Anyone who loves performing on stage knows before you can enjoy all that applause and adoration for your onstage performance – you need to get the part and that means Auditions! For most of us, these can be more nerve-wracking than opening night!
The key to auditions, I still firmly believe, is preparation – after 20+ years watching people audition in front of me – there are very, very few people I know who can walk into an audition and ‘blag it’!
So here are a few of my tips to help you do the very best you can in your audition.
Preparation means you need to do some research before deciding which part is best suited to your strengths – with YouTube and the internet so accessible there really is no excuse when it comes to choosing the right part. Be ambitious but also be realistic and whatever your previous experience you should still do the following:
- Research the show – what are the roles/characters, the songs and are there are lots of dance routines to learn. Remember age on stage can be disguised with make-up but you can only go so far!
- Look at how large the role you are considering auditioning for is. (It’s not ideal to go for the largest lead role if this is your first attempt at an audition or first time on stage) Why not try something smaller or a cameo role to see how it goes – if you do a great audition then the panel might think you could possibly consider a larger part – who knows? A good audition regardless of the part you are going for will stand you in great stead for the show.
- Are the songs in your vocal range? – if you are unsure talk to the musical director – they should be able to tell you whether you are a Soprano, Alto, Mezzo, Tenor, Baritone or Bass.
- Does the part require an accent or accents – can you attempt these (not necessarily perfectly for auditions but close enough), as the pressure of auditions can make anything happen.
- Remember you are showing the audition panel you at your best… this means make sure they can see your face – I am still bewildered by auditionees with their hair draped in front of their face or their amazing interest in the floor. Make sure they can see you and see how talented you really are! Chin up and shine!
- If wearing certain shoes or a lucky t-shirt helps, then do it – we all have our superstitions. However, if the part is a princess or elegant lady – wearing your favourite trainers and baggy tracksuit may not help the panel see you in the role. Think how to help them believe in you. If the part comes down to you and your all time nemesis – if they look more like the part and you have both performed well in the audition – the panel will look at any other factors to help them make a decision.
- Try and learn the dialogue and songs if you can – I always find holding a book or sheet of paper when you are nervous and shaking highlights that fact, plus hopefully without the words you can get more into the character and perform better.
These are all the basics but what if all these things are okay but your nerves still get the better of you?
Don’t Panic! Everyone on the panel wants you to do a great audition – after all, they want the best people for the parts. Take some water into your audition, in case of a dry throat and remember to breath – if you can forget about the panel and imagine it’s the actual show that you are performing in front of the audience or that you are still in your bedroom in front of the mirror, that can help. Above all if it goes wrong, stop and ask if you can start again. Take a moment and go for it – if you can get through this then it proves to the panel you can cope with any issues that might arise during the actual show.
As with the lyrics from The Wiz – “If you believe within your heart, you’ll know that no one can change the path that you must go. Believe what you feel and know you’re right because the time will come around when you can say it’s yours”
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