Audition is a heavy word. It carries a whole lot of hope and possibility—getting this job, scholarship, or role could change your life! But it also comes with a hefty intimidation factor and often a bit of fear—what if you mess up, or get cut immediately?
But here’s the thing about fear and intimidation: The people sitting behind the casting table can practically smell them. They have a sense for that kind of stuff. And they don’t want to see how nervous you are—they want to see you kill the choreography! So don’t let your fear factor distract them. Here’s how to keep calm and make it through the audition.
1. Breathe. Slowly, deeply, and consciously. Take deep breaths—the kind that start in your stomach, not your chest or shoulders—before, during, and after the audition.
2. Now’s the time to ditch your comfort zone. Whether you’re off to your very first audition or you’re a tryout veteran, it’s important to remember one thing: Auditions will push you outside your comfort zone. And that’s OK. If you’re “better on your right,” but the choreographer wants a double pirouette on the left, now’s the time to try it on and go for it. Don’t let “I’ve never done this” or “I can’t do this” be the mind games that hold you back from reaching your potential—and landing a job!
3. Don’t expect it to be easy. Even if every single dancer in the room is awesome, the casting team needs to make cuts. So they make throw challenging choreography at you just to trim the field. If you tell yourself it’s “too hard,” your body will follow suit. Stay in the game, physically and mentally.
4. Do you. Obsessing over the other dancers’ hair, makeup, outfits, and skills will only psych you out. Focus on your hair, your makeup, your outfit, and your skills. No one is better at being you than you are. Remember that.
5. Smile. Don’t plaster a fake smile on your face the whole time (especially if you’re auditioning for, say, a role in The Phantom of the Opera), but remember that turning up the little corners of your mouth every so often will actually help you relax.
6. Breathe again. Just in case you forgot.
You’ve got this. Seriously.