Auditions Part 3: Preparation
This is the third installment of our eleven-part series on how to improve your next big audition! We’ve taken a good look at male and female audition clothing. Now it’s time to talk about something that can absolutely make or break you audition – preparation.
As much as possible, plan the audition and the events leading up to it. You need to be meticulous and thorough. Know exactly how you will arrive to your audition and the various items that you will need for the journey. If your audition is in a foreign city, be sure to research exactly where it is located. Use GPS and map applications to plan a timetable, being sure to account for traffic and other anomalies. Always build extra time into the schedule. For musicians, ensure that all of your sheet music is properly organized in a black three-ring binder. Never use page protectors or staples while preparing music! Likewise, complete all accompanist annotations early. Finally, take time to research the company and the details of the job for which you will be auditioning. Extra knowledge about your potential employers will always come in handy.
Don’t Scramble on Audition Day.
You need to be focused on your audition for the big day. It is very easy to get frazzled if you have to run around searching for a missing resume or other piece of equipment. This is especially dangerous while on a time crunch and greatly increases your chances of forgetting something. Everything should be ready to go the night before the audition.
Grab your phone or a piece of paper and write down everything that you will need for the audition. Nothing is too big or too small. For example, if you will need money for bus fares, be sure to include that! Alternatively, write down a timetable with steps leading up to the audition. It is a great way to ensure that you have enough time to realistically arrive to the audition without being in a rush. What’s more, it allows you to quickly see your plan and address any missing pieces.
Triple Check Your Preparation.
Aim to thoroughly go over your plan at least three times before leaving for the audition. Make sure that all of your required items are organized. If you need to bring resumes or paper products, check that the pages are all facing the right direction. All sheet music, especially that for accompanists, should be carefully checked for errors. Do not make the fatal mistake of placing your pages out of order.
Idiot-Proof the Plan.
To reduce the risk of forgetting something, place all important items in high traffic areas in your house. Make it impossible for you to leave your things behind if you get in a rush. Don’t forget the big and obvious items! When something goes wrong, it is often something silly that you would never expect. One time, I was hired to sing a local concert with an accompanist. I was on a time crunch and left the house without grabbing the only necessary item – the binder full of music for the accompanist! Consider what you absolutely must have in order to survive the audition and prioritize those items.
Make a Kit.
If you frequently attend auditions, it is a good idea to build an audition kit as extra preparation. This can be as small or elaborate as you like and should be stored in a sealable container or bag. Your kit should include as many frequently-used audition items as possible. You may also wish to include emergency items. An example of audition kit items can be found below:
Hair brush, Beard brush, Hair gel, Razor for shaving, Lint roller, Breath mints or gum, Toothbrush, Mouthwash, Face wash or soap, Deodorant, Socks, Phone charger, Money, Replacement shoe laces, Feminine Hygiene Products, Makeup Essentials, Pen and pencil, Electrical Tape or Duct Tape
You never know when something will go wrong. Being ready for anything will help you remain calm and therefore increase your chances of audition success!
If your audition has paper requirements like resumes, headshots, repertoire sheets, sheet music, etc., be sure to print and bring more than you think that you need. Even if the company provided information that details exactly how many copies are required, bring more anyway. Audition panels frequently change. If a new judge arrives and extra materials are needed, your preparation will pay off! What’s more, papers can easily be damaged in transit. Store all paper products in a plain black three-ring binder to reduce this risk.
Use these handy tips to better prepare yourself for your next big audition. Following them will also help you be more relaxed and confident! Stay tuned for our next installment of the audition series: Time Management
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