conversations with students bring such interesting things to the fore!
Audition sabotage - are you doing it before you even get into the room???
What do you do in the hallway while you are waiting?
My advice is simple: it is YOUR time, YOUR audition preparation and NO ONE has a right to interfere in that with conversation, questions, talking on the phone or other stupidity!
There are always the twits in the music theatre hallway that have to "sing", stretch and yack...about how important they are. If you have to talk about yourself that much, trust me, you aren't that important. Whether it is intentional or not, these people are audition-sabotagers.
They are there to pull focus and see if they can throw you off your game. Sadly, too often, it works. The stupidity of "me me me" and pulling focus does that - and you fall for it!!! STOP IT! If someone needs to pull focus in an audition hallway, they have no business auditioning. Remember who you are dealing with! These are the idiots of our business.
You are there to be seen and give your best self for an audition. You are not there to get angry, ticked off, and irritated by the ditsy and the bizarre! You are also not there to be friends,make friends, be companions, coffee buddies, gossip buddies or anything like that. You are there to be SEEN and potentially get a JOB. These people are not your friends in this situation! They are not your enemies either - your response should find indifference - neutral and clean.
There is no rudeness in keeping your own counsel and preparing yourself mentally and psychologically for what you need to do when entering that audition room. That means SELF focus. You can make a decision to create a bubble around you and protect your audition!!! You must bring your concentration, your focus, your talent, YOUR WILL with you into an audition. You do not need it diluted or confused by somebody who doesn't understand the skill or craft of what is going on! And it is not your responsibility to educate them. Leave them to themselves - remember, indifference.
Coffee, gossip, drinks - happen at another time!!! Audition means work. Simple as that.
If it means you have to keep your headphones in your ears until you get ready to walk in, then do it. If you need to read, do it. If you need to wander away if you have an assigned time/number, then do it. If you have to be still and stare at the wall, then do it.
Who is there and what is going on around you is IRRELEVANT to your audition. But if you let it in, it can INFLUENCE your audition. Your audition should be influenced by YOU and ONLY YOU. Your preparation, your focus, your execution.
What you hear in the hallway should not register. What you hear coming from the audition room should not register. The only thing that should register is what you are prepared to do and how you will do it! Are you prepared musically, dramatically, and physically? Do you know how you are walking into that space? Do you sense how you will walk and stand and present yourself? Is your music prepared for the pianist? Can you "rehearse" the audition process in your head?
Find the things that help you stay focused, calm, PRESENT as you wait for your name to be called. Do not let yourself "wander" into the minutia of the hallway!!! The nature of it will cause you to second-guess and wonder. You are past the point of wondering!!! You are DOING!! There is no wondering if you are good enough, pretty enough, if your voice is developed enough, if your shoes are high enough, if your skirt is long enough...YOU ARE ENOUGH! Any of these thoughts will sabotage YOUR WORK. STOP IT!
Head phones with music, head phones with silence, a book, a magazine, a blank page...anything to create sanctuary in a crazy space with all that other energy lurking! If someone tries to draw you into conversation, a simple smile and quick answer and go back to what you are doing. If they are stupid enough (or conniving enough) to continue to try to engage, you can say you are preparing and need to focus and would be happy to speak at a later time. This makes you a professional not a bitch or unapproachable! The audition hallway is not about winning a prize for the most popular at the club!
Your audition bag should include your music, your shoes, your makeup, a change of clothes if necessary, and anything to keep you focused/busy/drawn into your energy and not letting others leak in! Create it - it is YOURS.
Be professional, respectful, engaged and present. DO YOUR WORK. Take your breath and your moment and claim that audition!!
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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