A Nightmare after Christmas?

christmasOnce upon a time, a young auditioner had a great Christmas time with his family. It was a Christmas of plenty presents but it was also a time of many events and many fights. In fact, it was so consuming, that he felt like he needed a break after that big a holiday. So he put his audition preparations off until January.

On New Year’s Day, he woke up and an eerie feeling overcame him. He felt tired from all the parties and his voice was hoarse from all the talking. He hastily jumped out of bed and took out his calendar. His first audition was scheduled for January 23rd. Where had the time gone? The eerie feeling turned into panic. He stood there motionless and without a clue on how to face what was staring him in the face. He didn’t even know where to start. All he wished for was a time machine!

DON’T LET THIS BE YOU!

Let me save you from suffering the same fate! Start working on your rep now! You still have almost a month left until Boxing Day, imagine how much you can get done in a month! You want to walk into that room with your material under your belt, right? And unfortunately, there will be no confidence or touching performance if you aren’t prepared. You know it and I know it, so save yourself the heartbreak! 😉

So, what’s stopping you? Well, truthfully, the main person stopping you is yourself. So, just ask yourself this: What are you gaining by lack of preparation? Yes, auditions are scary but they will be even scarier when you’re not prepared.

THREE STEPS TO GET READY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

But what can you do? Well, first of all, make a list of everything you need to get done before your first audition, you can even put the tasks into categories. It is always easier to look at a list in front of you rather than trying to keep up with all that in your head. It will also help you grasp the amount of workload.

Second of all, schedule time slots each week for your tasks. Yes, actually mark them in your calendar. Think of them as appointments with your rep, cancellation impossible. Also schedule sessions with your coaches in advance for the rest of the year. Don’t forget to schedule break times to refuel the engine. Maybe there are even other non-audition-related appointments that can be moved to early 2017 to make time.

smilies-bank-sit-rest-160739Third of all, get an audition buddy. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a fellow auditioner, it can also be a friend or family member or a coach of yours. Tell them about your goals for each week and have them check in on your progress. Being held accountable makes a massive difference in motivation. Personal trainers don’t get paid for nothing, hun! 😉

After that, let Christmas be your well-deserved brain break, let your rep sink in so you can work on finishing touches after. Because if you prepare well before Christmas, the holidays won’t hit you as hard!

And now, I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself on that big stage in your dream role. Everything you’re doing today will take you one step closer to that goal. And everything you do today will take you one step closer to the school that will help you get there.

Which performing arts college works best for you? // Find your Glass Slipper!

Processed with VSCO with 4 presetYou want to attend a performing arts college, that is a fact! Now you have to decide where! Yes, you heard right, YOU have to decide where!, at least you have to decide which schools you want to apply to because every audition is a chance but also requires resources. In addition to that, each school has different requirements for the auditions.

Step One is therefore: Research!

Find out which schools are out there, when and where the auditions take place and what you need to prepare for the audition. It is vital that you know the deadlines. If you send in your resumé late, you will not be considered! (Sometimes you need to provide a clearance certificate from an ENT and/or an orthopaedist, keep in mind that you need to plan on additional time to get hold of these in time as well.)

Find out if scholarships are available and if you qualify. Also look at the average rent levels of the respective cities. I’m sure rent in New York is higher than in Western Illinois! coins-currency-investment-insurance-128867Steep rent in addition to high tuition fees can really break your neck if you aren’t prepared for it. Also find out if the school you’re looking at is supportive of jobbing.

Find out if there are open days. Maybe one of the teachers is doing a workshop close to your hometown… Take the opportunity to work with them before the audition. Some schools also offer workshops that are directed at applicants and are a combination of taking classes and watching the current students in their process.

To find all this out, you simply need to ask! The organisational matters are usually covered on the schools’ websites. You can call the office for the rest or send them an email. Don’t worry, they won’t bite. They are probably happy that a student is taking interest in their institution and curriculum in particular. Giving out information for prospective students is part of their college preparation as well. Maybe you also get the chance to get in touch with a former or current student to get some info from a different perspective.

Step Two: Find out what you want!

Do you want to focus on singing, acting or dance or are you looking for a programme that treats all three equally and combines them? How many one-on-one lessons do you deem necessary? Keep in mind though that you shouldn’t only strengthen your strengths but also your weaknesses.

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How much are you able prepare? Are you capable of choreographing a dance or performing two stylistically different ones or are you happy if you “only” have to learn a dance combo? How many different styles can you sing in? This is important for schools which expect three or more stylistically different songs from you.

