When it comes to auditions—whether you’re going out for a role in the school musical, a convention scholarship, or a spot in a big-name professional ballet company—it’s easy to get overwhelmed and super stressed. But fear not: Jo+Jax is here to help! In “Audition 101,” we share our best insider advice so you can nail your next audition. Today we’re talking about five things never to do at an audition.
1. DON’T be late. Obviously, right? Be meticulous planning out your day right up until the audition begins. Set extra alarms. Prepare your breakfast the night before. Have your outfit(s) laid out and ready to go, and your bag pre-packed. Allow for extra time sitting in traffic or on a stalled subway train. You don’t want to run into the audition room feeling rushed and stressed out. Plan to arrive 30–60 minutes early so you have time to mentally and physically prepare for your audition.
2. DON’T wait until your audition officially starts to kick up your A-game. The audition starts the moment you arrive. Be polite and courteous to staff and fellow dancers, and get yourself into a smart headspace.
3. DON’T go hungry or thirsty. Depending on the size of the audition, you could be in for a long day with a lot of waiting. Be prepared by packing plenty of portable snacks and water in your dance bag. Need some ideas? We’ve got ’em.
4. DON’T freak out if you mess up. Yes, the casting team wants to see a perfect performance. But if you miss a step or lose your count, don’t roll your eyes or be dramatic or panic. Just pick the choreography back up when you can. Don’t apologize profusely or feel embarrassed. You are human (so are they!) and it happens. Be professional, move on, and stick it the next time. We all have off days.
5. DON’T take it personally if you don’t get the part. Casting directors and audition judges are always looking for something different, so while it’s good to take away as many lessons as possible from your tryout experience, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make the final cut. Maybe they needed to cast someone blonde, and your brunette locks are your trademark. Or perhaps they wanted someone of a certain height or ethnicity, or with a super specific skill set (like the ability to do a roundoff back-handspring into a back tuck, stepping out into three sequential side aerials—you never know!). Feel free to follow up with the casting team asking what you could have done better or how you can improve before your next audition, and then work on the things you can change, not the things you can’t (or shouldn’t—if you love your brown hair, stick with it).
Show up, do your best, and remember to breathe. You’ve got this!