Tomorrow I head into an exciting two months of auditions. Traveling here and there to sing for ten minutes for panels furiously scribbling while looking indifferent, bemused, haggard, tired, and if I'm lucky interested.
In the process I will get to visit my family, Margot, and a city that I've never been to before. I also get to travel to an ex-prison that is now a performing arts center, and a restaurant on the far north side.
What happens in these auditions?
Most auditions you will sit and wait with other nervous singers and make terrible small talk. That is really the worst part, because you never know if the person next to you is actually going to try to be nice or is just feeling out the competition. For the most part people are too consumed with themselves to talk too much. It is difficult to get a sincere conversation out of anyone. I for one couldn't care less about "the competition" it's all about how you sing and present yourself, there is nothing else that you can do. Guessing how you'll fare against everyone else is really a game in freaking yourself out.
So you're finally called in. You hand them your resume, repertoire list, and head shot, bring your music to the pianist and let the pianist know what piece you'll start with and mention if you remember how fast you'll sing if it is an unusual one. Then introduce yourself in a friendly formal, but not too formal way and let the panel know what piece you will be starting with. They will then motion for you to begin or say something to that affect.
This is when you should take a tiny moment for yourself. tiny moment. Some singers close their eyes and drop their head raising when they are ready as an indication to the pianist that they are ready to begin. I think that this is a bit contrived and silly looking. Some people nod at the pianist. This is strongly discouraged, as it is rude and silly looking. I tend to take a deep breath and smile at the pianist.
Do not over analyze. Do not read the panel's faces. Do not think do not think. Just sing. Involve yourself with the character. But do not let the second level of analyzing second guessing brain kick in. It will only freak you out and mess you up. Sing because it's the thing you're best and and the thing you love.
When you're done this is the time that the panel might ask you questions. Why do you think that their program is good for you? Or they might throw you a more difficult interview type question.
They will then choose your second piece from your repertoire list.
you're then usually done. Some auditions ask for a third piece. Some school auditions will have a sight reading type segment. Some show auditions will ask you to perform a monologue. However usually you are done at this point.
Thank the panel, thank your pianist grab your music and smile! Leave and eat something for goodness sake!
So there you have it, for all that were curious. That is what auditions look like.
Closing the door, leaving the lights on
4 years ago