How Do You Nail an Audition?
You’re not alone if you get a queasy feeling right before an important audition. In fact, even pros get nervous. The difference is that experience helps to quell excess anxiety. Still, given that no one can predict the outcome of any audition (especially due to luck), strategies that help you handle the stress of trying out for a job are essential. These encompass having your ‘act’ together.
Prepare Your Instrument
Depending on your art form, it’s important to be in shape by singing most days, practicing monologues, boning up on cold readings, or taking advanced dance classes. It’s equally crucial to be healthy. You can get away with a minor cold or allergies for a favorite show and even tell the director ONCE that you’re sick. A serious injury is self-sabotage, especially for dancers. Also pick work that presents you in the best light. For example, weak singers with a decent rhythm generally do better with up tempo songs, whereas strong singers can do ballads that show off their musical and dramatic ability. If you’re doing a monologue, have a strong objective and characterization but be flexible. The casting director may want you to change your approach to see how you take direction.
Bring the Right Materials
Check the audition notice for requirements aside from a resume and photos (e.g., a song of a particular length). If you’re going for a specific role, dress in clothing that suggests the part and perform a similar monologue or song (remember sheet music for the pianist), with other options if requested. Never do something from the show, since your version may differ from their expectations. Musical theater performers who dance should also wear the right shoes in case they have to switch to a combination on the spot. A ballet or contemporary dancer who’s auditioning for a company needs an attractive leotard and tights that showcases the body. Wear the same outfit for a callback (no it’s not just superstition). Carol Burnett got her first break when they asked for “the girl in the orange dress.” They didn’t remember her name.
Use Your Mental Skills
While nerves can energize your performance, keep them under control with tools like five deep breaths and correct negative thoughts. Lower the stakes (i.e., it’s only one audition) and create a strong impression by walking into the room without any telltale signs of insecurity (e.g., looking at the floor and fidgeting). Make eye contact and give a warm, friendly smile which relaxes you and everyone else. It also increases your likeability factor; a major plus for getting hired. Actors and singers can introduce themselves and greet everyone with a simple question, such as “How’s your day been so far?” Give them your audition materials and stand on your mark for a film or commercial. Concentrate on your performance not on being judged. Afterwards, smile as you say goodbye and stay nearby for a few minutes in case they decide to see you again ASAP.
Last but not least, have fun! Landing a job typically takes numerous auditions, Enjoy the process and excitement of going after a part!