5 Things You Need to Avoid in Auditions

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In honor of my upcoming audition course, I thought I would share some tips with you about things you should avoid at your next audition. I’ve either experienced these myself or watched them happen from the other side of the table, and they are so common that they deserve a mention! Avoiding these things will undoubtedly give you a smoother audition experience and help you stand out from the crowd:

1. Allowing distractions to interrupt your focus

It can be a rather intimidating scene: singers all over the floor (because the five chairs are taken), belongings everywhere, multiple auditions taking place right next to each other…in many audition situations, there is no personal space to be had in the near vicinity, and having that many personalities vying for the same position in a confined space is typically a situation considered less than desirable. And those who are uncomfortable for one reason or another deal with it in different ways: some will take up an inconsiderate amount of space, some will make humming sounds (either to block out the sounds of others or to be “heard”), and some will become overly chatty and insist on engaging others to quell their own nervousness. If you are one of these people, or if you have encountered them, you may be allowing these external factors to interrupt your focus. The good news is you can train your mind to reduce and even eliminate the effect of these distractions, so that you can focus your thoughts and enhance your upcoming audition in the time leading up to it.

2. Apologizing for whatever

Most people know someone who constantly apologizes for things when it’s unwarranted, and it’s not an attractive quality. I’ve never been in a situation where people didn’t wish that person would just stop apologizing for everything! But even if you are not one of those people who verbally expresses apology, carrying an apologetic energy into the audition room is something that everyone can feel. And unbeknownst to the singer, this kind of energy sends out a message to the panel telling them they really shouldn’t be wasting their time on you. After all, if you belonged there why would you be apologizing? It can also come across in answering questions after singing; oftentimes singers get asked a question that has the potential to cause feelings of shame and/or inadequacy (So what did you do during the two years where you have nothing on your resume here?…) and that doesn’t have to be the case! There’s no need to apologize for LIFE. Be proud of who you are and what you do.

3. Trying to guess what the panel wants/will choose to hear

This is a part of strategy that inevitably causes unnecessary worry and tension. Here’s my best advice: sing what you sing best first. Period. You may not get to sing a second piece, so start with what is your very best. If you can’t sing certain pieces after that piece, don’t put them on your list. You should be able to sing anything on your list after that in any order. And in the rare case that the panel says they don’t want to hear what you chose to start with, just roll with it. There shouldn’t be anything on your list that you don’t feel comfortable singing. The repertoire you bring should be a good representation of where you’re at currently!

4. Inefficiency in the audition

Make your audition binder beautiful, and what I mean by beautiful is CLEAR with music well-secured and nothing extra in it. If your handwriting sucks, make labels for your tabs on the computer. Include the name of the piece, the work title, and the composer’s last name. The panel could ask for a piece by any of that information – make it easy to find. And if you’re super smart, you’ll be able to just turn to the pianist and reference which tab it is based on its order number or color. Time saved, which makes the panel happy. No one likes watching the pianist fumble through your book, only to not be able to find the piece, and then you have to walk over there to find it yourself, and YOU can’t find it either…and then stuff falls out of it…not a good impression of what you would be like to work with……

5. The need for acceptance

Contrary to how you might feel, you are NOT there for the panel’s approval. If they like you, great, and if not, that’s ok too. There’s no way everyone is going to like you. And if that thought concerns you, I’d like you to come up with the name of ANYONE on the planet that EVERYONE likes. Not going to happen. Which is good news for you – that part is not your responsibility! What is your responsibility is making some art and showing who you are and what you might be like to work with. After that, it’s out of your hands. So please don’t perform that lingering stare at the panel or watch them as you’re walking toward the exit, hoping for some sort of sign that they like you after you’re done. It comes across as looking desperate and weak, and if you’re supposed to be the star of the show, that doesn’t work. No sale.

So don’t lose out because of any of these silly things! Sometimes it’s the non-singing parts that cause the most problems. And if you need help getting organized, taking your presentation to the next level, and empowering your mindset to rock your upcoming auditions, check out AUDITION AWESOMENESS! by clicking here. The best part about this program – besides getting the exact information and strategies you need – is that it’s individualized and customizable to your schedule from anywhere! Enrollment closes at the current price on September 15, because ‘tis the season already…

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