|*THE 3 P's|
Write this down: The number one thing you can do to be less nervous about auditioning, is to be prepared ahead of time!
If you know your song backwards and forwards, and youíve practiced the words, and are confident youíve picked a piece of music that shows off your voice, you have much less reason to be scared.
So, have your music memorized and ready to be performed. Walk onstage with confidence (even if you are terrified) and sing your song. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER say, "Umm, I really don't know this show/part/song, and I'm not really prepared to sing today." What you are REALLY saying to the Director is, "Well, I don't care enough about you, or the show, or myself to learn this." Believe me, you have lost the staff before you even sing a note! You REALLY have to be amazing to make them listen to you after a statement like that. It's not just first timers who are guilty of this, many veteran performers occasionally come into an audition without proper preparation. If you want to be in a show, do yourself a few favors. Get on the Internet and find out what the show is about. Go to the library and check out the script and score. Go to itunes and download the CD (or buy it from Amazon or Best Buy). Go to Youtube and watch some clips from productions of show. Call the theatre, or go to any workshop they offer, and see if the music or script is available. There is no excuse for not being prepared. This goes for everyone, from the folks auditioning for the King of Siam to those auditioning for the "third spear-carrier from the left." Whatever it is you choose to perform for your audition, whether an aria from an opera or "Happy, Birthday," be prepared!!!
DO NOT make excuses!
Don't come into an audition situation and immediately start telling the staff all the horrible things that prevented you from being prepared or at your best today. It is very self-defeating. For example, if you have a cold, don't apologize to the front table. If you're sick, they can tell that, and they won't hold it against you! They will be more sympathetic to you if you aren't complaining to them about how sick you are, and how you always sound so much better at home in the shower, etc, etc... They will take note of the brave individual who did their best under bad circumstances, not the person who had 15 excuses why he/she wasn't prepared. Also, you don't have to say your sorry each time you hit a wrong note, or stutter on a line. This is an audition. It's not expected to be perfect and the Director understands this. The staff is on your side! They understand what a nerve racking experience auditioning can be, because most of them have been through it themselves! The only time you have to say your sorry is if you kick the Choreographer in the shin during your dance audition, or if you knock over a tray of soft drinks on the production staff! Again, this goes back to confidence. You should try to present yourself as a very confident, personable individual that the staff would love to include in their show. As I said earlier, this is "community" theatre. There is a big social side to all of this. The Director wants to cast positive, pleasant people as much as they want to cast talented people.
"How to Audition for the Musical Theatre: A Step-By-Step Guide to Effective Preparation" by Donald Oliver
"NEXT: Auditioning for the Musical Theatre" by Steven M. Alper