This past week, my school’s theatre department auditioned for the spring musical, Little Shop of Horrors. My fellow peers and I stressed about monologues and songs, about who we thought would get cast as what, and about what getting the part we wanted would mean to us.
The audition is a both a loved and hated (but mostly hated) aspect of the theatre world. Stepping out of the room after a good audition can be a euphoric moment, complete with fulfilled potential and an adrenaline high. But a bad audition can leave you with doubt that creeps into every aspect of your character, a doubt that keeps hold until the cast list is released, and follows you to your next audition.
The thing about auditions is that no matter how good you are, an audition can throw you off. So I decided to talk to a few of my peers coming off the audition high from last week and hear their opinions on three things: The best part about auditions, the worst part about auditions, and some tips for auditioning. Here’s what they said.
Joelle Kasprisin – Senior Social Work Major/Sociology Minor, Knows a lot of Musical Theatre Lyrics
Best part about auditions? “The best part of auditioning is rehearsing with your friends and helping each other and encouraging each other to do our best.”
Worst part about auditions? “The worst part of auditioning is after the audition happens, when you wait for the cast list to come out and can’t stop thinking about even for a few minutes until it finally gets emailed to you.”
Tips for auditioning? “Choose a song that fits the style of the role that you want, and practice your ENTIRE audition in front of a trusted friend who will tell you the truth about how you did and give you constructing criticism. And I do mean the entire audition, like from when you introduce yourself to when you take your binder back from your collaborative pianist. Because you may forget. Like I have.”
Ricky Rivera – Junior Music Major/Political Science Minor, Music Veteran-Musical Theatre Newbie
Best part about auditions? “The best part about auditioning is the experience you get. You can learn something from each audition you have, making the process less and less stressful each time you go through it.”
Worst part about auditions? “The worst part of auditioning has to be the wait to see if you made it into the production you auditioned for. The anticipation is ridiculously stressful.”
Tips for auditioning? “When auditioning, pretend that there is no one judging you. Audition like you are in your room, and just be 100% comfortable with what you’re doing.”
Liza Scheidler – Sophomore Musical Theatre Major, Musical Theatre Career Girl
Best part about auditions? “For me, the best part about auditioning is getting the chance to better myself and improve my abilities. I’ve always been the type to get super stressed out for auditions, even more so than actual performances, so the more opportunities I have to audition the better I become at controlling those nerves. Even if an audition doesn’t go as smoothly as I’d like, I try to view it as a growing experience so I know what to do differently next time.”
Worst part about auditions? “My least favorite part about auditioning is how nervous I get. It’s easy for me to lose my focus and forget lines when I’m nervous which is always extremely frustrating. I also tend to start second-guessing my monologue/song choices which only adds to the stress. It gets easier to deal with each time I audition, but it’s still something I often struggle with.”
Tips for auditioning? “My two main tips for auditioning are to come prepared and relax! It’s important to know your audition material like the back of your hand so even if nerves do get the best of you, you can recover easily. But at the end of the day, it’s just one audition! Worrying and stressing over it will only negatively affect your performance, so try to relax and just have fun!”
Mackenzie Burke – Freshman Musical Theatre Major, Inhales Music-Exhales Musical Theatre
Best part about auditions? “So I’d have to say some of the best parts of auditions is the excitement of possibly being cast in an amazing show or landing that part you’ve been dreaming of forever. You have prepared so hard to go in front of a panel of strangers and you have maybe 2 minutes or show to give them your best self, and talent!
It’s amazing to go into a cattle call auditions and see a hundreds of people with the same dream as you, and it’s fun to meet new friends and discover other people backgrounds.”
Worst part about auditions? “Worst part of auditions is the waiting game. Or the feeling of regret that your choice of song or monologue wasn’t good enough. Or seeing the cast list and not getting a role you wanted or even a role at all. The nerves can sometimes engulf you and create a bad audition, or even make you sick. You have to literally give your fate into strangers hands and hope they like you.”
Tips for auditioning? “You are not going to fit everyone’s mold. You cannot change who you are to fit a role. Directors sometimes make rash or crazy decisions that you never saw coming. Don’t freak yourself out and give bad energy to those around you, or have the sense of “Oh, I am not gonna get it anyway so why bother” attitude. Go into your auditions strong and smiling, be who you are and if you are meant to be it will happen.”
If these four talented performers display a unifying theme, it’s that as far as auditions go, there’s only so much power you have. Perform to the best of your ability, and fate will take it from there. Good luck on any and all auditions in the future, and between you and me, I really hope you get it.