From The Director's Chair : “8 Tips for a successful audition”

As a Director, I try to make this process easy for kids.  Here are my personal tips for a successful audition.  These tips may vary from Director to Director, however, for me, this is what I prefer. 


One of the scariest things for theater kids is the audition process.  For some kids, it causes so much anxiety that they choose to not even do the show because of it.  As a professional performer for over 10+ years, I’ve had my fair share of audition anxiety.  I’ve had my knees knocking, and my heart pounding out of my chest.  At the end of the day, getting over that hurdle is the biggest relief!  Keep it simple and not too difficult and practice, practice, practice.  You will be surprised how you just go into autopilot and the audition piece just comes out!


What do I sing?  Some Directors say specifically “Do not sing from the show you’re auditioning for”.  For me, I DON’T AGREE!  Show me what you’ve got!!!  This is your one shot to show me what you can do.  If there is a specific role you want, sing from that role.  I may not have envisioned you in that part, but by you showing me your version, you may surprise me!  You never know, it may land you that role! 


Try to sing from the same genre.  This means, make your song choice similar to the show style.  If you’re auditioning for a Disney show, choose something for a similar Disney show. If the show you’re auditioning for is classical musical, don’t choose something contemporary.


Please don’t sing something popular form the radio. Sometimes kids just love the pop idols of today and they want to sing something popular.  Chances are the Director will have no clue what that song is and they wont be able to tell if you’re on key or not.  Leave the pop stuff at home! 


At an audition, never stare at the Production Team.  I suggest looking over their heads.  If you make eye contact, this can make the team uncomfortable and also it can make you read into their facial expressions.  You may see them make a face, or start writing feverishly in a notebook, and you may start getting nervous over “What are they thinking??’ By not looking at them, this avoids all of this! 


If all else fails and you don’t have the “perfect” song, pick a song that shows off your voice!  This is your chance to show us your talent, if the genre isn’t perfect for your voice, show me what is.  Show off!!!  This is your time to feature YOU!  Give me the best you’ve got.


Keep it simple.  I say to my kids, wear solid colors.  No patterns that are busy.  You certainly don’t want your outfit “stealing the show”.  We want to keep the focus on you!  Hair should be off the face and the outfit clean, simple with no logos. Always try to dress up.  Don’t come in to an audition with street clothes. Show me that you want this part. A clean look tells me you are professional and ready to work! 


Ok, we all know there is a slight possibility that you screw up your audition.  Maybe you have a brain fart and you can’t remember your lyrics or maybe you think you went off key.  If this happens, you have the right to stop the audition and ask the Director “Can I try that again please?”.  Most Directors will let you start over.  Take a deep breath and start over!