Auditions Part 5: Be Yourself
This is the fifth part of an eleven-piece series on ways that you can improve your auditions! Read our previous post on punctuality here. We will be taking an honest and in-depth look at how auditions work and what you can do to succeed. This edition focuses on how to be yourself and be personable before and after your audition. A positive attitude and demeanor in the waiting area can speak volumes for your hireability!
Once you have gotten settled in the waiting area, take time to chat with those around you. It is important to meet people from the company or organization – often several of them are lurking in the lobby! Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It looks good if you are able to converse with other auditioners and the proctors. If you are stuck for conversation topics, try asking people what they do for a living outside of performance or if they have other hobbies. Appropriate jokes are always good for breaking the ice. Your audition actually starts the moment that you walk into the waiting area. If the judges have a hard time deciding who to hire at the end of the day, proctors may be asked to provide input. If you leave a good first impression, it will be noticed!
Boasting and bragging can be exceptionally prevalent in the waiting area before an audition. It is a toxic practice in which many performers engage in order to boost their own confidence and scare the other auditioners. Those who boast are often very skilled at it and can quickly drag you into their net. You should never name-drop, talk about previous important performance experiences, reference special connections that you have that might “get you ahead”, or talk in depth about previous experiences with the company for which you are auditioning. When other auditioners attempt to drag you into this, diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. If you are socially confident and skilled with verbal banter, try to turn the conversation around in a way that puts pressure on the instigator. You should never do this in an aggressive or combative way. An example dialogue is as follows:
Instigator: I’m not worried about this audition. I know “super-famous-director-person”. I’m guaranteed to get hired.
You: That’s good for you. I hope your audition goes well.
Instigator: I’m sure it will. Do you know “super-famous-director-person”? It helps to know her. I wouldn’t want to be here if I didn’t know her.
You: I believe you, but I’d rather focus on preparing for my audition. I don’t like to rely on connections – I want to get the job because of my performance and hard work.
Skillfully avoiding this kind of conversation and being able to quickly divert it looks good to the proctors and those in the company. It’s also good practice for being a considerate human being. Be yourself and be kind – it will speak volumes for your level of professionalism!
While you are waiting, be sure to remain aware and keep an eye on the room. A fellow colleague may have forgotten a pencil, makeup, a binder, a tie, or any other audition item. Try to be helpful if you can! Going out of your way to be supportive of others and their success speaks volumes for your professionalism. If you are open to being kind and helpful, it will be noticed by the proctors and the audition staff!
While in the audition room, be yourself and act as you normally would. Resist the urge to put on a facade or act falsely in an attempt to impress the judges. Imagine that the judges are old acquaintances that you haven’t seen in a long while. Likewise, you could pretend that the judges are family members or co-workers and that you are equals. It looks good if an auditioner is comfortable, polite, and relaxed while conversing with the judges. Speak slowly and clearly, and above all, try not to stress. If you are worried about what to say, simply smile, stand comfortably, and wait to be addressed. What slating your name and repertoire, remember to speak more slowly than you think is necessary.
Use these tips to remain calm and be yourself in your next big audition! Be kind, helpful, and personable in the waiting area as well. Doing so will help you succeed and will greatly improve your chances of being hired. Stay tuned for the next installment of our audition series: Thanking the Judges!