Many people don't realize the importance of walking into a room.
Many think the audition starts when you start singing.
The audition starts the second you enter the room. The auditioners are getting a sense of you and your personality as you walk in and interact with them. If you have a bad vibe going on, you are off to a BAD start.
Auditions can feel scary and intimidating.
The whole act of showing up and performing for a panel of people "JUDGING" you, sizing you up, having opinions, possibly looking bored, telling you whether or not you are talented enough to get the part or not… at least that’s what it feels like.
You feel powerless. Like the auditioners have ALL of the power and you are this measly actor begging for work and validation.
So that is how we DON’T want to feel walking into the room and that is what we DON’T want to be thinking about.
If we do we might as well hold a huge sign that says don’t hire me because they will pick up on that in our energy.
The thing you want to be focused on is doing your job.
Regardless of the outcome. Of course when you are doing them regularly, then you feel less pressure for each one. There is less at stake. In the beginning, as you're starting out in the audition process, you may have to be more thoughtful. For more info on how to get centered before an audition or performance, read my blog on dealing with performance anxiety.
Obviously, it’s important to feel confidant when entering and exiting the room.
A way to feel confident is to feel at ease with the various steps that take place when entering the room, interacting with the folks behind the desk, knowing how to interact with the pianist, and how to exit the room.
You’re in charge of all of that. You’re in charge of how you walk into the room and how you feel. That’s your power. That is a way to feel in control.
If you don’t know how to get centered before you start to sing, you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice. Rehearse this step and make it part of your routine.
Practice these steps. It seems silly to practice saying “hi”, but this is the part that gets overlooked by young performers and it's a very important step. It's step #1.
Steps for entering and exiting the room during an audition.
#1. Confidant Greeting. Be YOU!!
#2. Go to pianist to give music (clear and legible copies) and show cuts, possibly give a tempo if it's an unfamiliar piece. Make it as easy for the pianist as possible.
#3. Go to your spot and wait until the panel is ready and then if necessary, announce your piece.
#4. Take a moment, get centered, find your person/spot, think through your pre-beat as music starts. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.
#5. Do your thing. Don’t look at your panel (unless it's that kind of an audition); sing to your “person” right above the auditioners’ heads. And don’t stop, keep going even if you think it’s not going well. (Unless it's a total catastrophe, keep going.) Also, be kind and generous to your pianist, even if they mess up. :)
#6. Stay in it until THE VERY END AND THEN SOME. Until the music stops.
#7. If they want to hear more, GREAT! If it's clear, the audition is over, thank the peeps behind the table. (Not singing more than one piece doesn't necessarily mean they didn't like you! Don't make assumptions.)
#8. Get your music and thank the pianist.
#9. Leave the room with your head held high. No matter what.
Most important thing to remember?
This is YOUR moment. Not the other way around.
You’re in charge of your experience. Be familiar and comfortable with all of these steps so that you can feel some measure of control no matter what happens.