Yep! That’s the kind of relationship I have with Auditions. I mean, who invented them?
On the one hand, without auditions singers would miss out on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. On the other hand, with auditions, singers seem to face an endless string of waiting…and disappointment.
My desire is to give you the BEST chance you can have at nailing your next audition.
So here are my 10 Steps that if you put into practice, will help you be that much closer in having a successful audition.
1. Pick and choose what you audition for
Don’t audition for everything that comes your way. I know sometimes singers feel desperate to just get out there, perform and be known that we will literally audition for everything.
But you have to ask yourself: Do I really want to do this? Am I really what they’re looking for?
If the answer is no to either of these questions, then do yourself and the judges a favour and don’t waste either of your time. The time and energy you spend fretting over an audition you’re not right for is precious time you can be using to work on your craft and become the best you can be at what YOU do well so you can nail the audition of your dreams.
2. Find out all you can about what they’re looking for
Once you’ve chosen and committed to an audition, it’s crucial to do copious amounts of research. Yes I said research!
Not exactly a sexy word and not one you expect to come up in a blog post about singing auditions! But can you afford the pain the of not doing research?
Whether we like it or not, we do have to accept the fact that the judges definitely have something specific in mind. And they are not only auditioning you.
With every hopeful that comes in, they are asking themselves ‘Does this person fit what we’re looking for?’. And if you don’t, it doesn’t matter how good you are as a singer, you will not be successful.
Harsh I know. But true.
So, if you know exactly what they want (and have established in Step 1 above that that is also what YOU want) and you commit to delivering that, you will be way ahead of those who come into an audition naively thinking they can just do their thing and win the judges over without knowing what they want. It’s kind of arrogant to think like that really.
So what kind of research am I talking about? e.g. if you are auditioning for a role in a musical – you should turn up to the audition knowing the musical story inside-out & back-to-front and with a deep understanding of the character you are auditioning for. Or if you are auditioning for X-Factor or Idol – watch past shows and try and pick up what it is that the judges look for. That sort of thing.
Knowing what they want will help you choose the appropriate song to audition with and prepare with a mind that is on target to what the judges want.
It’s pretty obvious that you need to practice and prepare your audition piece. But how? Just sing it over and over again?
I believe there are 3 important phases of rehearsal preparation for an audition.
This is where you learn the song, make sure you nail it technically, memorise it and learn to embody it.
Because it involves all these aspects, it is progressive and can take time. Therefore allowing yourself ample
time to rehearse your audition piece is so important
ii) Seek Coaching
This is where after you have done your best to prepare on your own, it is helpful if you can, to get some
professional third party advice.
A good coach will be able to point out how you can make some parts technically easier and better and give you
subjective advice on how to deliver a great performance.
As a Vocal Coach, I personally love it when I get asked to help singers with their audition piece. They always
go away having gained some insights they could never have picked up just rehearsing themselves. This always
instills more confidence which of course helps.
iii) Simulation Rehearsal
So that the audition isn’t the first time you perform it to someone other than yourself, it is important if you
can pull it off to ‘simulate’ the audition. So if you know there will be a panel of 3 judges, invite 3 of your
friends over and ‘do the audition.’ Pretend it is the real deal and go for it without stopping or starting and
get your friends feedback. This allows you to ‘experience’ it before you actually go for it, which will help
in alleviating nerves on the real day.
5. Take care of yourself
In order to be in the best state of mind and body – which immediately affects your state of vocal ability and health, it is essential to take care of yourself leading up to the audition and particularly in the 24 hours beforehand.
This means drinking LOTS of water. Avoiding food and drink that will affect your vocal performance (cafein dries out the vocal cords, chilli causes reflux, dairy causes mucous etc) and getting lots of rest.
Another thing is to do things that fill your tank, that have nothing to do with you audition in the 24 hours beforehand. Get a massage. Go for a long stroll at the beach. Go for a run. Watch a movie. Ring a girlfriend (but don’t talk too long so you preserve your voice!). Draw a picture. Whatever it is that makes you feel filled up, inspired and energetic.
Ok, so that’s all for now, because I want you to be able to actually apply these steps and not be overwhelmed.
Stay tuned for Steps 6 – 10 next time…
But for now…Over to you: