Those of us who been in the theatre and musical arts for a while most likely have several horror stories to share, so I would like to offer a way that has helped me and my students overcome some of the potentially disabling aspects of the audition process.
It’s called, Visualizing the Audition. Hey, if it’s good enough for Olympic athletics, it’s good enough for me. Olympic athletics such as downhill skiers, have coaches that help teach them the process before they encounter the slippery slope that lies ahead. Actors and singers would benefit from taking the time to incorporate visualization in their prep time before they engage in their own ‘slippery slope’.
I know visualization sounds very relaxing and all but have you ever noticed the intense closed eyed concentration that a skier has before he tackles the hill? Okay, that’s what I’m talking about. However, the first time that skier visualized the downward slope was months before the competition began. AND, it could have been any slope. Months before an audition we don’t necessarily know if there will be an accompanist or not, what the theater/room/closet size will be. We don’t know who will be listening or if it will include others auditioning as well. If you can find out before – do so! Include it in your visualization – the more detail the better. Here’s a funky example.
Imagine you are singing, The Star Spangled Banner – a cappella. Make sure to chose a key that works best for you (a pitch pipe is handy). Work with your teacher/coach to find a unique arrangement that shows off the best aspects of your voice. Work out your physical space, posture, breath, and where your eyes focus.
Now go home and sit alone in the quiet and visualize every aspect of your performance, breathing, shaping words, physical movements, what you are wearing, how you want to sound. Finally, visualize the zealous reaction of those listening and your humble acceptance. This last one is particularly important and I’m not kidding. When you program your brain at this very deep level, over and over again, the results are positive. That is not to say you will get the part, win your place and or whatever the situation might be, but you can be assured that you have given your best and that is all anyone of us can expect of ourselves. The best part about visualizing is the assurance it give our psyches. You will find that you are more relaxed during the audition, your memory will be better served and you will appear more confident.
Those on the panel of judges listening to your audition will greatly appreciate the self-assurance you display. Jittery nervous people put everyone in the room on edge. It is not fun to pick up on someone else’s discomfort. You might even sound great when you’re nervous, but the discomfort vibe is stronger and will be remembered longer. So do yourself a favor, start visualizing todayJ