Before I offer a few advice on do’s and don’ts of a successful audition you need to know one thing: the auditioning panel WANTS you to SUCCEED. I know it most often doesn’t look like it but you need to consider a few things: the panel members are there morning to evening often for days, they get not enough air and too much coffee, they have heard the same piece 20 times just today, they too need (bathroom) breaks and they never have quite enough time for them due to things usually running late and they are constantly watched as much as you are in your 10 minute time slot.
They are human and as all of us prone to headaches, personal issues etc. But they want you to succeed. Because if you prove to be the person they are looking for it means their search and pressure to find that person is over and they too have done their job and done it well.
10 tips to a successful audition
That said, it also doesn’t mean that if you have done an amazing audition, feel good about it, the panel seamed very excited and enthusiastic about your performance and you still don’t get the job – that you weren’t any good. It’s the complete opposite most of the time. It just means that you aren’t quite what they were looking for to complete the cast they (for instance) already have.
So, take a deep breath, try to calm those nerves, keep your focus and do your best by:
If you do these things it will show the panel that you take the audition and potential job seriously, that you are professional and smart.
If the panel request a piece that is possibly not on your list but it is on your repertoire you will have to think quick on your feet and decide if you are willing to sing it. It probably means they are interested in you doing that piece but if you are not comfortable doing it decline as politely as you possibly can. Do NOT lie and say you don’t have the music with you as it might happen that they have the music on hand or the pianist knows the piece by heart which will put you in more trouble.
Mark CUTS and do your best that the music that is cut out is not on the page or is clearly unreadable. If you are bringing really difficult contemporary pieces make sure to contact the panel ahead of time and inquire if you should send the music. If you are bringing Nixon in China, Wozzeck or something similar ask your own pianist to mark the score with some things another pianist who is reading the score for the 1st time will find helpful.
You might not have the opportunity to have a short rehearsal with them beforehand and you really do not want to have the panel waiting while you are going trough the whole aria with a pianist on stage. Make sure you thank them before and after and consider that, if you are singing a contemporary piece, the panel might have not heard it before and might not be sure that you are singing the correct notes. Pianist are often a point of reference for the panel as well.
Last but not least:
9. Do not under any circumstances badmouth your colleagues and people you have worked with in an audition room. This world of music is very small and you never know if you will offend someone’s feelings. Besides it is highly unprofessional!
What about you? Do you have any particular tips?