Art School Tips For Auditioning

10 helpful hints to help you have the best audition possible when applying to art school.

Students at casting callBy: Helen Voelker
When applying to an arts school or program there is an additional step the process: auditioning. While auditioning can be stressful and daunting it is a part of every performance artist’s life and should be viewed with optimism. Here are 10 helpful hints to help you have the best audition possible.
1.    Pick the right audition piece(s).  Arguably, this is the hardest part of the process. How do you pick the right piece?  It is best if you try and pick a song that is unique. For a list of audition pieces that are overdone check out this blog on overused songs and monologues. Be original and choose something that makes you look great!
2.    Arrive early. Not only will being early show that you are a responsible and respectful person, it will help reduce your stress because you’re not rushing.
3.    Be polite to everyone.  The moment you speak to the person in charge of registration your audition has started, so be polite and respectful because you want to make sure you’re getting rave reviews from the people both inside and outside the audition room.
4.    Bring something to do. Auditions inevitably involve a lot of waiting around. Bringing a book, crossword puzzle or your math homework can help keep you focused and less nervous.
5.    Enter with confidence.  When you enter the room make sure you enter confidently.  Make sure you have good posture, make eye contact and appear confident. A strong first impression is very helpful in the long run.
6.    Find the “X”. Often when you walk into an audition space there is an “X” on the floor. This is called a “mark”. You’ll want to start your audition on that “X”.  This ensures that you will start not too close to or too far away from the auditioners. Don’t feel glued to the “X”, you can move around during your piece.
7.    Introduce yourself.  Once you hit the “X” make sure you introduce yourself. You should say your name, and what you’ll be performing for them.  An example is, “Good afternoon, my name is Justin Example and I will be performing ‘Giants in the Sky’ from Into the Woods.”
8.    Stick to the time limit.  Most auditions give you a time limit (something along the lines of a two-minute monologue and 30 bars of a song). Stick to that time limit. If necessary cut down your monologue and/or your song.  If they cut you off, don’t feel discouraged because it doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t like you, it could just mean they are running behind or have to use the restroom.
9.    Memorize! Nothing can sink an audition faster than forgetting your lines, so make sure you could sing your song and say your monologue in your sleep. However, if you do slip up remain calm and ask to start again, most college auditioners will give you a second chance.
10.   Reflect.  After you audition is over, go home and reflect on how you thought it went from start to finish. Take notes and keep practicing so you can continue to get better. This will help keep your audition fresh and never tired or boring.
There you have it, kids! Auditions are stressful and competitive, but nothing feels better than getting into your dream school. So, keep practicing and auditioning so you can be the best you can be!


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