Having heard from several of you doing EPAs for Broadway, and having HEARD some of you at NOLA studios this week (!) doing opera company and program auditions...
What are you responsible for as you walk into that audition????
Don't assume ANYTHING.
If you don't do your OWN research, do not blame somebody else for your laziness!!
Yes, it's laziness!!! If you are told an EPA or any music theatre call is asking for a "certain style" in audition - don't just accept that!!! DO YOUR WORK!!! Find out what the show is and what the style is. Don't accept anybody's input as gospel, and do your research regardless!
Take a book in for MT auditions that shows you off the best - in ANY genre or style. Have possibilities ready to go if asked, and stay flexible. Know why you are offering what you are offering - what does it show about your voice? your type? your specific strengths?
Know what you are offering and why you are offering it! "Because so-and-so said I should prepare a pop rock song" isn't good enough!!! What if it's a legit show?!?!? The so-and-so isn't doing the audition!!! YOU ARE!!!! Find out and figure it out!
Is your music well marked? This goes for MT AND opera. Don't assume your pianist can read minds (even though they often can!) because that isn't fair, and frankly they may decide they don't wanna!!!
If you are doing a cut/cadenza/tempi changes/adding fermati or anything that needs special attention - MARK IT CLEARLY IN THE SCORE!!! Take a minute (it is YOUR audition) to show the pianist what's going on - this is respectful, and it will also guarantee you a more grounded audition, because you leave nothing to chance with YOUR preparation!
Don't assume, opera singers, that just because the candenza ALWAYS starts there, that it shouldn't be marked clearly for the pianist. Don't assume!!! Mark it!
Know why you are there. Seriously. Stay true to that reason! Are you trying to get work? Trying out new repertoire? Discovering how to "be" in the room more fully? Stay specific to your goal and focus there.
Don't assume the people at the table care. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It's not personal. It shouldn't be rude, but sadly, it often is. If you are made to feel like you are wasting their time - TAKE YOUR TIME!!!! Do your work! Do not apologize for being typed in/having an appointment/having an audition time. We are not responsible for their manners, knowledge or lack thereof; We ARE responsible for what we DO and we respect and represent ourselves. You are responsible to be professional, responsive and do what you came to do.
Always have extras of everything!!! headshots/resumes; copies of music; pantyhose (!!!); whatever you might need, bring it!!! I even bring a 2nd pair of shoes since many years ago I broke a heel onstage during a concert. Even if the shoes I walk in with are not my audition shoes, I have a 2nd pair if something stupid happens! I usually have some safety pins in my bag (buttons have interesting minds of their own sometimes, as do zippers!) and a stain stick isn't a bad idea - to spot things! Never assume how you leave the apartment/house/hotel, is how you are going to arrive at the audition! It is your responsibility to figure out a contingency plan and be prepared for it!
Look your best!!! For your body, your type, your fach and the occasion! This is a job interview! This isn't a costume party nor a cocktail party nor an 8 p.m. concert!! You are talking with HR and often the boss. How do you want to be seen??? Don't assume you will be unless you invest in that decision! It might be obvious to you but it's cannot be assumed it will be obvious to someone else!
You are responsible to represent yourself how you want to be seen - literally, vocally and dramatically, and personally. You want to be seen as someone who is prepared, knowledgeable and pliable without being a suck-up, stuck-up or rude or rigid, or a lap dog!!!
Ultimately your responsibility is to yourself. You must find the information; you must research the show/season; you must present yourself in the best possible light; you must present what you do with clarity and without apology; you must be clear and focused at the task and have the props there to complement your task without chaos! Have your extra copies easily at hand; do not share your panic with those in the audition room or in the hallway. Figure it out. It is no one else's responsibility or problem if you forgot your music or have a run in your pantyhose, or prepared the wrong material, or slopped on your tie, or have salad in your teeth!!
Be certain why you are doing what you are doing, and do it. Prepare, and never assume so you are further prepared for anything that might lend itself to pulling you off your focus so you can refocus quickly without any shift in energy or disturbing someone else.
No matter who you trust/who is in your corner - YOU walk into that room and set that music in front of the pianist; You introduce YOURSELF - you don't introduce your coach or your teacher or your mother or your wife...It is YOU. Be responsible to yourself, for yourself.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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