As you know, I'm participating in the Classe Libre competition at Cours Florent. I had the first audition last week and then, if I pass this first step, I'll still have two more auditions to undertake.
I still don't have the results from the first audition, but I've already started to prepare the monologues for the second one, just in case. Otherwise, I'm afraid that if I'm admitted to the second step, I won't have enough time to prepare everything. I just didn't begin to work on the dialogue scene as I don't want my partner to work for nothing, if I'm not admitted.
Anyway, as there is really no information about this competition on internet (I searched for it prior to register) I thought I would tell you what to expect in case you're thinking to participate as well.
And if I'm admitted to the second or the third round, I then will tell you what to expect too.
Firstly, everyone can register, you don't need to have previous acting experience. I already tried the Classe Libre audition a couple of years ago and there was no age limit. As of today, the age limit is 35 years old.
There's a fee to pay to register to the audition of 78 €. This probably is used to cover the audition's organization costs, but as well to finance the training of the actors that will be admitted.
I think this is also a first barrier to select people that are really interested in this training, otherwise there would probably be much more applicants, which would register just to try and see.
For the first step of the competition you have to prepare a monologue from whatever you want: it can be a text from theatre, from a movie, a novel...
Plus this year candidates have to prepare another performance such as a dancing or music or singing... (last time, we had to prepare a newspaper article).
For the second step, on the other side, you have to choose a text from specific periods theatre, plus on the last step there's an imposed monologue for all candidates.
If you're not French, you also have to prepare something in your mother tongue, which is a chance, if you ask me, as you have an additional opportunity to show what you can do.
Try to choose texts that fit your age and appearance. And for the dialogue scenes try to find a good partner, otherwise instead of helping you, he'll have the opposite effect (and I know what I'm talking about).
I also just suggest you to prepare contrasting texts, where you can show different kind of emotions.
I prepared a monologue from "L'Etat de siège" by Camus - something really dark - a monologue from "When Harry meets Sally" - something bubbling and lighter - and a dance in which my character was kind of crazy.
When you arrive the ambiance is really nice and everyone is super kind, so that you feel good.
You have a separate room where you can change or prepare yourself.
You are called at a certain time for your audition, but actually there are 4 other people at the same time, so if you're not the first one you may wait a little. But it's ok as you cannot wait more than 45 minutes anyway, as the next hour there will be other people called.
I was the third one and waited about 20 minutes (yep, the audition only last 10ish minutes).
Also, I think that at the first step of the competition, they really look at candidates' physical appearance. I'm saying that, because last time they asked to girls to come wearing a short, little black dress, high heels and natural make-up.
This year, there is no dress code, but I think it's better to be dressed with something that makes you look good.
Also consider, that if you need to change - I had to change for dancing - you cannot go out the audition room and come back, you have to change in the room, so choose something easy to wear.
Finally regarding the jury, at the first audition, there is only one person in the jury. He's a kind man who puts candidates at ease. It was the same person when I passed the audition last time.
But I remember from last time, that at the second audition there were 3 or 4 people in the jury and they were not really welcoming, it was not the same atmosphere.
Anyway, the man in the jury times your performances and stops you when you reach the time limit. So be aware of the length of your texts.
I've actually been stopped before the end of my first monologue. I timed myself at home and I thought it was 3 minutes (maximum time authorized), but it actually must have been like 3 minutes and 15 seconds so I couldn't finish and that was really frustrating.
Also, what was frustrating is that the jury watched more his iPhone (I think he was taking the time on the phone) than me.
And I was like "hey you, I'm performing for you, look at me!!".
It really irritated me, and at a certain point I really raise my voice (anyway I was playing a dictator so it was ok with the character).
And during the dancing, there was a moment where I was supposed to laugh and as I saw he was not watching me, I laughed rally loud, but he didn't raise his head...
The audition room is enough big that you can perform whatever you want. I was a bit concerned about dancing, but I actually had enough space.
But it's not that big and lights are not that blinding, so you can really see the jury very well.
Also, I didn't know what to expect on the floor (always worried for dancing). It was parquet and I could dance barefoot, it was not slippery.
It's really like a little stage, only it's not an elevated one.
Well I really have a good time at this audition. As I was not stressed at all, I could really enjoy performing!
And in the end, I think I did something good, as juryman seemed interested and asked me if I could play in English as well, who my agent is, where I was playing...
I'll let you know how it goes, for the time being, fingers crossed ;)