1. Make sure your bag is packed and ready to go the night before the audition. Any chance to relieve stress and make more time for yourself on the day of the audition will help you give your best audition.
2. Keep a separate audition bag that is always packed and ready to go so you don’t have to switch things from bag to bag. Even if you have to take things out for class, keep a separate set of your essentials. Make a list of what you have taken out so you can be sure to replace it.
3. Keep your resume up to date and stapled to the back of your headshot. If you don’t already haveone, buy a small paper cutter now so you can fit your resume to your headshot. A resume and headshot that are not the same size looks sloppy and unprofessional.
4. Bring more than one headshot/resume to auditions. You never know who might be interested in you.
5. Be sure your headshot is current and looks like you especially if you are mailing a submission. You don’t want to confuse the folks who might want to cast you, and again, an outdated headshot looks unprofessional. Although black and white headshots are acceptable, eye-catching color headshots have become standard. A lot of headshot photographers only shoot in color these days, and casting directors, agents and creative team members tell us they prefer them.
6. Be prepared with an appropriate song in your book at all calls for a musical.
7. You may be asked to sing more than one type of song, so don’t be caught unprepared. You should have at least one of each of the following in your songbook: your favorite uptempo, your favorite ballad, pop song, contemporary Broadway (Jason Robert Brown, Andrew Lippa etc), and traditional Musical Theater (Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein). ***Always know the composer of the song you are singing!**
8. Know your vocal range if asked.
9. Try on your outfit before the day of the audition. Make sure you can move in it and feel comfortable.
10. Research the show you are auditioning for so you can dress appropriately. Do not wear jazz pants to a Rockette audition, but rather a more traditional dance look and of course tights and heels that elongate your legs. Do not wear tights and a leotard to a Mamma Mia call, because the dancers they cast should look more like “everyone in the audience” as opposed to a polished chorus of dancers. Men, does the show take place in an office (Promises, Promises or How to Succeed)? Don’t wear jazz pants and a tank top, but rather danceable pants and a shirt. Dress the part. Will the ensemble be playing high school kids? (Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, High School Musical) If so, dress younger- think ponytails, brighter, happier colors. For a Chicago audition you will need to look more mature, so stick to a cleaner, classic look.
11. Bring all dance shoes to auditions.
12. Singers: always bring shoes you can move in. Dancers: always bring a change of clothes to sing in. If asked to sing, ask the casting director if the creative team prefers that you sing in the same outfit you danced in or would like to see you in different clothes.
Research the Creative Team
13. Talk to people who have auditioned for them and ask about the atmosphere they create in the audition room. Do they run a strict classical musical theater audition? Is it a more casual, interactive environment? Does the choreographer always ask for improv? Some directors like to ask you a lot of questions before you sing to get a sense of your personality. Others just want to see what you can do. Having this information before you walk into the room will avoid you being caught off guard and will allow you to act more natural.
14. It should list the auditions you attended, the director, theater, choreographer, show combination, and casting director. Make notes on what they asked you to sing and what was the dance call like.
15. Do a self-assessment. How did you feel about the experience? Did you perform well? What would you like to do differently next time? Were you friendly and outgoing? Did you meet anyone you would like to stay in touch with?
Most of all, be kind to yourself! Some auditions will go better than others, but every time you stand in front of a director or choreographer, you are giving yourself a new chance to learn and improve. Auditioning is hard work. Some say that getting the job is actually harder than doing the job. Trust that the more you work at it, the better you will become.