Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ted Rooney: Making Your Audition Less Dependent on Mystery or Mood

Ted Rooney

Ted Rooney is a veteran of the professional acting world with over 35 TV guest-star / recurring credits including ER and Gilmore Girls, over 15 principal movie roles and 35 principal commercial appearances (Including the Rozerem campaign as Abe Lincoln). 
Television credits include Lost, Weeds, My Name is Earl, CSI, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and many others. Locally, he has appeared in Leverage and the upcoming Bucksville. Ted has appeared in several films including Legally Blonde and Almost Famous.

On stage, Rooney has appeared on the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Stage in Measure for Measure and Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Sir Peter Hall. Regional theatre credits include Williamstown Theatre, The McCarter, The Wilma, The Arden, Idaho Shakespeare and 10 off-off Broadway plays. Ted has coached acting at the undergraduate level and directed for several years, and is currently at George Fox University. Ted holds an MFA in Acting from Temple University.

This Fall, Ted is teaching Audition Technique in our Studio Program starting October 5. He'll also lead a Film Weekend Intensive Nov. 5 through 7. Here’s a conversation we had with Ted.

Conservatory Confessions: What’s your approach to your career, and how does that translate into your Audition Technique class?

Ted Rooney: Oh boy, how can I explain it simply? Hmm. In a word: Professionalism. My mantra for auditioning: practice and preparation. With that foundation, I am able to then let go and have fun. Early on in my career in NYC--over a three week period--I once did 51 auditions. That is 17 per week. Many of the parts I was being seen for were simply not my type, but I wanted to gain the practice, so I auditioned for anything that moved. I wanted my body and mind to get used to this auditioning, instead of it being an unusual, uncomfortable, pressure-filled event. I wanted to be walking in the door thinking and feeling "this is something I do". To that end, I feel there is nothing like practice. So, in this class I want to get the students up and practicing as much as possible.

Conservatory Confessions: But isn't there more to it than just repetition? What do students work toward as they do it over and over?

Ted with funny thing on his head.
Ted Rooney: Combining this practice with disciplined preparation makes for consistent auditions. It is difficult not to get nervous when one feels ill prepared. When you have done your best to prepared, you can have the confidence to let go and enjoy the audition. But doing the obvious preparation work (script analysis, rehearsing and staging), is not always enough. You can still get bogged down with nerves if your mind is dwelling in unhelpful thoughts. So, part of preparation is the practice of getting in the proper audition mind set...and remembering to breathe. These are all things we will cover in the class.

Conservatory Confessions: What if you're one of those actors that just doesn't audition well?

Ted Rooney: In the end, auditioning the actors job. And if we are willing to see it that way and do the hard work necessary, we will see results in the quality and consistency of our auditions. And it might even begin to be fun!

Audition Technique begins October 5 and takes place Tuesday evenings through November 23 (no class Oct. 26) from 6:30pm-9:30pm. The cost for the class is $325.

Film Weekend Intensive begins Friday, November 5 and concludes Sunday, November 7. See website schedule for details. More info on studio classes or register.

***Add our new Film Weekend Intensive to your registration for any class and get the low low price of $500 for both. That's a $25 to $100 value, depending on the class you choose!***

***As always, sign up for one class and get 10% off each additional class of equal or lesser value!***

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