I want to share with you 3 golden audition tips to help you succeed at your next audition. I was recently coaching teen performers these 3 golden tips at my my Summer Program, “Audition Skills”. Each performer in the program gained the triple threat skills required for big time auditions in vocals, drama, and dance. Here are the three largest lessons, the golden nuggets, that performers gained in my training intensive and you should use them as well for your next show or audition:
- Be bold or be forgotten: A huge skill that performers strengthened at my Audition Skills Intensive was to make bold choices with their material and following through with those choices. If I had to ask them, “Did you mean to pause there during your monologue?” or “Was that the note you were going for on your song’s bridge?” then they knew that they needed to get clearer and more committed to their performance choices. One of the challenges about auditions is that you get to direct yourself and make big acting and vocal decisions. This can sometimes overwhelm performers and make them second guess their instincts. I recommend that you write down your first impressions of your pieces, then do your character research to deepen your understanding, and then, and here’s the most important step, really go for it! A director would much rather have a performer make a strong choice, and then redirect them, then to watch someone unclear about what they are doing up there. Go over your who, where, why, when, and where and trust your instincts. As my performers got bolder they got much better- Go bold!
- K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Sweetheart: It’s very easy to fall into the trap of making things too complicated for yourself at your audition. One of my performers chose a song that was way too challenging for her vocal level and she sounded so much better when I chose a more appropriate piece for her. Remember the rule is to choose a piece, your song or monologue, of medium difficulty, on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being your most difficult material, your piece should be about a 6-7. This gives you some wiggle room for your heightened nerves. Another performer made some strong acting choices for her monologue, golden rule #1, but then started to second guess herself. You want to trust your instincts, back them up with your material research, but make a decision and stick with it. Beware of the “Last minute Switcheroo” that you may be tempted to do, that is most often your nerves talking and not your calm, rational self. I reminded this performer that her acting instincts were excellent, as she started to trust herself, her monologue became stronger and more clear. She needed the helpful reminder to K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Sweetheart.
- You are auditioning from the moment you enter the room: Another tip to never forget is that you are being reviewed from the moment the director sees you. Most directors make their first impression of you within 10 seconds. How you carry yourself, if you make eye contact, if you are respectful and professional are just a few things that Directors are observing within seconds of your arrival and BEFORE you even start to perform. A lot of my performers needed reminders to arrive with confidence, to make direct eye contact, and to be ready to make a little small talk. In my book, “How To Succeed at Your Next Audition”, I go into specific details and offer a checklist about how to talk with the judges, in a nutshell you want to:
- A. Be yourself. Easier said than done but it’s so important to just be you when you arrive. Be respectful but not too formal. The judges want a sense of you, not of who you think they will like.
- B. Answer truthfully. If the director asks you a question, be truthful and honest about your answer. For instance, if they ask you about your favorite subject in school, take a quick moment to really think about it, and then tell them the truth. There is no “secret agenda”, they just want to know you a little better.
- C. Talk enough but not too much. No need to tell them your life story if they ask, “How did you get into performing?” Remember that they want to know what you are like as a person, not just a performer, and if you will be easy to direct and have in their production.