March 3, 2020. You’ve arrived at Pearl Studios to become the next Tracy Turnblad. But you quickly realize that ~29,461 other stars-to-be had the same idea and they all showed up at THREE A.M.! You were NOT prepared for this much motion or this much ocean. The commotion gets in your head (much like the earworms in Hairspray) and you botch your audition.
If only you were Marty McFly and traveled to the future, read this blog, and gained a wealth of knowledge on how to prep for anything audition day throws at you. Maybe you would’ve felt so cool, calm, and collected that you could have floated past the throngs of hopefuls and booked the national tour of your dreams (which definitely would have gone on as planned with zero postponements caused by global events…ah well).
Initial auditions are sometimes unpredictable, so you want a preparation routine you can rely on. Keep reading as we reveal the crucial steps that will help you nail your next audition and sail back down 8th Ave to the tune of “Mama, I’m a #Booked Girl Now.”
- Do your research!
The last thing you want to do when walking into an audition is be clueless about who and what you’re auditioning for. If the audition is for Six, don’t come in with 16 bars of Gilbert and Sullivan because “they were alive when that King Henry guy was, right?” Strong and wrong is great in some contexts…but rarely does it work in an audition setting.
You may be the one on stage, but the people behind the table deserve love (*ahem* research), too. Understanding the creative team will not only put you a step-ball-change ahead of the competition, but can also calm your nerves.
- Have all materials at the ready.
Headshots? Check. Resume? Check. Sides, book, outfit? Check, check, and check!
Make sure everything is printed, labeled, packed, and picked out at least the night before. That includes an outfit; don’t open your closet in the morning only to groan to your partner that you “have nothing to wear.” Create a physical checklist so nothing’s forgotten AND you get to do a little happy dance when you cross something off.
Now you can use your waiting time to your advantage, rather than rummaging through your bag praying to find last season’s leftover resume.
- Practice, practice, practice!
No one is booking jobs by winging it, which means you need to practice. Don’t be the person with a 57-song book but only four of them are memorized. YOU get to pick what to show off the first round — pick something you like and practicing it won’t feel like a chore.
Try to find a friend, roommate, or partner to do a “mock audition” for. It’ll probably feel super weird, especially if they’re not actors, but you want to make auditioning feel like second nature, not just your material.
- Schedule out your audition day.
Auditions are stressful enough already: don’t make it harder by running to catch a train transfer because the next one doesn’t come for 18 minutes.
Work backwards from your audition time — warning: math is involved.
- Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes early (“on time” is late!).
- Route your commute and how long it takes (with wiggle room for pesky things like public transit).
- Estimate (read: over-estimate) how much time you’ll need to get ready.
Pencil in a post-audition Treat Yo’ Self activity, too! It’ll give you something to look forward to regardless of what happens in the room.
- Nourish your body.
One of the most vital pieces of audition prep is to fuel your body effectively so it can help you succeed.
Prepare a good meal you love so your body can have energy to power through a stressful day. Drink plenty of water so you’re hydrated and ready to share your gifts with the world. Get at least seven hours of sleep so you’re well-rested and primed to show the casting team how supercalifragilisticexpialidocious you are.
Seymour fed and watered Audrey II, so you must feed and water yourself. And you don’t even eat people.
- Physically prepare.
Whether you’re a “strong mover” or strictly “park-and-bark,” warming up physically and vocally before you hop on the train is critical. Maybe you’re a yogi, maybe you pump iron, maybe you pre-game by running a marathon like Cynthia Erivo (all hail). You know your body and voice, so give them some love.
Once you arrive in the waiting room, you can also stay loose by shaking it off like T-Swift and doing some lip trills or light humming. But don’t be that person…you have nothing to prove to your competition by being so much more actor-y than them.
- Find a good mindset.
With only a few minutes until your audition, find a seat and take a quiet moment to yourself. Put your phone away (or listen to some inspiring music), take several deep breaths, and ground yourself by thinking about why you do what you do. If you’ve followed steps 1-6 and thoroughly prepared, the rest is out of your control. Breathe, smile, and throw some gratitude into the universe — there’s nothing more you can do at that moment.
Finding a clear head and positive mindset will help you hone in on your work and quiet any remaining nerves. This way you can focus on doing your job: auditioning.
On to the next one…
We all hope our next audition is going to be THE audition, but this ain’t our first rodeo. Actors are always looking for the next opportunity, the next showcase, the next open call. Now that you have these tools in your back pocket, you’ll be ready to take on any audition that comes your way.
If audition season is in a lull and you need a job opportunity that offers flexibility the next time your agent calls, check out Worthwhile Event Services today.