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Student Blog: Why I Prefer an In-Person Audition

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A lesson in learning to love the way I look and move on the screen

Student Blog: Why I Prefer an In-Person Audition

Auditioning never gets any easier. It's an inevitable part of a performing career. We're always proving ourselves and our abilities. They say you are only as good as your last performance and I suppose that's true. We spend day after day perfecting turn after turn in the studio for only one shot on stage in front of everyone. I think to myself before I start; just breathe and don't blow it.

There are pros and cons to each type of audition, I guess it just comes down to personal preference. I swing back and forth between the two; at times I think yes in-person auditions are the way to go and then I back peddle and say a video is better. But chances are if I have the choice, I will always pick to audition in-person. In-person there is only one shot and you are forced to be on your game. There's no mentality of I can always try again, it's all in. The stakes are higher and it pushes me to be better. It's genuine and authentic. You are there dancing there in real time in front of the panel and they really see you. Some may see this as a con. Only one shot you say? I mean sometimes you get two or three. Being there allows me to connect with the people I'm dancing for and perform in a way that doesn't always fully translate the way I would like it to on screen.

I grew up dancing on a stage like many of us did, so dancing for the camera has always been more difficult for me. I never enjoy video auditions and always jump at the opportunity to go in-person if I can, but the pandemic has forced me to come to terms with my camera-avoiding tendencies. During my last year of college as a dance major at University of California Irvine in the midst of the pandemic, I had no choice but to become comfortable with dancing for the camera, filming myself, and of course watching it back. Watching the playback has always been the hardest part for me. I watch the video and cringe at even the slightest sight of an out of place limb or off count step and then for some reason torture myself more with watching it frame by frame watching all of my mistakes in slow motion. There is only so many times you can re-record a dance before you have exhausted yourself and it starts to become worse with each take. You just have to know when to stop because with a video audition sure you may have the luxury to try as many times as you'd like, but you ultimately will have to pick a take to send in and chances are it still won't be perfect.

Learning to dance for the camera and more importantly learning to be ok with how we appear on screen is important now especially when in-person isn't always an option. I am a perfectionist, we all are perfectionists when it comes to our technique. It's only natural to pick out everything wrong with ourselves rather than the things we like when we watch ourselves dance across the screen. But the more we record ourselves and watch the playback, the easier it will get. Each video audition is a little better than the last, and I'm learning not to pick apart absolutely everything I do. it's a skill I'm still working on being comfortable with even though I still would rather be there in-person.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Claire Desenberg