The Audition Insider



Everyone has seen the flyers seemingly plastered to every flat surface of campus. Filled with bright fonts, catchy phrases and the occasional picture, they encourage sacrificing the value of self-consciousness in attempts to enlarge their organization. But let’s face it, for most of the campus it takes more than a sign with some silly snapshots of people in awkward positions to provide sufficient motivation; however, occasionally our attention is caught and before we know it, we are singing, dancing or reciting a monologue about convincing someone not to commit suicide.

I must admit having found myself in these positions numerous times. I’ve bounced from cheerleading try-outs, to theater auditions, to job interviews without a second thought. By now, I know what it takes to have a good audition and know to not always expect the best possible outcome.

Obviously, no one gets everything in life. But you can definitely try your hardest to get as much as possible. There are the basic dos and don’ts of the perfect audition.

Do look your best. We’re not talking Jug clothes, more along the lines of a nice sweater and jeans. Please keep the deep v-neck at home. Stay classy: smile, greet and shake hands with the people you are auditioning for. Your mother taught you manners and they really do help you get somewhere in life.

Do put down anything and everything that could count as experience. The dance lessons from years ago are no exception; you never know what might help you out. Choose a song that you know and that fits your voice range. Write down the lyrics if necessary, but don’t botch the tune.

Do come prepared. One director I know required her call backs to move around on the stage in all manners of ways, and flexible clothes were required. Similarly, if you might be there a while, bring a snack. Do be realistic. If forty people are vying for ten spots, someone is going to get cut, maybe even you. No one is indispensable.

Do not limit yourself. Be open to anything the panel requests, and always think outside the box. Do not be late. If there’s a conflict, speak with the people in charge beforehand and work something out. They will know you are really serious and you will be guaranteed an audition time. Likewise, if you must cancel, let them know.

Do not overdo it. Overacting is a major no-no unless the role calls for you to ham it up. Even then, make sure you know your characterization well. Similarly, do not choose a song that is overdone or you cannot deliver on. As American Idol has taught us, you are not Whitney Huston, so don’t sing her songs. Likewise, everyone and their brother can do a rendition of Seasons of Love, so please bypass it.

And of course, don’t be afraid to try. Anything can happen and “big breaks” do exist.

Of course, these are just the basics. Elaborations come in many shapes and sizes; most people cater to their own needs. The overall key is to love what you are getting involved with. If you don’t like the people you dance with, then why dance with them? You are in college now, and an unprecedented amount of activities are all jockeying for your time and energy. Choose wisely amidst the chaos of the activities fair and campus flyers. They all may want you, even need you, but you are the one who selects first. All you can do is give it your all, hope a lot and wait until you see your name on the list.