Tis the season-for auditions! Here at Voice by Chelsea, we have been receiving a lot of inquiries from people looking for help with their audition songs for everything from elementary school plays to professional theatre. It seems only fitting that October's blog would cover everything you need to know to nail your next audition!
Choose the right song for YOU.
Selecting the perfect song for your audition is crucial. It should not only showcase your vocal range and abilities but also align with the style and expectations of the audition. Consider the following when choosing your audition piece:
Highlight your strengths: Choose a song that plays to your strengths, whether that's your vocal range, emotional expressiveness, or storytelling abilities.
Suitability: Ensure that the song is appropriate for your voice type and age. Avoid songs that are too far outside your vocal range.
Show versatility: If the audition allows, showcase your versatility by selecting a song that demonstrates different vocal techniques and emotions. (And have a contrasting style ready to go in case the panel asks for it!)
As experienced singers know, sometimes you don't get to choose your audition song, or one may be given to you for a callback after your initial audition goes well. In these cases, it is important to again utilize your emotional expressiveness and call on your knowledge of vocal technique to guarantee you're doing all you can to deliver your best performance. And don't hesitate to work on your song in lessons, especially if it's one you wouldn't have picked for yourself.
Once you've chosen your song, invest ample time in preparation. This means not only practicing the vocal aspects but also understanding the song's lyrics, meaning, and context. Consider these preparation tips:
Vocal warm-up: Always start with a proper warm-up routine to ensure your voice is in top condition.
Memorize lyrics: Be sure you know your song's lyrics by heart. This will allow you to focus on your performance, not the words.
Interpretation: Understand the emotional core of the song and convey its meaning to the audience.
Practice with accompaniment: If possible, rehearse with the accompanist or backing track you'll use during the audition.
You can try to recreate the audition environment to reaaallly feel prepared for an audition. Have family and friends sit behind a table. Practice walking in and slating, if applicable. (Slating is introducing yourself in an audition. Exact info will vary based on audition, but sometimes it is your name, audition number, and the piece you'll be performing.) Have a plan for how you'll use your body during your song, where you will breathe, etc. The more details, the better to feel prepared!
Manage your audition anxiety.
It's natural to feel nervous before an audition, but doing your best to manage that anxiety is essential. Here's some things to try:
Relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing, meditation, or visualization exercises to calm your nerves.
Positive self-talk: Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your capabilities and achievements.
Focus on the music: Concentrate on the music and the joy of performing, rather than worrying about the outcome. I cannot stress this one enough!
You're going to be nervous. That's just part of being human. But remember, the people behind the table want to see you succeed.
Arrive early and look the part.
On the day of the audition, punctuality and preparation are crucial. Ensure you have everything you need:
Arrive early: Plan to arrive well ahead of your audition time. This will give you time to warm up, acclimate to the space, and settle your nerves.
Bring necessary materials: Have multiple copies of your sheet music, head shot and resume (if necessary), and any other required documents.
Stay organized: Keep your sheet music organized in a binder or folder for easy access. If you really want to be in your accompanist's good graces, have your sheet music prepped in a folder in a way that requires the LEAST amount of page turns possible.
First impressions are important. Look well put together, whether that's a nice black dress or something edgier, depending on the audition. Smile, take a deep breath. You've got this.