Happy Sunday! Happy Pride!
This may be an ongoing SERIES of blog posts as it seems to come up regularly and breaking it down could be and hopefully will be, beneficial to any of you in the audition process.
As I straddle the worlds of opera and music theatre, I want to make things as accessible to both sides of the business, and even though the business of opera and the business of theatre are very different businesses - the common denominator is YOU the singer. So I hope things will translate to your specificity, with ease.
If not - perhaps I will delve into more specificity for each, as needed.
What about that audition room? What is it? Why would you lead with YOU?
Regardless of the genre, it is an opportunity to reveal just enough of YOU to entice; to create possibility; to give them pause; to give them an opportunity to call you back; to the be answer to their problem/question/casting!
What it is NOT: a place to try to show them everything you do; a chance to block out a scene or play a role; a place for excuses; a place to sleepwalk into; a place to try to please; a place to be frantic, desperate, shy, overbearing, annoying...
So, what do you DO with that?
Theatre, no matter the genre, is about relationships. It is about instilling trust. It is about possibility.
You know what you do. You know what you are capable of doing. You know what you bring to the table. Now, this is an opportunity to give the audition room a small taste of that in order to develop a relationship with them. Sometimes that relationship develops quickly, and sometimes you have to trust that the relationship simply needs nurturing and time in order for the trust to develop.
You have that control, and that power. So, even though, you have no final say as to whether you are called back, hired, or the like - you DO have the control and the power to BE in that room with the truth you reveal there.
If you don't know what you bring into the room, specifically or even as a gestalt or overview - then it's time to explore the specifics of that for yourself. If you don't know, they don't know, and they sure don't have time to find out. Guess what pile that resume and head shot goes into?
This doesn't mean everything has to be perfect. Artistry and performance (not the same thing, but I digress) are constantly morphing. Technical behavior is never perfect, and meets each day differently based on the physicality and mindset.
Consider that initial audition as an invitation for a first date. How much information are you going to offer? If you really are taken with that date, what do you want out of it? Maybe another date, right?
Only invite into your space, what you want them to see initially. That doesn't need to be a lot. Too much information in too short a time is overload, and overload causes stress, and stress causes shut down, and shut down dismisses you.
Choose 2, maybe 3 things about YOU, you want to reveal in the initial audition. Not about your voice, not about your resume, not about your repertoire, but about YOU. What would you want the takeaway to be when you leave?
YOU decide what that is. As you become more conscious of your choices, your responsibility will be to yourself, your behaviors and how are focused on what you give in the room and how YOU are received in the room.
Others can do what you do. Others can sing your repertoire, are your "type", and "fach". However, nobody can do you, like you.
That has authenticity written all over it, if you allow for it!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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