Auditions bring up all the emotions. A singer might cycle through excitement, fear, anxiety, and panic all in the space of thirty seconds. Some singers cope by keeping a strict pre-audition routine. Others focus on warming up just right.
For me, I’ve found that a combination of things help settle my nerves and allow me to sing the best possible audition. Of course, every singer is different, so you should play around with these eyes and remember what works for you and what doesn’t.
Don’t add extra decisions to your audition day. Decide the day before what you’ll wear from head to toe. If you have new shoes (especially heels for the ladies), try to sing in them to get a feel for how they change your balance.
Men, if you’re wearing a suit jacket, practice in it to see how it affects your arm movements.
Lay everything out the night before. If you have to travel to the audition, make sure you’ve packed the day before. Ladies, I suggest bringing two or three extra pairs of stockings, if you want to wear them.
The first thing the audition panel sees isn’t you singing; it’s your entrance. So practice walking into a room confidently, have your music prepared for the pianist, and practice your introduction. You’ll need to say your name, what role you’re auditioning for (if applicable), and what aria you’d like to begin with.
Confidence is the name of the game. “Fake it til you make it” applies here. Don’t let them see your nerves, and don’t apologize for anything.
If you’re new to auditioning or presenting new arias, it can help to do a mock audition run-through with your singing teacher or coach in the days leading up to your audition.
Singers are, by nature, perfectionists. We want every note to be exactly right. To excel in an audition setting, you have to leave that mindset in the practice room.
In your run-through, don’t stop. Even if your high B is flat, or you sing the wrong verse, keep going. Many singers, myself included, tend to apologize for making a mistake. This tendency is acceptable in a coaching but will tank your chances in an audition.
For me, the most critical factor for a successful audition is sleep. I concentrate better, I sing better, and I look better too. If you have to travel for an audition, check the hotel reviews. One time, I booked a room next to a loud dance club on a Friday night. My audition the next day didn’t go so well!
You may have heard about beta-blockers, a medicine that helps reduce anxiety and nerves. If you don’t want to dip into prescriptions, try bananas. They act as natural beta-blockers and can help calm your nerves before an audition.
I know some singers don’t like to eat or drink coffee before an audition. I sing better when I’m fed and awake. Experiment and learn what works best for you.
Don’t treat the audition as an interview - treat it as a performance. If you view it as a performance, you’ll remove many of the pressures associated with auditions. Try to leave the audition mindset behind when you step onto the stage, and just let yourself perform.