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OP-Ed: How To Prepare For An Audition The Right Way

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OP-Ed: How To Prepare For An Audition The Right Way

Courtesy of Show Business Weekly

Courtesy of Show Business Weekly

Courtesy of Show Business Weekly

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Getting dressed in the morning seems a task so basic; it’s just ingrained in all of our brains, and rightly so. Deciding what to wear is a bit trickier, however, because fashion, color, and style are all fighting for your attention. Most people seem to manage getting dressed in the morning just fine; they even know what to wear when it comes to job interviews, going to see a concert or a simple Saturday afternoon. So why is it that when it comes to something as easy as dressing for an audition do people have trouble?

My job is to prepare you for what you will need to feel prepared yourself when it’s your turn to walk into that audition room. These are five basic things you need to do that will help you nail your next audition.

No. 1-What to sing

(I am well aware that there are many different types of auditions, but for this tip, I am focusing on a singing audition.)

Songs come in all different shapes, sizes, and sounds. Fortunately for you, there are millions of them; unfortunately for you, there are more than you would like to think about. The way you narrow down this impossible list of song choices is to know what song best fits your voice. There are many ways of finding the right song but what I recommend is conducting a vocal test. One way of doing this is by using the piano and starting in the middle of it and determining your range. Sing the notes as clearly and as fully as you can, and keep track of how stable your voice is. If you reach a point where you are still singing but you are either screeching or basically just breathing deeply, stop. Get to know your voice beforehand so that you have a general idea of what your range might be so that this problem does not happen. Once you have found your lowest and highest note, you can then decide if you are a soprano, alto, tenor, or bass. After you establish this, pay attention to what songs you like and what types of songs that the audition requires. If, for example, you are auditioning for “Phantom of the Opera,” you wouldn’t want to go in singing “My Heart Will Go On.” Sinking ships make directors nervous. For this article, I interviewed Christine Neville who is a voice teacher at Architect and a performer herself. She says: “If you are new to auditioning it is not recommended that you sing a song from the show (unless the company you are auditioning for asks for it specifically). Auditioning with a piece by the same composer but from a different musical is preferable.” If you’ve narrowed down your list to a select few, have honest people listen to you and tell you which song they prefer best. All of these tips will steer you on the path to finding the perfect audition song.

No. 2-What to wear

Now, I like to think that my fashion sense is always on point, but if I was trying out an outfit, the audition room is not the place to do it. When you walk into your audition room and face the judges, you have to prove yourself, relate to them, and show your true personality-all in about 15 minutes. What you decide to wear can go a long way in first impressions and in giving a taste of who you are as an individual. As a basic rule, be respectful of the judges and choose to wear something that looks nice. A good way to show your personality is to wear something that compliments you. I interviewed sophomore Julia Hackney who said “When I’m auditioning for bands or musicals, I like to wear something I feel confident but still comfy in. I think it’s important to feel like you’re putting the best version of yourself forward, but also not be restricted by really tight or rigid clothing.” It should also match the energy you show the judges, which also distinguishes you. It’s up to you whether or not to accessorize, but this can help distinguish your audition from others performing the same songs. If you want to stand out in the audition process, I would also suggest focusing on one part of your outfit. Something memorable but classy will help differentiate you from the others when names and faces fail. A scarf, a nice pair of shoes, a highlighted feature in makeup (such as eyes or lips, but still classy); for guys, you might even want to wear a tie or an interesting (but not over the top) shirt that you like. Go into the audition looking the part of a professional, regardless if you are one or not.

No. 3- What to eat/drink

Most people don’t think about this aspect of an audition, but it’s truly an important one. What you put into your body as a singer, affects your sound which ultimately affects how well your audition goes. Even something like tea can be harmful. As a singer at an audition, it’s important to understand that even though warming up your voice will help, there are good and bad vocal days, and they’re not easily controlled. Before an audition, there should be no dairy. This includes cheese, milk, yogurt, and yes, ice cream. Dairy products create more phlegm for the singer, making it harder to get a consistent sound and for your voice to be clear. Coffee and black teas are also not a good idea. They both dehydrate you, making your throat dry and scratchy. So, even though there are several things that you cannot eat before an audition, there are still plenty of food choices that are perfectly fine. Herbal or green teas are good for the throat, and honey lubricates the throat, putting less strain on your voice before an audition.

No. 4-What to bring

You can never be sure of what time of year an audition may happen, so be prepared for temperature changes inside the building. Keeping your body warm is very important. Exposing yourself to too much cold or heat can affect your voice. I would suggest bringing a jacket with you even in the summer since you never know if an audition room will have a lot of air conditioning. Bring two drinks with you, some tea and some water so that you can frequently hydrate before the audition. Bring a charger and some earbuds; listening to your song or sequence if it’s a dance audition will only help you. Small snacks are also helpful if you think you might have to wait in line to audition. Make sure that you also include sheet music if that is required and keep it in good condition so that they will have no problem reading it. If your audition specifically asks for other items as well, pay attention and don’t forget to bring them.

No. 5-Show life

Besides what you wear and what you sing, you can show that you have life and a spark that the judges are looking for. Don’t hesitate to act out your song while you sing it. Showing your personality, whether it be in the way you act or the little flair you put in your song can help to make you stand out and to bring a life that is fresh and new. Let the judges know that you put a lot of effort into this one song or routine. That action will speak louder than words. You have to go in knowing that you need to be special and that standing out is the only way to shine.

Most importantly out of all the advice I have given, be yourself and be proud of the work you have done. If you are putting your time, effort, and talent into it, you should be proud of the work you have accomplished. That’s the real way to have a successful audition because no matter what the judges say, you did your best.

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1 Comment

One Response to “OP-Ed: How To Prepare For An Audition The Right Way”

  1. Martha Karam on October 23rd, 2018 7:25 am

    Great article, Abby! Your own experiences with auditions really comes forth. “You had to be there to learn these insights.” Every audition is a learning opportunity for the next one. You reminded us that being yourself, being comfortable in your own skin is so important. Thanks for this practical perspective.

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