Four Steps to Staying Fab During Audition Season
Written by Alex Muscaro
January 8, 2020
The college audition process can seem incredibly intimidating, especially when you are planning on auditioning for multiple colleges. Remembering the audition times and locations is stressful enough, but then add deciding what to sing for each and figuring out if you need to have a monologue prepared on top of it all. It is easy to let the anxiety build, but don’t worry! You’ve got this!
Here are four steps to help you to stay fabulous during the college audition season.
1. Make a List and Check it Twice!
Step one to staying organized during this wild time is to make a master list of all the schools you would like to audition for. If you are preparing for your college auditions, this means you’ve done all your research for these schools already and know which ones will fit you best.
Make a master list of all the schools you want to audition for, and then organize them by region. Organizing them by region will help you realize what schools are close to one another, far away from each other, and their distance away from where you live. Make sure to pay special attention to the schools that are close to one another. That way, when you are scheduling your auditions, you know for which schools you should try to schedule back- to- back auditions.
Make a fun weekend trip out of your out of town auditions! That way, it will seem like a vacation instead of a stressful situation that your college acceptance depends upon. If possible, if your audition is close to home, make a fun road trip with friends. Plan fun activities for after the audition to stop yourself from over-thinking what happened in the room, which is something all theatre professionals struggle with no matter what age you are.
I was lucky to have two friends actually come up to New York with me the weekend of my auditions, and having them there made all the difference in the world. It made me remember that an audition is not the end of the world, and having them there made me look forward to spending time with them after the audition.
If you want to go above and beyond, you should also write down the audition dates next to each school’s name on your list. This will help you tremendously with step 2.
2. Put it in the Books
Now that you have an idea of what schools you should try to group together, it’s time to start scheduling those auditions. Selecting an audition date can seem incredibly stressful. Either the school will have a wide selection of dates, or they will have only a few audition dates to choose from.
I did all of my auditions in January when flights were cheaper, and my school schedule wasn’t killing me. I also only auditioned for New York schools (because I’m a crazy dreamer and figured I’d go big or go home), so I had scheduled all my New York auditions for the same weekend.
Make a list of your availability: long weekends, random days off, holiday breaks, etc. Then, and this is where doing that extra step in Step 1 comes in handy, try and match up your availability with school audition times. That way, it’s just a matter of visually seeing dates that align. Can you tell I am a very visual learner?
In addition to all of this, scheduling auditions also means scheduling time to do self-tapes. If a school is all the way across the country and you simply cannot afford to fly there for an in-person audition, they will more than likely also allow for self-tape auditions. This type of audition requires just as much time and preparation, so you must be proactive in putting aside time to focus on submitting your best work possible.
Check out Performer Stuff’s Three-Part Series on making a self-tape:
3. Sing Out Louise
For the most part, every school wants two contrasting songs and potentially two contrasting monologues. Contrasting could mean dramatic vs. comedic, Golden Age (100 of the Best Classic Audition Songs) vs. contemporary, contemporary rock/pop v.s. contemporary MT or any combination. It is super important to choose material that a.) fits your look and age, and b.) that is fun for you to perform! Get a binder and put in your favorite contrasting pieces in the front. Then, you must have two alternative songs ready for each “contrast.” So basically, three uptempo and three ballads. This is just in case you are asked to sing more, or you are just so sick and tired of singing the same songs you want to change it up. Remember, you must LOVE your audition songs.
For contrasting ideas, read this piece, I wrote:
The Top 5 Contrasting Combinations for Your College Audition
and for monologue pieces check out this massive list of monologues:
All the Best Monologues on Performer Stuff Right Now
Here is the truth about theatre schools: they don’t usually want students who are professionals. Colleges want eager, talented individuals who are hungry to learn. They want to teach you, that’s the whole point of creating a college program around it! So at your audition, don’t feel like you have to be the best. Be yourself. That’s what all colleges want to see.
On a side note, for my audition to Marymount Manhattan College, my first choice school and alma mater, I had both bronchitis and a sinus infection. I can’t even put into words how sick I was, but I still showed up and let the head of the program know, “I would rather show what I can do now than not at all.” Spoiler alert, I was accepted.
If you find yourself in the same boat, take note of these:
10 Remedies to Help Your Throat Survive Audition Season
Authenticity is vital. A college audition is a chance for you to say, “Hey! This is me. I am unique and special. And that is why you want me in your program.” Break a leg!
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