How much time do you have left to prepare? Does it make sense to only apply to schools which only require two songs and a monologue or do you have time to prepare more?

Are you willing to move far away from home for your training (maybe even abroad) and hardly ever see your family in person?

Is it important to you what kind of jobs the alumni got? Are Broadway/West End jobs important to you or are you looking for a school whose alumni work in all sorts of areas of the performing arts?

How much money are you willing to invest? hands-way-guide-touristHow much financial support do you need to pay the fees? Are you willing to take on a student loan? How many auditions can you afford? Keep in mind that there might not only be an audition fee, you also need to pay for travel and accommodation if the audition takes place far from home. Get your parents’ help with answering these questions.

Step Three: Decide!

Take your pick, gather your papers, hand in your applications and prepare your songs and monologues. It is on! 🙂

All this sounds like a lot of work? Well, it is! But believe you me, it is totally worth it. Because the right school for you is like Cinderella’s glass slipper: It fits! You don’t want to attend a school which makes you feel like you are cutting off bits from your feet, right? Don’t get me wrong, the training will be physically and emotionally demanding, no matter where you go! However, you don’t want to go somewhere that doesn’t feel right, don’t you think? When a school picks you, the decision should be mutual!

With this in mind, chop chop! 🙂

Something has changed within me, something is not the same!

pexels-photo-57690As promised, I will tell you more about my work as an audition coach today! Let’s go!

I like working with young people who prepare for auditions at performing arts colleges (yes, that’s you!) and I love it simply because I was in the exact same situation all these years ago. I went through similar experiences and learned a lot from it.

Literally every time I learn something new, I instantly wish that I had already known it before my professional training. Knowing this particular piece of information would probably have steered some of my decisions in quite a different direction. This is why I want to give you guys the chance to go your own way WITH this knowledge.

The cold and hard truth is that there are a gazillion applicants for only a few spots at each school. And getting into college is really only the first step on the long and winding road of business. So let me help you show them what makes you unique!

However, as an audition coach, I don’t only help my students show their personalities in their songs and monologues, I offer the full-package deal!

During the coachingS, I offer advice and strategies on every step of the way:
  • how to find out which school is right for you / your kid
  • how the audition process works
  • how to assemble an interesting audition portfolio
  • how to pick audition repertoire which shows off your strengths
  • how to prepare thoroughly and efficiently for the biggest auditions of your life (thus far)
  • what to wear on the big day
  • how to get through the audition process as a student-teacher-parent team
  • which financing options are out there
  • what to expect from life after school is over
  • what to do if it doesn’t work out the first time around

It is very important to me that the parents aren’t left on the outside. Not only do they mostly make all the financial decisions, it is also hard to imagine moral support without them.

All my coachings are held online. You heard correctly, you can get all this without even leaving your own home! Send an email to izzie@liveoutloudworldwide.com and schedule a free ten-minute strategy session with me to find out more!

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!

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Svenja Isabel Baumann

Welcome to my blog, I’m so glad you made it!

Before we cut to the chase, I want to quickly introduce myself:

My name is Svenja Isabel Baumann (don’t even worry about pronouncing that, just call me Izzie ;-)) and I am a musical theatre actress. However, I don’t only perform, I also teach singing and dance and work as an audition coach.

As an audition coach, I help young people prepare for auditions at performing arts colleges. I will tell you all about how that works and how that came about next week! 🙂

You’re probably asking yourself now what I actually want to blog about, right? Well, first and foremost, I want to provide a platform for you to exchange pre-audition experiences and build a community.

At the same time, I want to give you all the tips and advice that I wish I had been given before my own college auditions. Furthermore, this blog can prepare you for working with me one-on-one or complement your work with me.

My most important goal however, is to inspire pexels-photo-128299you and cheer  you on! Why?  Because that is what you need most on this road of uncertainties! Don’t worry, I will not promise you the earth or the moon but a little faith in themselves has never hurt anyone! 😉

But really this blog isn’t only directed at you but also at your parents! Because they are an important part of the prep team, we’re all in this together!

From time to time, guest bloggers from different parts of the performing arts (and the world!) will chip in. I’m resisting the urge of name-dropping here, folks, I don’t want to ruin the surprise! 😉

If you want to stay up to date with the blog and never miss an offer, subscribe to my mailing list on the right!

If you have any questions or suggestions concerning what I should blog about, leave a comment or send me an email to izzie@liveoutloudworldwide.com!