Advice for Students Currently in the Process of Auditions
My Juilliard audition is definitely one of my favorite memories. I remember thinking in the warm up room, "Well Maggie, you've made it this far. You've auditioned for over 10 other schools and now you're in New York City auditioning for one of the best schools in the world. Life could be worse." I remember walking into that audition room and as I stepped past the door frame, I felt myself let go and release all of my "baggage" at the door. I went in with positivity, excitement, and the thought that no matter what happened, I was here to show New York City what I was made of. My nerves went away and I felt joyfully at ease as I went through my pieces and even got a chuckle out of the panel after one of my pieces that I put my personality into. The audition went great because I threw away my expectations and simply went in to sing my heart out and enjoy the beautiful music that I love so much. Now, auditions are in full swing and there are some very important things I think that every performing artist should know before going into any audition.
1) The audition panel does NOT want you to fail!
A few years ago, I would get nervous to audition simply because I did not see the panel for what it was, which is simply regular human beings like you and me who are looking for someone to succeed. I know... Shocking, right? They're actually not sitting there, waiting for you to blow that one high note you're dreading or to forget the line you swore you knew five minutes ago. They're looking for someone to do well and want YOU to be that person! Walk in and instead of thinking of them as judges who are critiquing you, hear them as cheerleaders encouraging you and wanting you to do well and better yourself.
2.) This audition is all about you.
You either signed up or were chosen to have your own 5-15 minutes all to yourself, USE THEM! Don't come in thinking you are taking up someone's time. The panel has to be there anyway in order to find who they are looking for. These are your precious minute's to show a willing audience how amazing you really are. Therefore, go into the room confidently, smile as though you know something they don't, and then perform your heart out.
3.) Don't make any excuses. PERIOD.
If you are sick, suck it up. You made it this far, so pull through and keep your chin up. There is no point in sacrificing your entire audition by telling the judges you are not well. The same applies to any other excuse as to why you don't sound your best. The audition panel does not care and will simply continue to audition the remaining performers. However, if you are truly not feeling well and cannot sing, it is wise to get in touch with the contact person and ask to reschedule or cancel as to not leave a bad impression.
4.) MEMORIZE AND COME PREPARED!
It is SO IMPORTANT to be memorized on all of your words and also to understand exactly what you are singing/speaking about. If you have a piece in a different language, make sure to translate the lyrics word for word with a dictionary or other trustworthy resource. In addition to fully understanding the piece itself, be sure to also look up important elements such as background stories, histories, composer details, etc. in order to be better educated and have the ability to answer any question thrown at you in an audition.
5.) Don’t EVER be apologetic
You fell to your knees in a dramatic feeling of despair in an aria? OWN IT! Please, DO NOT feel as though you have gone too far or that you have made a mistake. Big decisions are usually the most interesting ones. One of the best things I have learned is that the majority of directors spend all of their time asking for more from performers. 9.99/10 times a director would much rather ask you to tone it down than to give more energy.
Extra Credit 6.) Be the best version of yourself
Bring the positivity, artistry, and talent you love to show when you perform. It is so easy to try and be someone you are not in order to please directors and that is not what directors are looking for. Obviously, it is important to not be a diva and to show a bright and courteous personality, however, if you are silly, mysterious, sarcastic, funny, etc. Don't be afraid to show that side of yourself within your art. Make your performance your own, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Thank you so much for reading!
See you next time!