Auditions – some folk dread them, some love them, some sail them whilst others buckle under the pressure. Hate them or love them, the fact remains that if you are a performer, you will no doubt have to audition at one point in your career.
So, here’s my top 5 can-dos:
1. Be on time.
Treat this as a job interview. Would you be late for any other job interview? Concurrently, if you are running late due to circumstances outwith your control (which happened for my very first WE audition) do not panic! Call your agent and explain. Chances are they can slot you in later. Life happens.
2. Be prepared.
Read and study the brief. Have you got 16-32 bars ready to go? Have you warmed-up and steamed? What tempo? What’s your plan B song? Do you know your book intimately? What’s the show about? What’s the casting director’s last job? Do you know the sides? Have you printed your CV and headshot? Have you got a monologue on the back burner ready to go? All of the above may/have/could happen, so control those variables as much as you can by doing your homework.
3. Be flexible.
You may be asked to stay longer or read/sing for a different part in 10 minutes (happened twice to me this year). So go with the flow and give it your best. It may not be word perfect, but I found this exercise really helped me work ‘in the moment’; a good sight-reading exercise never did anyone any harm!
4. Be clever.
Choose your outfit and pieces wisely. If the work is more commercial, make it easy for the panel to see your casting through hair/makeup/outfit. Strip it back for more creative work. In terms of monologue choice or song choice, look at the writer’s/composer’s other works and have one of those in your back pocket. Be able to justify your choices dramatically and musically. For example, I was auditioning last year for Alice in ‘The Addams Family’ by Andrew Lippa and took in ‘It’s a Privilege to Pee’ from Urinetown, and ‘Maybe I like it this way’ from The Wild Party. Whilst one demanded authority, a crazed energy and high belt, the other showed vulnerability within the context of a damaged relationship whilst also being another Andrew Lippa piece. Boxes. Were. Ticked.
5. Be yourself.
No-one else does it better. And if possible, be yourself on a good day. A director recently said to me ‘Hannah, when I am auditioning people, 50% is the question, are they right for the part? And the other 50% is, would I go to the pub with them’.
I once read an article suggesting auditions should be viewed as ‘the job’, whilst rehearsals and performances ‘the reward’. Although I don’t totally agree with this, the idea reminds me that in the audition room you are sowing the seeds for the job, whether that be this time or next time. As a result, prepare properly, relax and gie it laldy.
Don’t forget, in addition to these helpful tips and techniques that I publishing here, I also provide one-to-one vocal coaching and singing lessons in Glasgow that really can take you to the next level by following a fun programme that I have developed.