The audition process for theater can be a scary thing, especially when you're going solo, performing a monologue for the directors. However, with the right amount of preparation and correct balance between character development, discovery, imagination, and performance tactics it can become a much less stressful predicament. For me though, it doesn't get easier, it just becomes more familiar.
Choosing the perfect fit
Choosing a monologue can make or break your audition. It's very important you pick the right one for you. A monologue that shows what you can do, that's less than two minutes (1-2 min to be exact), is a good example of a great fit. One suggestion would be choosing a monologue where the character you portray is within 2-3 years of your actual age, if not the same age as you. It's difficult to show casting directors, judges, etc. an amount of who YOU are, if you're doing a monologue where the character is experiencing things you've never experienced, orr saying things you'd never say. In other words, pick a character you somewhat relate to.
There are many techniques you can use while preparing your monologue for auditions. Some may do research on the play, movie, novel, etc. that the monologue is from. Others might go to the extent of reading the book watching the movie, or play, etc. If you are doing a monologue from a novel that is also a movie or play, I feel as though it's better to read the novel first before watching the movie or play, if you have that option. With such a short time of you being this character, keep in mind this is not the character you'll be studying for a whole semester, reading the book is a great way to get to know the character you'll portray. It is great for character development because it leaves it up to your imagination. Some prefer not to watch videos of others doing the same monologue because it can create a fixed picture in the person's head of what they should do/say rather than said person giving their own unique take on the monologue. In my case, if I am researching monologues to perform and I find one that I connect with but, I've never heard of the play and have no idea what it's about, I'll sometimes watch the monologue to get the context, along with doing some research.
Oh, the grueling callbacks portion of the process! Callbacks are hard to really be prepared for. You can say what character you'd like to be in the play(s) and you can do all in your ability to perform as best as you can but, the rest is up to the directors to place you where they feel your are best. I believe being flexible is important in preparing for callbacks. Keep yourself open-minded because you don't know what to expect. Be open to anything and everything and challenge yourself with new possibilities. You'd be surprised the joy you'll get through trying new things and reading for a character you are not necessarily wanting to be at first glance.
Happy with your role
If there's one thing I've learned throughout my 6 years in theatre, it's that being disappointed or sad about the role you get is a waste of time. You will not always get the role you desire and you can be okay with that. It's all a learning experience. I've gotten roles that were not my preference and those roles turned out to be the best play experiences I've had. It's all about what you make of it. If you choose to be sad about the role in which you have been cast, there's no fun in that. However, if you do get that one role you wanted, then great job! Be open-minded, happy, and just have fun! In the end that's what matters.