30k)

Share an online presence on social networking sites and blogs

Attendance & participation to a minimum of 8 Lab Sessions Yearly

Attendance & Participation at our annual Ensemble Intensive

General support & activity at our home theatre for events, theatre maintenance & Festivals

Support/mentorship of Apprentice company members & Interns

Participation in any eligibility requirements by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards

As you can see this is alot, its a big committment that doesn't just affect you. Talk to your job, loved ones, school, parents, high maintenance plants before auditioning.

This schedule can be intense and while you'll get fulfiling roles, new skills and a theatre family, all your loved ones will get is less of you. Make sure everybody who matters knows what you’d be getting into in advance.

So does this schedule mean that I can’t perform in other productions?
It means that you will find it difficult in the first 6 months to a year of joining RSP. Many Rising Sun folks are very involved in outside projects and do find time to be active in the theatre community, films, tours, etc. We highly encourage this. As you get acclimated to how being a RSPer impacts your day-to-day, you will learn how be more efficient with the other aspects of your life and be able to plan accordingly. We believe and trust that everyone is an adult and should be/can be responsible to balance their committments and life as needed, with the understanding that the RSP ensemble remains a high priority committment. We do not recommend being in multiple theatre/ensemble companies within your first year of joining the ensemble.

What will the audition/interview be like?

You should be aware that you will be auditioning for the senior members of the company, so there will be quite a few people watching you. If you are called back you will be auditioning for/working with the entire company, so again its a large group of people that will see your work.

A huge part of our audition process, is not only talent but seeing if we're the right match for each other. Would we work well together? Can we be in the rehearsal room for up to 8 hours a day? Ask us questions, we like that! and do your homework before the audition, reading this is a step in the right direction.

Prepare: 2 to 4 minutes of material
This should include 2 contrasting monologues (1 minute each), Contemporary preferred, original writing welcome
You can also include, a short dance combination, 16 bars of any song accapella, stupid human tricks, special talents, etc
Show yourself off. We want to get to know YOU! What makes you unique?
Don't try to be what you think we want you to be! Be YOU!

Callbacks: If we feel like you would be a good fit for the Ensemble (and sometimes guest artists) we will invite you to participate in an 3-5 Hour Call back. Yes thats right 3-5 HOURS. This is a long day, but WE PROMISE ITS A LOT OF FUN!
This is your chance to see how we work, what our personalities are and a glimpse into the type of work that we do.

The callback consists of:
The first is a group introduction, to the company, the ensemble and each other
A group warm up of theatre games
A Group Movement/Basic Dance (actor friendly) segement
Ensemble Work & Improv
Cold Readings of scenes/scripts

We recommend that you wear comfortable clothes that you can move in, comfy shoes (if you have yoga or dance clothes wear those), bring some water, and some snacks, along with your calendar, a notepad and pen, and whatever else you need to get thru the day. There will be a couple of breaks thru the day for you to check your voicemail, grab a sandwich, etc.

I’m not an actor, so you don’t really want to see me, right?
Not true! We have had some amazing artists that don't come from traditional theatre backgrounds, and we also look for directors, designers, playwrights, dancers who want a creative home. So if you aren't a traditional actor, bring a portfolio of past work, sample writing, a poem, a dance, a song. Who are you? We want to know. Bring material that shows you off.

Oh No! All of your appointments are taken! What do I do?
You will be given a spot on our waiting list, and we will see those on our waiting list as time allows over the course of audition days. We try really hard to get everyone in.

When will you hold auditions again?
We assess our company’s needs every year around the same time and hold auditions usually within the first few months of the Year (January to March)
Casting notices are on our Webpage, backstage and most online casting sites. Join our mailing list and you will recieve online notifications as well.

Do I need to quit my day job if I am cast?
NO! In fact, if you aren't in a stable home/job/life situation, you might want to hold off on trying to join the company. We all do this out of love and while we are occasionally able to do profit sharing from shows we are quite simply not in a situation to pay a living wage. Don't starve for your art, we can normally work around people's "day/night job" schedules.

Would I get paid at all?
Not exactly.. We occasionally do profit sharing and tips collecting after shows.

I auditioned before and I wasn’t cast. Should I audition again?
Please DO audition for us again. There have been many ensemble members who have had to audition more than once. Sometimes timing is off, we don't have enough room for the talent and sometimes we just need to see you more than once. Give us another chance and we'll do the same for you :)

Feel free to drop us a line to ask for post audition feedback or if you have questions prior to the audition.

Wow it sounds like a lot, I don't think I can committ to all of this but want to get involved! Is there any other way to be a part of the RSP Family?
Yeah there is! We have an amazing group of technicians, designers, volunteers, ushers, interns who love us but can't give their whole life to us. We have an internship program, workshops and volunteer opportunities all year round. Drop us a line at and we'll get you involved!