This is by no means a complete nor exhaustive list but here are several audition "types" we see in the audition room/hallway.
If you see yourself in any of these, or even a little bit - perhaps it's time to re-assess...these "types" are not winning friends and influencing people, so if you are pursuing them, time to change direction! Often they morph into 2 or even 3 audition "types" which gets very interesting.
I think everybody who auditions needs to sit on the other side of the table and OBSERVE what happens in the room from another perspective. It can be eye-opening in so many ways!!!
Just some ideas...
1. The "Perky Princess": this one has such an over-stretched smiled on his/her face that it makes MY face hurt. If I look closely, the face is smiling, but the eyes are not. Often, the language is clipped and over-rehearsed, and the perky auditioner doesn't listen, but instead, jumps in too quickly, and often interrupts. Everything is one gear - jumpy and perky and almost cheerleader-like. The energy is higher than red bull and just as empty. This is a fatiguing energy and the audition is usually less-than-dimensional.
2. The "I Don't Give a Shit": this one looks bored. This one is trying to be cool and collected, but actually comes across with lack of energy and motivation. The eyes are vacant, the body energy is fallen, and simply they look like they would rather be anywhere else but in that audition room. The audition is simply taking up too much of their time. They don't speak, but often use monotone syllables if asked a question. There just isn't any energy in this auditioner, and even if they are prepared, the panel wouldn't know because the motivation just doesn't walk in. There is no commitment to the space.
3. The "Attitude": this one sucks the energy out of the room. He/She has a hardness about them - that is accusatory and demanding. Their use of language is full of attitude, bitterness, and almost anger. If asked a question, the answer is almost laughed out and scorned. Body language is defensive. There is nothing warm and fuzzy or accessible with the "attitude" auditioner. They might be talented, but who wants to keep them around long enough to find out? The room needs to be cleansed after they audition, because the negative ions linger...The "attitude" creates a huge gap between themselves and the audition panel. You wouldn't want to even shake their hand or even thank them for auditioning. Please, just get out.
4. The "Apologetic": this one is trying so hard, they think if they apologize for everything, it'll show they can be accessible. Apology isn't accessible. The body energy is sunken. There is hesitancy is presentation and language. They are wall-flowerish and ask permission with every level of being. And then apologize for asking permission. They don't take the room, they don't anchor, they don't meet your eye, they just say sorry alot.
5. The "Excuse" Baby: this audition begins with an excuse. I have a cold, allergies; I worked a late shift last night; I haven't had a lot of time to prepare this cut...I got a paper cut, my cords are tired today...and on and on. The excuse comes out before their name! When asked a question, it is answered with an excuse. These auditioners tend to sabotage their auditions over and over due to the excuse answer.
6. The "Jazz Hands": this is perky times 900!!! This is the phony auditioner - trying too hard, no depth, everything is loud, I can do everything, yes, just ask me - 5 pirouettes? Sure! Hamlet at 17? Absolutely! I can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING - just ask me!!! And the audition is the SAME every time. One dimensional and phony. Everything is put on, and not developed from an internal source. These auditioners are exhausting because in 30 seconds they want you to know EVERYTHING they think they can do better than everyone else. You try to give them direction, and they just do it exactly the same way - and then look at you with the wide eyes and say "better right?"
7. The "Intimidator": this one oozes attitude, and rudeness time 900. She/he tries to intimidate the audition table and the hallway! He/she tries to make it a reality that YOU are wasting HER/HIS time...The attitude is generally much larger than the talent. Makes you wonder why they are there at all...
8. The "Slacker": this one is late/unprepared/in a turmoil in the hallway and in the audition room. He/she is stapling/cutting/pasting while walking in; can't find the cut she/he says she's going to sing; There is just chaos and unprofessionalism wrapped around him/her! Nothing is ready or accessible - from the resume to the music to the preparedness of the music and character. Thinks he/she can just walk in and do it - with no real preparation.
9. The "Blamer": this one blames everything on everybody else. It's the pianist's fault, the monitor's fault, the cab driver's fault, Kinko's fault; They don't make "excuses" they just distribute blame in the hallway and in the audition room and then in the hallway again while leaving...never could be their own fault. Always deflects to everybody else.
10. The "Pleaser": will always ask what YOU want and never take ownership. They want to do the right thing, but often overwhelm themselves and never claim their audition because they are so worried about pleasing EVERYBODY they forget it is their audition! They end up trying to please instead of doing the work. The audition becomes confused and overwhelming. Trying to please causes doing too much and not having a clear focus. They try way too hard. They second guess themselves. They try to read your mind. They generally miss the mark.
11. The "Sabotager": this one works in the hallway -talking too much, saying too much, trying to throw off the people around her/him. The Sabotager is loud, arrogant, saying much but nothing. They pretend to know and are happy to share it in order to throw you off, not to help you. Don't get sucked in! If you hear loud speaking, overly loud laughter - stay far away from these ones. If they truly had something to offer in the audition room they wouldn't work so hard to eliminate their competition in the hallway. Leave these people to themselves. They love to hear themselves talk.
Now - these are just a few and several cross over! Sadly, they are very much alive and well.
Often, there is just a touch of it in an audition, although we do see the full-blown aspect too!
Do you see yourself? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!
Are you not sure? Ask someone who has seen you audition or knows your work...
Sometimes reality smarts - but I think the honesty is necessary in order to allow for a stronger and more anchored and more honest audition.
Your honesty, your ability, your preparation, your accessibility, your pliability are all part of who you are and how you work. This is so important for the panel to recognize in that audition! Your talent is only one portion of that audition!
Sometimes these "types" emerge due to nerves, due to fear, due to the unknown - so PRACTICE AUDITIONING!!!! You cannot assume it's easy. It is NOT. There is, if not an "art" to auditioning, definitely a "craft"!
Explore these types - add your own! Find out if you tend to lean toward any of these types, and work to find a balance of work/authenticity/pliability and personality.
BE REAL. Phony and desperation reads farther than you think.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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