It`s that nerve racking time when the phonecall or mail comes to say you are invited to an audition for the production of your dream show! Your time slot: 10:00am, (ufff, too early!) or 18:00 (ufff again) end of the day (maybe 19:00 as they always seem to run late!) Or you maybe even be somewhere in the middle of the day… is there ever a perfect time?
Months of training, singing lessons, preparing your choice of audition songs and weeks of waiting to hear if you`ve won a time slot in the next audition round (as the first round is really what`s on your CV, how you look on your photo and what for what production !)
But here you are, the day has arrived!
Ok, one thing to know – and I think I speak for many creative team members: we so want you to do your best. So,
15 tips for successful auditioning
1- For a moment, try to put yourself into the position of the panel:
- the team are there from morning to night and may have been in auditions for days or weeks already
- have no fresh air and don’t move around enough
- end up drinking too much coffee
- eat too many carbs
- need the loo
- never really have any proper breaks due to usually running late as the day progresses…
- …which can cause bad moods
- and don’t forget, we are constantly being watched as much as you are.
We have an enormous task to get the casting right and we want to have a good show with the right people. This doesn’t mean to say that if you have done an amazing audition, feel good about it and then you get cut, that you aren’t any good. It´s the complete opposite most of the time, it just means that you aren’t quite what we are looking for, especially if we are casting a running production, where only a part of the cast are leaving. It’s a huge puzzle for the creatives to work out.
So, try and calm those nerves, keep that focus and head in to do „ your best“. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for those very important 10 or so minutes of your audition time.
2- Your audition starts the moment you step into the room. Be confident, even if the team are talking, we can multi task (!) and we are aware of you in the room.
3- Your introduction should be very clear. Make sure it is a friendly one, as that shows promise of a good company member (and not just a talented person that can be a pain to work with; who wants that in a company?)
4- unless specifically prompted differently, you should offer the songs you have prepared and be confident with them all.
5- never bring material from the show you are auditioning for unless specifically asked to do so. Even if you are dying to do a particular role in the show, and no matter how hard this sounds: this simply is not your choice. You don’t cast the show, the team do and they will get it, if you can give the goods for that particular role in another way with another song.
6- don’t go up to the table and shake everyones hand. This is not needed, is is too personal and wastes time.
7- don’t explain that you are ill. If you are too ill, you shouldn’t be there in the first place and if it is just a cold with abit more nasel effect coming through, the team will hear it as you sing. A discussion – if needed – can always happen afterwards.
8- your pianist is your friend! Make sure you give clear directions on tempo and explain if there are any tricky parts to look out for (one of the team will most likely be watching or listening to your rapport with the pianist) and sometimes we ask the pianist once you have left the room what they think.
9- make sure your sheet music is correct, stuck together properly, with clear cuts when needed.
10- make sure you stand central to the table and never too close to the panel. The team cannot get a good feel if you are in their bubble space
11- please don’t try to be clever by singing something that no one has ever head of. We don’t need to hear the latest piece from a show that is about to appear at the Edinburgh fringe. A pure legite musical theatre song that shows your range is the best (again, unless something else has been requested). If you have an amazing top soprano, choose a song that shows this, same as if you are a wonderful deep velvety bass, we want to hear your strengths and usually, all voice types are needed for a show. Don’t try to be something you aren’t, always be true to your talent and what you have to offer.
12- do not try to make eye contact with the jury during your audition.
13- always dress smart but casual, be polished in your appearance.
14- go in with an open mind.
15- leave as you entered the room, with a friendly attitude.
I hope these few audition tips and tricks help and remember, we want you do your best and we want to give you a job!