How to win over the weary and wornout judges in 30 seconds!
You may not know it yet, but you have the potential to get any part you audition for. It just takes a bit of smart work and hard work. So read on and discover your window of opportunity and how best to use the 30seconds you have been so graciously given. Remember you only have between 3-10 seconds to make a memorable first impression, so get on and do it!
Do you want to create the most memorable first impression? Here's how to ace the entire audition process!
If you’re dreaming of becoming the next American Idol or making it big on Star Search, you need to learn a thing or two about auditions.
Every professional singer must go through auditions at some stage in their life. Just like a job interview, interviews provide potential employers proof of your singing skills as well as an indication of your suitability for the gig they have in mind. You can deliver a stunning audition and still not get the gig because you weren’t tall enough, blond enough, wearing the right clothes, or just didn’t match the image they had in their heads.
In the commercial arena, singing is not just about vocal talent. It is about appearances as well. Your auditors (or auditioning panel) often know exactly what they have in mind for the spot, and they’ll know if you have that quality from the moment you walk in. For that reason, you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t get a spot after one audition … or two … or a hundred! Auditioning is valuable experience in and of itself.
You should take every opportunity to audition that you can. Not only will you get feedback about your commercial potential and where you can improve, but auditions will make your voice, style, and abilities visible to the people in the music industry.
Even if you don’t get the spot, the auditors may remember you and look up your name next time they need someone with your qualities.
Take auditions seriously. Make sure that you are prompt, gracious, and well-prepared, and give each interview your all. You never know who might notice!
Never cancel or fail to show up, even if you have a cold, even if you’re tired, even if something else comes up. It may be the one audition that you weren’t going to bother with that gives you your big break.
You should have a game plan going into each interview. i.e a “make sure”list
Make sure that you know exactly what the part is for and why you want it.
Make sure that you fit in the category they’re looking for. If they’re looking for
A young, good-looking female R&B vocalist, and you show up dressed in blue jeans and sing a country western tune, they may not be very happy at your waste of their time!
Make sure that your audition piece is appropriate and well rehearsed.
Make sure that you rest well the night before, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol.
Make sure that your dress is clean, neat, and professional. Whatever you wear, it will ideally reflect the project you are auditioning for as well as your personality. Business casual dress is preferable for general auditions.
Make sure that you’ve warmed up your vocal cords and are relaxed and confident.
Make sure that you bring along a good-quality envelope or folder containing an 8 x 10” head shot. This is a photo of yourself with your résumé of artistic accomplishments and music courses/teachers printed on the back. You may also wish to include a business card and any demo tape or CD you may have made.
Make sure that you do not forget multiple copies of the music you’ll be performing (at least three in number: one for yourself, one for any live accompanist you may have, and one for the auditors). Bring music for additional songs in case you’re asked to perform another.
First Impressions Matter!
Arrive early. This will give you time to get a feel for the place and the people running the auditions, as well as be ready in case someone else cancels, or in case the venue has changed.
People will begin noticing you from the moment you walk in. Be confident (but not arrogant) and courteous to everyone. No one wants to work with a “difficult” artist, so avoid displaying any diva tendencies!
Don’t feel as if you have to make conversation with the others waiting to audition.
Any advice they give you will reflect their own auditioning experience and may distract, discourage, or mislead you when it comes to your own audition.
You may feel disheartened by the number of people waiting to audition. Remember that numbers are no indication of quality. For example, one auditor found that out of 100 people auditioning for him, only 10 of those tended to be any good, and of those only 2 would display star quality. So remind yourself again why you’re the best person for the part and ignore everyone else in the room!
When you meet your auditors, remember the following:
• Walk into the room with self-assurance, good posture, and a slight smile.
• Shake their hands firmly, looking at them in the eyes.
• Answer any questions they have clearly and to the point. Do not ramble or try to make conversation.
• Don’t point out any disadvantages unless they ask you directly. If you lack experience, or haven’t studied with a music teacher, they’ll know this from your résumé.
• Never apologize! The worst thing you can do in an audition is apologize in advance for your performance, your voice, or your lack of preparation. The auditors don’t want to hear excuses. They want to see what you can do.
Choosing a Song
You will usually need to bring a piece to the interview to perform. When choosing a song, keep the following tips in mind:
• Keep it short. Your song should be no longer than 2 minutes; otherwise, you’ll get told to stop.
• Make sure that the song is interesting from the get-go. Many songs build momentum so slowly that they don’t get fired up until the end, but the auditors won’t hear that bit if they ask you to stop half-way through.
• Don’t sing a song that another well-known singer has done superbly, as you’ll always be judged unfavourably. It is much better to choose a classic song and add your own unique interpretation on it, so that it bears resemblance to no one else’s version.
• Choose a song you care about! If you don’t feel 100% passionate about the song you’re singing, the auditors will notice.
• Choose a song to suit your voice and particular vocal abilities. The biggest mistake most people make when choosing a song with which to audition is picking a song that they like rather than a song that they can sing well. Even if you think you have the vocal pipes to keep up with Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, you should be wary of singing one of their songs in an audition.
• Make sure that you have more than one song rehearsed, in case you’re asked to do another. • You may be asked to sing something new from the sheet music or to try the piece again with changes. Be flexible, and make sure that your sight-singing skills are up to scratch!
After the Audition
No matter how you felt you did, leave the audition with the same quiet assurance with which you walked in. Don’t display your emotions, whether you felt you did well or badly. Remember that the only thing that ultimately matters is how the auditors felt you did. If you’ve watched any of the talent competitions on television, you know how subjective an assessment of a singing performance can be. So take heart … you may not have done as poorly—or well!—as you thought.
Take a few moments after the audition to assess how you did and write down a few notes about what you thought of the audition. You may want to think about:
• Whether what the auditors wanted matched up with what you thought they wanted.
• What you did well.
• What you could have done better.
• What the others auditioning alongside you did well, that you might be able to incorporate.
• How you could have prepared differently.
You may get called back to perform a set piece of music or dance. If you have enough time, memorize the piece by heart. The auditors will judge you on your preparation and interpretation, as well as your ability to take direction and incorporate suggestions.
If you get the spot, congratulations! If not, don’t take it personally; accept it and move on to the next audition, with everything you learned from the past audition in mind. Auditioning is a lot like dating: you’re going to have to experience lots of rejection before you find the one!
Another Singorama Success Story!
So what does a good Audition Sound like?
Singorama 2.0 has a fantastic lesson on auditioning and actual examples of what a great audition sounds like. You will also get to hear what a typical, unconfident unprepared one sounds like in Comparison. So which one are you? Are you confident and prepared or are you still lacking some great audition skills? Check it out with Singorama 2.0
In the next newsletter you’ll learn about…