Surviving Audition Season Part 3: Preparing for Your Auditions
Waiting is always the hardest part, but soon you’ll start hearing back from all of those companies that you applied to. Here’s what you do next.
If you are NOT invited to audition in person:
First of all, you can’t win them all! Some people turn rejection into a positive thing by setting a rejection goal – in essence, if they don’t receive X amount of rejections per season, they take that as a sign they’re not putting themselves out there enough and start working harder. Not a bad way to turn a negative into a positive!
On a practical level, there are a few other things to do now. Mark down on your audition tracker that you didn’t receive an audition from this company (I like to do some intense, therapeutic scratching out with either crazy scribbles or a big fat Sharpie… but maybe that’s just me!). Also, if any of the rep you were preparing for that specific audition isn’t needed for other auditions, take those pieces out of your binder at this time. There’s probably no reason for you to keep working on it at the moment, so devote more time to the pieces you will be performing in your other auditions.
Now, when you DO get invited to audition in person:
Write your audition date and time in your calendar! This should be your regular calendar or planner, the one you use every day. You may also like to keep a separate calendar sheet with only your music-related activities on it for your practice planning purposes (I do!), but I find it helpful to see my auditions in relation to my everyday commitments as well. How else will I remember not to blow my voice out at the bar on Thursday night trivia before my Saturday audition?
Now it’s time to do some heavier research about your audition. Some things are easy to find out, like the address of your audition location. Some things may be trickier, like finding out exactly who will be on the audition panel, or who will be at the piano. Use your resources! Ask colleagues who have sung for the company before, scour the company website for information, and definitely, definitely read through any and all communication from the company itself. It’s always a good idea to show up to your audition knowing as much about the company as possible. Past season repertoire, special projects/affiliations, and names of the powers-that-be are always good things to learn.
The Organized Singer’s Live Audition Worksheet is great for keeping all of this information in one place. This information may come in bit by bit, but if you have one dedicated place to write it all down for each company you will be able to have everything you need to know at a glance.
Start planning your audition travel:
I know, planning audition trips is tricky, especially if there are plane/train tickets involved. Because of the wide spread of audition dates, you may have to plan audition trips before you’ve heard back from everyone! It happens all the time. You might have to decide between booking a cheaper plane ticket early even if you haven’t heard back from a company yet, or waiting to hear back for sure and booking a more expensive flight. Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this conundrum. You decide when you feel it is worth the risk to book travel before receiving the official word of an audition offer, or if you’re willing to take the financial hit if you wait until you are officially granted the audition.
My recommendation is to have as much flexibility built in to your travel plans as you can. I personally book most of my flights with Southwest Airlines*. They fly pretty much everywhere I need to go, and at a price I can afford. But the BEST part, especially when it comes to any kind of scheduling issue, is that they don’t charge change fees or cancellation fees! Because of this, I usually err on the side of buying my flight early. If my plans change, I can change or cancel my flight for no fee - I just have to pay the difference in fare for changes. And the money from flights I have to cancel gets stored in my account as “travel funds” for up to a year! This has saved me hundreds of dollars over the past couple of years. I know there are other airlines out there that have similar perks, though you may have to be a frequent flyer or use a branded credit card. Point being, there may be ways to ease the insecurity of planning these initial trips, so yep, do more research!
*This is not a sponsored post – I just love flying Southwest!
Finally, don’t forget to take care of things at home while you’re gone. It’s never too early to alert your teachers, to get someone to cover your shifts, or make arrangements for your pets. These details are horrible to take care of last minute, so do the legwork now!
Click here for the final post from the Surviving Audition Season series: Part 4: Nailing Your Audition Trip
If you are like me, you apply to a TON of programs, so it is always handy to keep some sort of list to remember where you’ve applied and to keep track of who you’ve heard back from. If you’d like a free tracker page for this sort of thing, you can get one here!