Student Blog: How To Succeed In Auditions Without Really Trying

Read below to ACE your next audition!

Student Blog: How To Succeed In Auditions Without Really Trying
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Dear BroadwayWorld Reader,

I am going to let you in on a little secret - I used to dread auditioning. This feeling derived from a lack of exposure to and experience with the overall process. The most audition experience I had prior to attending college was the twice-a-year mainstage play and musical auditions for my high school theater department. I would spend weeks researching and rehearsing 16-bar music cuts and monologues just to walk into the audition room crossing my fingers and my toes that the work I put in would overshadow my debilitating nerves. Unfortunately, that was rarely the case. It took me until the fall quarter of my freshman year at SCAD to finally adopt a routine that works for me. So, in lieu of this busy audition season, I wanted to share some of my handy-dandy tips and tricks that may help you ace your next audition. I tried to stick to factors that are 100% in your control. Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to think (or sing) to yourself after you walk out of the room is “all that work and what did it get me?” Trust me, we have all been there.  

So, without further adieu, I present you with a smorgasbord of my personal audition tips and tricks:

Early Is On Time, On Time Is Late, Late Is Unacceptable

I know how all of us acting folk feel about math (personally, my worst nightmare). However, it is imperative to use your addition and subtraction skills to calculate the PERFECT time to arrive at an audition.

Let me ask you a question: If you have an audition slot at 6pm and are expected to be there 15 minutes early but have a 20-minute commute, what time should you leave your place? 

Answer: NO LATER than 5pm. 

That way, you get to the audition by 5:20pm which gives you a 25-minute time cushion just in case you hit traffic, need to use the bathroom, or eat a snack. Additionally, you have time to get settled within the space, ground yourself, and re-warm up before walking into the audition room. I used to make the mistake of getting to my audition right when I was told to be there. However, I would be so frazzled by everything happening around me that I never felt I could take a moment to center myself.  

Practice Like You Perform 

I know this may seem like a given, but I used to just practice (aka recite) my audition material instead of actually PERFORMING it. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Grace, what do you mean by ‘actually PERFORMING’ the material?” Let me explain - I classify PERFORMING as fully warming yourself up prior to working on the piece, practicing your slate before every attempt, and going full out on the physical and emotional choices that are attached to your specific material. No half-hearted attempts. 

Practicing my slate has been a total game-changer. I can recall many a time when slating totally threw me off my game. Like, I always knew I was going to have to do it but I was always eager to get out of the room that I wanted to just dive straight into the piece. Now that I practice like I perform, I no longer feel the urge to get in and get out of the audition room AFAP (as fast as possible). 

Taking Control Of Your Nerves 

I want to preface this section by saying taking control of your nerves is a lot easier said than done. I still constantly struggle with shifting my mindset about nerves. Gaslighting your brain into shifting negative energy into positive takes a lot of practice and I hope to gradually get better at it. I have learned that if you embrace your nerves and look at them as your body's way of signaling that you are excited, you can transform that feeling of fear into a feeling of excitement. Look at it as an opportunity to perform rather than an opportunity to be judged. Additionally, I try to override my nerves by reminding myself that nobody in the audition room wants to see me fail.  They want you to do well just as much as you yourself want to do well! Try to remind yourself of that. Really try. 

Fake It ‘Til You Make It 

Confidence, confidence, CONFIDENCE. Confidence is key to having a great audition. Even if you aren’t really feeling confident, don’t let anyone but yourself know it. However, most of us are actors after all! ACT like you are the most confident person in the room! I believe you can trick yourself into embodying confidence. I mean, have you ever heard of the Superman stance? I know it may sound stupid, but a way to feel more confident is by standing straight up like Superman with hands on hips and shoulders back for two whole minutes. If you can’t trick yourself mentally to being confident, I would try giving this pose a go! 

Be Unapologetically The Best Version Of Yourself

It is important to remember that your audition begins from the second you step foot in the room. Let your true self shine as soon as that door opens - greet the panel, be polite and use your manners, smile, be honest and outgoing, and always say “thank you” on your way out. Don’t ever change yourself to be someone you think the panel will like: I’ve been told that they see right through the phonies! They will love you for who you are.

I know that auditioning is hard. I would argue that it is probably the most challenging part of being an actor. However, we will have to endure this process for as long as we decide to pursue this career. It is never too early to start setting yourself up for success. Best of luck in your upcoming auditions! Remember, everything happens for a reason!

With love always,
Grace O'Malley


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