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10 Tips on Owning the Room at Competition

Written by Tiffany Weagly-Wilkie

September 26, 2016

Have you ever wondered how to do well at competition? It’s more than just doing well during your performance. These ten tips will give you the edge on the competition. Be sure to rehearse with them every time.

1. Do several mock performances prior to the performance.

In these mock performances, treat them like they’re the real thing. Do everything that you’ll do on the actual performance day. Make your mistakes and get feedback on them from friends or your director. Learn from your mock mistakes, so you won’t make them on the real day.

2. Iron your clothes.

You would be surprised how few performers think to do this. An ironed skirt or shirt will give the impression that you put thought into your overall look. It also shows that you have pride in your performance.

3. Warm-up before you go in the room.

Separate yourself from the others who are auditioning or competing. Spend 30 minutes warming up mentally, physically, and emotionally.

4. See yourself succeeding.

Before you go into the room, take a moment to mediate on an image of you succeeding. Performers like to focus on what could go wrong and what is out of their control. Instead, focus on seeing yourself succeed: cheering at your awards, hugging your friends, or smiling when you’ve found out you’ve been accepted to a program.

5. Walk into the room like you already own it.

Judges look for the few performers who can walk into a room and put it at ease. When you are able to approach the adjudicators with a cool confidence it’ll set the tone for your performance and relax the energy in the room. Let the judges know with your confidence that you’ll take care of everything from here on out.

6. Be yourself during your introduction.

Nothing is more refreshing than authenticity in introductions. Actors often slip into a robotic trance during intros, which can make them seem like everyone else. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Say “Hello” and mean it.

7. Take a moment to get into character.

Taking a few beats after you have finished your introduction will show that you have worked on a “moment before” – what happens to your character immediately before your monologue. It’s always refreshing to see an actor who has taken the time to consider what has happened before the scene begins.

8. Say “Thank You” when you have finished.

Authentically thanking the people who just watched your performance is a beautiful way to conclude your time in the room.

9. Walk out with good energy.

No matter what happens in the room, exit like you have just done your best performance ever. Take that energy with you out the door.

10. Be nice to yourself.

When the performance is over, be your own cheerleader. Find a quiet place to reflect on what went right in the room. If you journal, write down your thoughts and feelings immediately following the performance. Treat yourself better than you would treat anyone else.


For more about Tiffany Weagly-Wilkie, check out her interview with our Performer Stuff Editor in which she shares her passion for teaching and directing young theatre artists.


Tiffany Weagly-Wilkie is the Director of Theatricals for PerformerStuff.com. She also serves as the Casting Director for The Imagination House.
Thumbnail from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.