10 of the Best Tips to Remember This Audition Season…
Written by Meghan Mitchell
April 9, 2019
…so you don’t freak out in the holding room! Auditioning is stressful, no matter how much you do it. Here are a few helpful tips to remember, both before you arrive and while you wait, to put your best foot forward when walking in the room.
1. They WANT you to do well.
No casting director or choreographer wants to see you do poorly. Every director wants you to be the one to cast—then their work is done! Whoever is in that room is hoping and wanting for you to be the one. As performers, we are all our harshest critic. Remember that auditions are all mini-performances of their own. Walk into each one knowing you’ve got the best to offer and don’t hold back!
2. Do something well-rehearsed.
When it comes down to the stress of new material or the comfort of doing something tried and true, always do what will put your best foot forward in the audition. Now, that may be a judgment call depending on what the audition calls for—Shakespeare only? Maybe don’t do the Neil LaBute and try out the new Midsummer monologue. But no matter what, the casting team wants to see the best version of YOU that you can offer, no matter what material that may be.
3. Practice with your friends.
Practicing with friends goes hand in hand with doing material you are prepared to do. I have always found that doing a monologue or song in front of people you know VERY well is a million times more difficult than doing that same monologue or song in front of a stranger. Find a group of friends, classmates, those close to you, that you trust that will give you valid and valuable feedback. Then practice material in front of each other! It is so difficult to do, but you will become stronger from the practice and will nail it when it comes time to do it for real.
Are you warming up? Of course, everyone warms up. Auditions can come at crazy times of the day. I know I have auditioned at 8:10 AM and also at 3:45 AM. Your voice and body need to be ready and poised to perform their best no matter what time of day it is. It is so important to know how to prepare your instrument to show the best version of yourself, no matter how much your body is telling you “this is not an ideal time.” Of course, it’s not! We know that the casting team knows that. But you want to show your “7 PM voice” to that morning audience? Take a minute to warm yourself up to be show-ready, whatever that means to you and your body.
5. Stay hydrated.
Water fuels us; it maintains both our vocal health and our physical health daily. If you have coffee or tea, or even energy drinks, you should be replacing that liquid with the same amount of water to counter-act dehydration from the caffeine. Everyone’s body is different, but the more water you use to keep your body functioning at peak performance the happier and healthier that performance will be!
6. Allergy medicine!
I know if I miss a day of allergy meds, I can say good-bye to healthy sinuses! Both Spring and Fall have different challenges for different people. Some people have allergies all year long. If you know you are sensitive to pollen, don’t let it get the best of you! Stay on top of all outside factors so you can focus on nailing the part, instead of blowing your nose after you leave the audition room.
7. Wash your hands.
These are all elementary truths to staying audition ready, but washing your hands after touching doors, shaking hands, and especially before you eat or drink, can make a difference in catching a cold, or staying ahead of it. Flu season is usually audition season. Hand sanitizer is also your friend! Don’t be afraid to shake hands and warm up on the ballet barre, be prepared to wash your hands before leaving the studio.
8. Exercise your audition muscles.
Along with doing material you are comfortable with, you need to audition often enough to keep your audition muscles in shape. It’s an entirely different skill set to performing on the stage. Yes, elements are the same, but it is a concise snapshot of what the casting team wants to see. If you practice the art of auditioning, you will become more comfortable with it. When you are more comfortable, you can relax in the room and show your best self to the casting directors!
9. Auditions are not social hour.
You will see many friends and co-workers you would love to say “hello” to when waiting for an audition. Remember that an audition is a job interview, and everyone has their process of getting ready to walk into the room prepared. It is okay to say hello and be friendly; it’s encouraged! But have your routine to get focused and stay mindful of other people’s processes. It’s not the goal to be the loudest or most liked in the holding room; it’s to show your best self when you walk into the audition room.
10. Leave it at the door…
Your attitude, your worries, waiting to hear about a callback (like the television commercial), “set it, and forget it!” When you go into the audition, that’s when you can let loose and show your best self. But then leave your questions and second-guessing behind! Also, when you walk into the holding room, leave your attitude in the car, train, or bus (whatever transportation you took) because you need to focus on what you have to offer that day. Even if you feel like you weren’t your best version of yourself, it’s the best version you could give in the moment. Find peace in that. After you’re done, there’s nothing you can do to change what happened in the room. And that’s okay! You move onto the next audition or project, that should be your next focus instead. Let your worries go to carpe diem!
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