Can Auditioning Ever Become Bearable?

Does auditioning ever get easier? Image by Matthew Reisacher.

Each audition is like a performance. The difference, of course, is that during an audition one is being judged. It is an inevitable component of a performer’s art form and most find it a nerve wracking experience, but some say practice makes it less uncomfortable. So, does auditioning ever get easier?

As teenagers at a performing arts high school many of us have already gone through several auditions, and most likely experienced a few rejections.

In my opinion, auditioning is one of the hardest parts of being a performing artist and many others agree.  Ms. Best, one of the Vocal and Musical Theater teachers at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), has experienced many auditions in her career and says that she has never really gotten over the fear.

“Every audition is different, every single one. I don’t remember any two auditions that were ever the same, ” Ms. Best said.

This makes it hard for us to know how to prepare for an audition because we can never really know what to expect.

When auditioning we expose ourselves, body and soul, to a row of judges. Alejandra Rodriguez, a senior vocal major at FSSA, says that for her, common symptoms of an audition are the sweaty palms and butterflies in her stomach. There are many different reactions people have upon entering an audition. Some are very nervous, but others say they feel fully confident.

The reality is that none of us will ever feel fully confident about standing in front of a jury, but there are some things that we can do to relax our nerves.

“As you grow into doing those professional auditions, you learn a lot about yourself and what you are carrying, your mental baggage, and the best thing to do is to set a goal for yourself. It is best to approach an audition as an opportunity to overcome a goal, which helps with your confidence, and in the end can help with the judges view of you,” Ms. Best said.

Paul Christ, an experienced music director, has some good advice for how to prepare for an audition. In his article 20 tips for singing auditions he says that the best thing to do is to go into your audition with confidence, “Don’t apologize. Not for any reason.” He also says that being prepared vocally or with your repertoire and knowing the show will help relax your nerves.

Pride in one’s work may help, but there is no magical way to get over the pain of auditioning. One thing we can do is to use the adrenaline rush and make our nerves work in our favor. Auditions are such a daunting part of our jobs as singers, actors, dancers and musicians and although they may get better, it is still disheartening when we don’t get the roles we want.

“Even though there is still a bit of nervousness, it’s decreasing drastically within the last four years,” Olivia Esteves, a senior Drama major at FSSA,said.

Although auditioning is a difficult part of any performer’s life,  if we can approach it as a challenge then no matter whether we get the part, we will have learned something that we can use in the future.

“Always be prepared and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Challenge yourself, be in competition with yourself, do the best that you can for yourself, and try not to compare yourself with others because you never know what that director is looking for. Use the auditioning experience like an opportunity to reach a goal or do something you’ve never done before.” Ms. Best said.

– by Alice Baum ’19