The Story of My First Audition
I can vividly remember my first audition.
Words to describe that day and that audition include: nervous, scared, and having butterflies in my stomach.
The show was Fiddler on the Roof. A great musical. My goal was to get in. Whatever role I was cast in, I would take it. My voice teacher told me everything was going to be fine.
For months, I had been working with my voice teacher on singing, but could never take the leap to audition for a show. I was scared of failing.
Fun fact: Before my first audition, I had never sung in public before. Not that singing in an audition room is a public space, but I had never sung for anyone other than my family and my voice teacher! Yeah, pretty scary.
She went over the audition with me, going through my song and telling me what to do in the audition room. She was a pianist who accompanied for auditions all the time, so I could definitely trust her on what auditions were like.
But I was still scared anyway.
I was so scared of what was going to happen.
What if my voice cracked? What if I forgot the words? What would the directors say, if they said anything? What if I don’t get into the show?
I was scared of the unknown. I had never done this before!
I was dressed in a long skirt and a blouse, looking weird compared to everyone else, who were all dressed in nice church clothes. (I heard the advice to dress as if you’re giving a hint or vibe of the character you’re auditioning for. Guess that didn’t apply here.)
Looking back on that audition, I think I did okay. I was definitely prepared.
I did not let my nerves get the best of me. I remembered to slate. I actually did it.
Auditioning is a skill that has to be refined, and I have definitely gotten better throughout the time I have been doing theatre.
My first audition was an interesting experience, and that day I learned many things that have informed me as I auditioned for more musicals and even a play.
Here in this blog post, I’ve going to go into detail on 5 first audition tips. The good and the bad.
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5 Important Things I Learned From My First Audition
TIP #1: The casting directors want you to do well
After I sang for the directors, I spoke with them for a few minutes. About how I got into theatre, my experience so far (My resume was filled with mostly white space – I didn’t have that many credits at the time), and my audition.
They were really nice and sociable. (Don’t be nervous talking to them, if they do decide to open a conversation with you.)
Don’t think that casting directors want you to fail. They’re not scary, I promise.
There are so many people that audition for shows these days (mostly girls), and they have to “weed” out the good from the bad. (If you’re a guy auditioning, you will mostly likely get in – community theatres need plenty of guys that can sing)
They’re looking for the right person for the job. They’re trying to fill a hole in their project, and they are hoping that you are the right fit for it.
TIP #2: Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Don’t be scared.
I was a nervous wreck outside the audition room. Everyone was so calm and relaxed, and I was the one sweating!
I should’ve taken time to calm myself down before I got to the audition location. This is why I’m writing this blog post!
I was letting my nerves take control of the audition. You can’t let that happen. I was perfectly fine after my audition.
It went well and I was okay.
Auditions are not something to be afraid of. Don’t be one of the scared ones! Take control of your audition.
TIP #3: Prepare like a maniac!
Preparation is the KEY to doing well in an audition. If you don’t prepare, you will not do well.
You don’t want to feel like you could’ve done better after your audition. It’s always better to over-prepare.
I spent weeks working on my audition, spending time doing things such as:
- researching the show
- watching the show many, many times on YouTube so I could learn what it was about
- thinking about what character I could go for
- practicing my song
- practicing my song even more
- fixing my resume (adding in training, special skills, etc.)
- finding my audition outfit
- praying that I would do well
All of these tasks contributed to my positive experience at my first audition, so I recommend you do the same.
I made a positive first impression by doing these things above, and I think it helped me a little: I got a speaking part in my first show.
TIP #4: Don’t ruminate
This last tip is pretty important to me.
When you’re in the audition room, there can be a tendency to over think what others are doing and saying.
Maybe you’re listening to other people talking beside you, or people are asking you what song you’re singing. Or maybe you are eavesdropping on someone in the audition room (I’m guilty!).
Now eavesdropping can be used strategically if you’re reading sides and you want to stand out by making a different choice on your character.
But otherwise, eavesdropping and ruminating in your mind doesn’t help at all.
Take the time to stay focused on on your audition only. Nothing else.
No thinking about other events happening in your life. In the audition room, it’s all about you!
TIP #5: Tell a story when you sing. Give it your all!
Like I said, preparation is KEY to doing well in an audition.
But many times, people are not bringing that passion to the audition room.
Instead of telling an authentic story through song, they end up just standing there singing with no emotion. Their faces don’t show what they are thinking.
I know when I auditioned for the first time, I didn’t really do this. I just sort of stood there and sang my song for the directors.
That was a big mistake! I should’ve done more preparation in telling a story with a song.
Every word you sing has to be deliberate. Every word you sing must have meaning behind it. This is called “subtext”. Sometimes, when people speak, they don’t really say what they mean.
Same thing with songs. Sometimes characters speak poetically and their words that they sing can be dramatic. (Think of Stephen Sondheim and West Side Story).
Why are you singing it as opposed to just speaking it?
Singing a song is deliberate and every character has a reason for it. They could just speak their thoughts, getting their point across that way. But instead, they decide to sing their thoughts instead.
Here are some more questions to think about:
- Why does your character sing?
- What point are they trying to get across when they sing their song?
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Every actor’s first audition is something they will remember for a long time. Everyone has an audition that they did super well, and others, not so much. There’s always more auditions for actors to go on and improve their auditioning skills.
Auditioning is a never ending skill to continue to improve upon and I hope that by reading this blog post, you will have gotten some great tips to implement in your own careers!
Thanks for reading!
What was your first audition like? Tell your story below in the comments!