The Secret of Audition Success

auditionHappy new year to everyone! Do you have new year’s resolutions? Well, forget them right now because your lifestyle and routines shouldn’t be tied to a time of year. Read this story to find out why your routines should be in place all year round:

A few months ago, I had an audition. A few days before that audition, I noticed that I was developing a cold. I had a blocked nose but it didn’t affect my voice at all. On the contrary, I was making groundbreaking progress as I was currently doing an 8-week intensive course with Tom Burke. So even though I felt sick, I was never miserable. And as my voice wasn’t affected, I wasn’t worried.

And then it happened: On the big day, I woke up and immediately realised that something was wrong. I was still in bed and gave my voice a little tryout. The sound I had to prepare was situated in the high rock belt range. My first attempt sounded as if I attempted a high C after a crazy night out. A shrieking banshee was nothing compared to that barely audible sound coming out of my throat. My vocal folds were maximally swollen, I could totally feel it.

For a minute, I considered calling off the audition but then I remembered two things that I had learnt over the past few months: a) never judge the first sound and b) rely on established routines to help in cases like this one.

Therefore, I stopped panicking and made a list of everything I could do to help my voice get back in shape over the course of the next three hours. (First and foremost, I was so glad that I always get up way early for auditions.) I started with my bottle exercise and every semi-occluded vocal tract exercise I could think of. Then I meditated for a few minutes and warmed up my diction. I did a salt water inhalation and drank Swiss herbal tea and praise the Lord, my voice was back! I admit, it wasn’t ideal, you could still hear my blocked nose, but you could also hear the awesomeness. 😉

And then I sat down on my bed, waiting for the videochat audition to begin… and I got so nervous! They had asked me to prepare two songs and a scene from the show and I started wondering if they would like my interpretation. I went back to meditating and realised that it didn’t matter how they wanted it, all that mattered was that I showed them what I got.

Then the audition started and they asked me to perform. (During auditions, I like to imagine that I already got the gig, it helps me get into what I like to call stage mode.) I didn’t manage to get entirely out of my head the first time around but, lucky me, I was asked to do it again due to technical difficulties. So, I did it again and nailed it. 🙂

The end of the story is, I didn’t get the gig. But what was way more important was the fact that I didn’t miss my shot at the part. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should audition in any condition (I, for instance, had laryngitis once and sounded like I was completely tone-deaf. Not an impression you want to give at an audition) but you should first consider every option and neither panic nor use any road block as an excuse not to do everything in your power to make it.

In this case, I didn’t get the gig but at the end of the day, it’s not about landing a role but about nailing the audition itself. (I know, I know, we want to be professional actors and not professional auditioners but it’s part of the deal.) Because if you look at it, the more experience you gain in auditions, the closer you will get to your goal next time.

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