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Audition Cartoon

Audition Cartoon (Photo credit: Mr. Daniel Ted Feliciano)

Auditions are a lot like job interviews.

When job coaches write about interview preparation, they talk about how to make a good first impression:

  • Sit toward the front of the couch or chair so you can stand easily.

  • Have your resume in your left hand, ready to go.

  • Stand immediately when the interviewer enters the room.

  • Smile and shake hands.

Why is all of that important?

  • You don’t want to be sunk into the couch (bad posture, hard to stand).

  • You don’t want to have to dive into your briefcase to look for your resume.

  • You want to appear alert, not reluctant.

  • Just because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you can’t smile.

In auditions, the same mindset sometimes eludes us. Last weekend I was house accompanist for several auditions, so there was plenty of time to observe a variety of entrances into the room.

Some things to look at:

  • Arrive warmed up! The audition panel is not there to give you practice time.

  • Have your resume in your hand. If you carry a briefcase, great. But digging around is a waste of everyone’s time.

  • Knowing your range would be helpful.

  • Look at your music after making copies! Is the entire piano part visible? (If the bass line is missing on the last staff, you may hear something you weren’t expecting.)

  • Make sure the song/aria title, show/opera, and composer appear on the first page of the copy.
  • Punch holes in the copies, then put them into a binder back-to-back. If the copies are single sided, then tape the pages so the pianist can turn them easily.

  • Find the tempo on your metronome. Then write the metronome marking at the top of the music. This gives the pianist something to go on. S/he only has about 3 seconds before your audition starts.

  • Don’t offer excuses to the audition panel. Everyone knows you’re nervous. If you weren’t, you’d sound like a robot. Excuses make you sound unprofessional and could cost you a part.

What we can do

  • Practice warming up in the car, even on non-audition days.
  • Practice our entrance in the mirror.
  • Practice our entrance and our music on our friends.
  • Practice breathing exercises to control nervousness.
  • Do more auditions to become used to the process.

Ready for your audition?  Break a leg!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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