My Audition Story and What I Learned Along the Way
Happy New Year! Here we are, just short of two months until your audition for the Juilliard School! It is a major accomplishment on your part for making even this far! Keep on keepin’ on! This blog will feature my audition story and some advice for your audition!
If you still haven’t decided what you’re singing for your audition, the following video is full of some “great” ideas for audition repertoire (NOT):
My Story and What I Learned Along the Way
My audition day was March 4th, 2016. I will probably never forget that date because it was the only thing I thought about for an entire year. Throughout the application process I couldn’t help but think someone had made a mistake. I kept thinking “there’s got to be someone out there named Rayòn Hurelli who keeps losing out because they keep pronouncing his name wrong”. If any of you are thinking that right now, have no fear, they assured us during our first week that no mistakes were made.
THE AUDITION AND BEYOND: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME!
I remember it snowed the day of my audition and my mom and were walking from our hotel at 57th street (Not a bad walk, but a little slippery in the snow). Luckily there were no slipping and falling on my way. Like every other I visited Juilliard, I was so surprised at how collaborative and friendly people were. Be prepared for a lot of waiting. I auditioned at around 3 o’clock and it wasn’t until 6pm before I heard about the callback – quite possibly the longest three hours of my life. When the callback list was posted, it is inevitable that some people are not going to make the list. I was anxious for the voice faculty for having to make such hard decisions. My first advice is it’s probably not about you (keep this in mind). Juilliard auditions gathers some of the most talented and hardest-working young singers from across the world and has to choose between them. Even if it does not go the way you would like, remember that it is because of your high achievement that you have made it to the top! You are already among the best and the brightest. If you’re not called back, it probably has nothing to do with your merit as a performer. A lot of tough decisions must be made.
THE CALLBACK: YOU DO YOU!
My callback was different than I expected. It was a small group comprised of myself, the Vocal Arts Artistic Director, and two additional people (who I now know as my acting teacher and a vocal coach we work with regularly). It is an incredibly friendly environment. In my case, I didn’t do much singing at all! They seemed very interested in getting to know me, which is why you should always be yourself! Juilliard places a strong emphasis on well-rounded students. It is in your best interest to show them your most lovely and charming self. This is not the time to go into Opera-Diva-Mode – Humility and Gratitude is the way to go!
THE WAITING: YIKES, JUST YIKES.
The worst part about this process is the waiting. Just be prepared to wait. After you’ve auditioned and been called back, forget about it for a while. There is no use stressing about it because there is nothing you can do to change what you’ve presented in your audition. Take some time to relax and pat yourself on the back. Just a heads up, you’re most definitely not going to hear much earlier than April 1st (I found out just a few days before last year’s deadline). Not sure if this will happen again, but when I was waiting to hear my audition results, they sent me an email at 2pm telling me that audition results would be up at 7pm that night, creating the most agonizing 5-hour stretch of my entire existence. I would tell you to try to forget about the email, but you won’t be able to, so my best advice would be to relax at the very least.
Once again, congratulations on all of your accomplishments so far! Wishing you a HAPPY AUDITION SEASON!