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7 steps to a killer audition (for singers)

Sheila Chandra - Thursday, January 18, 2018

No one likes being judged and so auditions are never comfortable. However by being well-prepared you can make sure you stand the best chance of succeeding. Here are my seven top tips.

  1. Make sure you know what they’re looking for – and prepare accordingly. Is the audition for a band? Do they have a specific style? Make sure your voice fits. No point in going through an audition when you were nothing like what they were looking for. Similarly with a show etc. Know the kind of material it will involve and make sure you have the right range. If it will involve acting, prepare an audition monologue as well, just in case.
  2. Pick something you do well. Make sure you cater to what’s required but pick a piece you’re comfortable with and sing well. You’ll almost certainly experience nerves, and you want to allow for that by using a piece that’s as comfortable as an old pair of slippers. This is not the time to attempt something that’s a challenge.
  3. If you’re going to be accompanied, source your sheet music in good time and mark it up appropriately. Practice with an accompanist and make sure your music reflects the running order you want. Also make sure it’s in the correct key for you. Ditto with a recorded backing track. Cue it up ready to go. And ensure well in advance that there will be a way to play it in the audition room.
  4. If you’re going to be unaccompanied, choose your key. You know how it is… you’re going to tense up in the audition room. That means your throat will too, and if you simply pluck a key out of the air it’ll probably be too high. Find the correct key in rehearsal – and take a pitch pipe in with you if there won’t be a piano for you to find your starting note. Practice using a pitch pipe beforehand too.
  5. Adjust your attitude. It’s all too easy to regard an audition panel like a firing squad. As someone who’s sat on audition panels, I can tell you it’s not the attitude we take. We’re not looking to shoot people down. We’re delighted when they can do what we need! In fact, we’re desperate to find people who can do what we need them to… So remember that audition panels do want you to succeed. Bear that in mind.
  6. Take care of your nerves. There’s nothing more irritating than not being able to perform at your full potential because your body won’t obey you. There are two parts to this. One is making sure that you’re so rehearsed you’ve kind of ‘worn a groove’ in your muscle memory with the song you’re singing. And that you’ve done a light 10 minute warm up on the day.  The other is conquering the shakes. Shaking happens when your body releases too much adrenaline into your bloodstream. The answer is to use it up. You can do that by pressing hard on the nearest solid wall, as if you’re doing a calf stretch, for at least 20 seconds. This should stop your limbs trembling, your hands shaking and your throat wobbling.
  7. Go in there and show off! Enjoy it! Enjoyment is infectious and if you enjoy the process your panel is more likely to, too!

Bonus tip – if it’s a band and you already have a following that you’ll bring with you, it’s much harder to turn you down. You’ll get far more of an equal footing and say on direction, choice of material and will probably be able to bring in your own material too.

If you’d like help with your creative career, contact me for a 30 minute free consultation to find out if I’m the right coach/mentor for you.

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