I know football time has arrived when my normal quiet block erupts with the sounds of men yelling and hooting and occasionally tossing a small child in the air to celebrate the Seahawks latest touchdown.
It’s great to see your team winning. But what we don’t see is the months of strict diet restrictions, the carefully planned exercises regimes and the high tech medical machinery that charts just how much the body can take.
We also don’t see the endless hours the coach spends assessing strengths and carefully customizing a plan to utilize the best features of each player to get to the end goal. But we know it goes on behind the scenes.
Even the non-sports fan (represented by me – sorry honey) knows it takes training, great coaching and dedication to skill building to succeed in football. Yet when it comes to the goal of winning at an audition we tend to think it should be as simple as 1-pick a song, 2-sing a song, 3-win the audition. It’s not.
There’s a whole lot more going on behind the curtain of audition prep for the serious singer who doesn’t want to leave their chance of success to playing the odds.
Here are just a few of the things that comprise a serious audition plan.
5. Choose Your Audition Song Well
Your song selection can make or break your audition.
Not only do you need to pick a song appropriate for the audition, (ie. if it’s a musical theater audition you should choose a musical theater piece with few exceptions) but you also need to pick the right song to highlight the best things about your voice and sing it in the best key to make those good things look great.
4. Be Prepared – REALLY Prepared
There’s much more that goes into preparing a song for an audition than memorizing the notes and words. How will you make it your own and avoid sounding like a bad copy of the original singer?
How will you change the dynamics, the styling and maybe even the melody in parts to make it a version that captures their attention and makes them remember YOU?
Your preparation should move quickly from memorizing to personalizing. That’s where the bulk of your work needs to take place.
3. Leave All That Preparation at the Door
Once you choose your song, commit to it. If you’re really not sure, completely prepare two songs and choose the one that best represents what you bring to the table once you’ve completely prepared them both.
The worst thing you can do is waffle between songs and run out of time to fully develop any of the for your audition.
Because you can’t read the judges mind, you’ll never know which song would’ve been best. Every song is just a blank canvas for you to show your unique talent on. Focus your time and attention on what you’ll do with it instead of which canvas you chose.
2. Take Authority the Second You Start
It is not common (and in my opinion, not a great thing) to not be nervous to some extent in an audition. You may range from slightly unnerved to trembling and falling over, but either way this is true: you were given permission to stand and perform in front of these judges. They have given the stage to you for these few minutes; it belongs to you now. Control it – OWN IT, and show them what it looks like when you do what you do.
1. Live by the 24hr. Rule
This is the most important rule of singing live: when you’re done, you can ONLY think about what you did RIGHT for 24hr. hours. If nothing comes to mind you’ll have plenty of room to think about something else good in your life. DO NOT think about your next audition, your upcoming performance, etc.
During the first 24hr. hours your brain will mercilessly play back and exaggerate every possible mistake you made or even almost made. And allowing your mind to dwell on them does you HARM, not good.
So as hard as it is, choose something else to think of for the first 24hr. hours. After that (sometimes longer if you still can’t think of much good), try to unpack what you did well and what you can do better next time.
Taking this time to recap is only useful once you can be more subjective. And you’ll do much better next time if you make a plan logically, not driven by emotion.
Auditioning helps you grow in so many ways. Not just building nerves of steel and thicker skin (needed by anyone brave enough to sing in front of other people) but also the opportunity and deadline to try something new.
So get out there and do it!
**For more detailed tips to kill any audition, including a 2 page custom audition plan to give you the edge, check out the Killer Singing Audition Cheat Sheet in our store.