Guest Author - Robin Rounds Whittemore
If you are in any way associated with theater, comedy or other forms of entertainment; you have most likely watched an audition, or had to perform in one. Are your auditioning skills up to date? Are you ready to think on your feet? Here are some suggestions for actors, directors, producers, talent scouts, or public speakers to try out.
Take an ordinary pack of cards, including the jokers if possible. As each person is called to do their audition, they get to pick a card. When they pick the card, they show it to the audience and then act on what the card represents to them; unless there are specific instructions for each card.
For example, if they pick a Joker, they would do something or say something to try to make the audience laugh. They could also do a few minutes of stand-up comedy.
Should they draw a King, Queen or Jack, they could decide to either quote or do a cold read with lines from Shakespeare. There are many good lines in King Lear, the Queen in Hamlet, and even Hamlet himself.
Cards Ace through 10 lend many an interesting idea or two for impromptu speeches or monologues. The suits of diamonds, spades, hearts, and clubs could make you think of most any topic.
Diamonds might have to talk about being rich, or not rich. Perhaps even expanding on the theory that diamonds are a girl's best friend might be one avenue that you could make your audience explore with you.
Spades can be for digging possible information. Try a scene with a partner about digging for information. One person could pretend to be a policeman questioning a suspect, or a lawyer with a witness on the stand.
Hearts opens up a plethora of ideas from people in love to people that are lonely and still hoping for love. Maybe in your scene, you would even make someone decide that love just isn't meant to be for them.
Clubs were used by cavemen in bygone days. Clubs are also where things get hopping after 5 and are also good for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, etc. How about creating a speech for local businessmen and business women that shows what good their support of a local boys and girls club could be?
You can try your ideas out in front of an audience, or practice in front of a mirror. Wherever and whenever you try this, it is good to get the creative juices flowing. Entertainers are not the only ones who could benefit from this.
People who are called on to give speeches and talks in board meetings, or groups like Toastmasters might want to give this a try.