I have a lot of vocalists trying out for musicals this Spring like the mainstage production of Annie at Berkeley Playhouse and I wanted to share a resource with you to keep you on track: Your Audition Guideline Checklist! This list will help you get organized and will ensure that you pace yourself for your big audition day. You want to feel focused and calm, not frazzled and overwhelmed by all of the audition details. Here is how.
I also want to suggest that you chart out a weekly schedule of the things you need to get done. I have each of my private students write out their audition plan and it helps them to feel confident and stay focused. Let’s take a 6 week lead time as an example:
6 weeks out: Read over the general audition guidelines and dates and make sure you sign up for an official audition slot with the organization. Get the audition material to start going over this week. Make a weekly home practice plan that is manageable for your audition material. Start to chart out your emotional beats for your monologue and your breath marks for your audition song/s. Also write out your audition goals. Make them personal, beyond just getting in. Example, “I really want to nail my high note” or “I want to feel confident when I say my slate”.
5 weeks out: Stick to your practice plan. Plan to have your material mostly memorized within two more weeks. Check your audition portfolio: Your resume/headshot. Is is current and updated? Do you need to add any recent performances? Is your headshot current? Remember there are simple resume templates to update your audition portfolio.
4 weeks out: Start to practice your audition slate for the judges and also practice the possible standard audition interview questions. One more week to memorize your audition material. Check in with the casting director to make sure there are no changes to the audition day schedule. Do a little research about this casting director to familiarize yourself with them. Start to write out your positive performance mindset plan including your mantra and your best case audition scenario.
3 weeks out: Be off book and start to record your audition material to review. Block your material and have your material fully memorized. If there are a few selections to choose from, get familiar with all of the songs/sides/scenes just incase they request you do more. Be over-prepared, it will increase your confidence. Say your positive mantra daily.
2 weeks out: Look forward to your schedule and start to strategize for how you will pace yourself for the final two weeks before your audition. Get your assignments done early, balance your school and work needs. Let your support team know that you may feel more worried and will need them to talk with during this charged time. Now is the time to put the final details on your audition material practice. Polish your performance. Choose your audition outfit and follow any attire requirements like jazz shoes, colors, etc.
1 week out: Organize your final audition portfolio. Make enough copies for the audition. Clear your week as much as possible. Practice self-care to avoid getting sick or run down. Continue to practice your audition material but do not make any last minute changes. Now is the time to master your song/monologue and not question your choices. Check the weather, directions, and parking situation for your audition day.
1 day out: Lay out your audition outfit, cleaned and ready. Pack your bag including your complete portfolio and audition self-care kit. Have a peaceful night before, do relaxing activities to save your energy for your audition. Journal for your positive performance mindset and call on your support team for help. Say your positive mantra. Stay positive. Review your material but don’t overdo your practice, there is no last-minute cramming, just reviewing and marking your breath, blocking, and body language for your pieces.
Your Audition day: It’s time to believe in yourself! You have your material mastered, your portfolio ready to go, and your attitude is committed but not attached to your audition experience. Believe in yourself. Your self-care kit will help you while you wait. Once your name is called, use your positive performance mindset training to go for it and succeed!
After Your Audition: Reward yourself with a small treat for doing your audition! A smoothie, a fun walk with a friend, something to celebrate your victory. Process how it went for you personally. We learn from each audition experience and we develop our audition muscle over time. Write down to record your experience. What did you like, what would you do differently for next time? When the results are announced, have your support team close by to talk to about it. Remember that if you did your best, that is all you can do! Try not to make the audition too personal, this is not a no forever, just a not now. If you did get the part, celebrate! You worked so hard for this and your hard work paid off. Be excited bit also realize that you need to keep your same focus throughout the rehearsals and performances.
READY TO CHART IT ALL OUT? You can get your “Audition Guideline Check List” PDF HERE