Audition 101: How to Prepare
So you have chosen your song for the audition, and now you're wondering, "What next?!" Each performer is different and therefore has a unique way they prepare for an audition. As you go through the process over time, you will develop your own path to a successful audition. However, for the beginner, here is a basic timeline and tips to ensure a successfully prepared audition:
Four (Or More!) Weeks Out
Acting: This is the time to really learn about the character you are auditioning for, his or her role in the play, and what motivates them. Watch a video of the show if you are not already familiar with it. Borrow or buy the script and read through it. Start to get to know the character and understand them on a personal basis just as you would a friend or family member. Ask yourself how they react in specific situations and why. For any gaps in the characters background that are not explained by the show, fill them in yourself. This kind of in-depth understanding of the role will show in the audition, both in your portrayal of the song and in cold script reading.
Singing: Decide what song represents you and the role the best. For tips on choosing audition repertoire, click Here. Learn it if you don't know it already. Begin bringing it in to your voice teacher to polish your technique. If necessary, choose cuts now.
Two Weeks Out
Acting: Begin staging your audition song, either by yourself or with a coach. Have specific movements built into specific moments in the song. Don't leave it up to the day of the audition to improv! The more polished and prepared your audition is as a whole, the more likely you are to make a good impression and receive the part. Ensure the movements are sincere, effective, and do not get in the way of your singing.
Singing: The song should be memorized by now. Practice saying the text as a monologue to ensure memorization and work on the acting. Continue to polish technique. Practice routinely with the staging you have chosen, if possible with a practice audience.
One Week Out
Now is the time to make sure all of the little stuff is taken care of. Do you have a headshot printed out? Is your resume up-to-date and professional looking? Is your audition binder clean and neatly labelled with cuts clearly marked for the pianist? Is your audition outfit ready to go (click Here for tips)? The last thing you would want is to leave any of these until the last minute and cause unnecessary stress for the audition!
Acting and Singing: Begin going through "dress rehearsals" for the audition. Practice walking in the room with your head held high, giving the music to the accompanist and explaining tempo and any tricky moments in a professional manner, and introducing yourself and your song confidently. Your audition begins the moment you enter the building, so rehearse every chance you get to make an impression.
The Day Before
Continue to practice "dress rehearsals" and work on your song much as you have before until around 5:00 PM. Then, it is crucial you tell yourself you are ready. Don't continue to make last-minute changes that will throw you off during the audition. You have worked so hard, and now the preparation is complete. You will feel more confident if you stop the tweaking now and simply get your game face on. Get a good night's sleep!
The Day Of
Your regimen the day of the audition is the most subjective part of the audition preparation process. Some people refrain from eating too much as they don't want to feel bloated, and some eat more because they find it difficult to sing while hungry. Some swear by certain foods and others don't. As you audition more and more, you will find your own formula to make you feel your best during the audition. The most important thing is to follow your instincts, relax, and have fun! You have prepared well and are ready to show off your hard work!
Go Get It!