Pay and tips:
We currently pay $25 a show.
As for tips, that question does not have an easy answer. Tips could range from $0 to $150 (the most any single night has yielded since we opened). We do shows for as few as 15 people to as many as 130. Tips tend towards $1.00 a guest per actor (but frequently they are a bit more). What that means is if we have a crowd of 15, you will probably get $15-$20 for the night, and if we had a crowd of 40 you would probably get $40-$55 dollars for the night. This is not a guarantee, but this is just what we have observed since we opened.
I am only interested in doing this for the money...
We don't suggest doing this only for the money. Yes it is great that there is paid theater in town, but the audience seems to have a sixth sense about this, and it does effect the tips negatively (even when it seems like the audience was really into the show). So if you plan on doing this, we suggest a well gounded interest in performing for the love of performing and viewing the pay as a bonus. (Don't let this scare you off from auditioning, but we wanted to give you a fair warning).
I have a lot of experience...
Ok, so again not a question, but we've heard this a lot over the last year and want to just briefly respond to this so you will have a better idea about working for us.
Albuquerque is primarily stage based theater, with few alternate formats. Acting in the round and interacting with the audience is much different than standing up on a stage and (mostly) ignoring the audience. So even if you have an impressive resume, you will still need to have an open mind and a willingness to really play off the audience.
We know some people do have prior dinner theater experience (either from the previous dinner theater in town or from other towns), but each theater has its own format and own eccentricities. So again we just ask you keep an open mind.
Other than that, please come audition for us, prior experience with alternate formats is not a must, just the open mind to try it out.
What are you looking for? How do I get cast?
Well, primarily you have to show up to the audition. Other than that...
We have been setting up our auditions so we can gauge your natural ability to deal with the audience surrounding you (meaning your fellow actors are actually seated around you as the audience stand in). Additionally, going over the top during the audition is fine (we can always ask you to bring it back down). Basically, we are looking for people who can bring to life a very two dimensional character from the page. This means not only are you learning the scripted character, but you need to be able to add personality and even some background to that character making it more realistic (we can help you with this part). However we are not wanting the characters to become caricatures. You just want to be able to develop the character into an alternate personality that you can be for the entire evening of the show (since you are also serving in character). The more you can show us this, even during the audition, the better chance you have of getting cast.
We also suggest that if you read for a character multiple times, to do it differently each time. And pay attention to the people who have done this venue before, because they are setting the bar for what we are looking for. If you don't know who that is, talk to other people at the audition, you will find them quickly. We also usually have them stand up and say hi.
Wait staff experience is a bonus, but please understand that we are not flipping tables. We don't rush people since we have only one seating a night (and we still manage to keep the total show length to about 2-2.5 hours).
Also, the ability to improv is useful, but not a requirement, this can be learned.