You love to sing. But you haven’t auditioned for any singing roles or gigs yet. Maybe you really want to, but need to get some training? You’d very much like to nail your first or next singing audition…
You choose a song you know well, and then hear twenty other people audition with the same song while you’re waiting for your turn to sing. Or you walk into an audition brimming with confidence, but suddenly your stage fright shuts you down. Maybe you forget your accompaniment music. Maybe the casting director cuts you off before you’ve finished singing, and you run off the stage feeling like you wasted your time.
If any of that has happened to you, let me give you some tips so it doesn’t happen again.
There are simple steps to take in preparation of your audition that will help you feel as though you’ve given your best. As a vocal coach with over thirty years of experience, I’ve learned quite a number of things to share, so that you can nail your next singing audition:
Watch your pre-audition diet
In the twenty-four hours before your audition, it’s vital that you watch what you eat and drink. For instance, if you ingest a lot of soda or red meat, you’ll do a disservice to your vocal cords. Chewing gum may help calm your nerves, but it can also dry out your voice. And, whatever you do, don’t smoke before an audition.
Soda can dehydrate you and give the cords less moisture. Red meat can make your body focus on digestion instead of singing, and can put a strain on your vocal performance. Chewing gum dries you out. Smoking can dehydrate you, and restrict your vocal range.
I want you to drink at least a half-gallon of water in the twelve hours leading up to your audition. Allow your best, hydrated, strain-free voice to add to your performance.
No Jiggle without Jingle
I’ve seen a lot of beginning professional singers show up to a singing audition with elaborate, choreographed dance moves, and I understand the desire to show-off your double-threat skills. However, over-dancing at a singing audition can actually have a detrimental impact on you getting the gig. You’ve come to showcase your voice–if the casting directors want to see you dance as well, they’ll set up a dance audition for you.
Dance moves can distract the audition hosts from your voice, and can also hinder your breathing.
Begin your voice audition with your hands at your sides. Pull others in with your vocal power and talent for the first 10 seconds. Show off your “jingle.” As you continue with your performance, you can use more hand gestures and head movements. Like I said, If you nail your singing audition, there will be plenty of time later to wow the director with your mad dance skills.
Allow yourself enough time… to be on time
Think of your audition as a job interview. Depending on where your performance is located, and what time of day it is, traffic could add length to your transportation time. Allow yourself ample time to arrive and prevent losing your audition spot. I know this tip sounds a bit simpleminded, but I’ve seen thousands of singers totally flustered when they show up late to an audition. Getting there ahead of time is sometimes the best advice I can give. And make sure you have all necessary materials ready-at-hand for your audition hosts as well: You should have headshots, sheet music, and any important paperwork in an easily accessible place.
At times, singers can be so pre-focused on HOW they’ll perform at an audition, that they forget the importance of the actual audition details. Research your audition before you show up for it. Many audition hosts will state what genre of song they’re looking for, and whether or not you’ll have an accompanying pianist.
If an audition calls for pop music, find a pop song that fits you perfectly. Don’t go in singing a hard rock song that you love when they ask for pop. Many beginners also make the mistake of preparing an over-popular song. You want to pick a song that is known, but a little less used. Chances are, casting directors have heard all the super-popular songs a million times, and they are actually sick of hearing it.
That said, you also don’t want to choose an extremely obscure song that no one else will know. By picking a song with some popularity (but that’s not overdone), your audition hosts can recognize the song and still be open to your unique take on it. If the audition does provide an accompanist, make sure you bring the correct sheet music with your name clearly labeled on each sheet. Also make sure the music is written in your key, and that you taped each sheet together, so the accompanist can easily turn the pages while playing.
If you’re required to bring along your own MP3 or CD accompaniment, clearly label this and make sure the media only contains your song. The tech worker playing your music for you doesn’t have time to sift through fifteen tracks. Your media should contain only the song you want played as you sing. Many try-outs call for a chorus and a verse–or, sixteen bars–for your audition piece. Have the track trimmed up to your desired starting point and edit it to end at your chosen finish point.
Some people pich songs that are so difficult to sing, that they hardly ever can hit all of the notes when they rehearse. Don’t ever go into an audition singing a song you can perfect beforehand. I get that you want to showcase being a superhero, but it’s better to pick material that shows what you CAN do instead of what you can ALMOST do.
Warm Up Your Voice
Singing songs doesn’t warm your voice up, it too often makes it tired. So you need to use a warmup routine that gets the vocal cords, your air, your body, and your mind ready to be give a great performance. You can find the perfect warmups at www.rogerlove.com
So, to recap, there are a few simple tips to help you prepare for a singing audition. They include:
- Watching your food and up your water intake in the 12 to twenty-four hours leading up to your audition.
- More “Jingle” than “Jiggle”.
- Allowing yourself enough time to be on time
- Coming readied and prepared for your audition
- Pick a song you CAN sing the heck out of.
- Warm Up.
Following these easy steps will allow you to walk away from an audition knowing you’ve nailed it. The more you prepare for your audition, the better you’ll feel about the process. Your voice matters–allow it to shine. It’s time to showcase your talent and be applauded for it.