You know how I said I was excited with only a pinch of nerves about my audition a post back? Ha-ha, I lied. 17 days away, all these nerves and this sudden doubt have appeared. I don’t know why I feel this way or why it suddenly came about but let me tell you; it’s not fun!! Vocally my songs are there but I need more support. My monologues are memorized but I need to understand who my characters are and really understand their story. Dance? Let’s just say, I’m going in with an open mind and everything I got. I do remember feeling this way last year, but it happened in the very beginning of this whole process, not 3 weeks before. Here I am to tell you all about this chaos of audition preparation and emotional stress for a college program. In my eyes, this kind of audition isn’t just “another audition”.
Vocals- probably the hardest thing out of the bunch. Once you find your songs that you want to perform- songs of characters you can realistically play and characters that are in the ball park of what you could play as well- you have to make it your own. When I say to “make it your own”, I mean put your own interpretation on the piece. For example, if you’re going to sing Easy as Life or I Know the Truth from Aida, don’t sing it the way Heather Headley or Sherie Rene Scott sing it. Look at the sheet music and see what you can do it make it you. The most important thing about the vocal audition is that you have to be able to act the character, sing the song in tune with a clear arc of what you are singing about, make sure that whomever you’re auditioning in front of understands the story while keeping their attention and keeping both pieces under four minutes combined. Did you get all of that?… No? Let me explain. When you go into this kind of audition, you really need to sell what you got; selling who you are is part of every audition you go to, but it’s not like auditioning for a show where you know the style of the music, time period, type, etc. You’re showing two or three people that you deserve to be in a musical theatre/acting program and show that you have talent they need. It’s hard to put yourself out there in this sort of way but it’s doable. For me, I chose music of characters I knew I could play without a doubt. When I only have, in a nutshell,”expected more out of you” on my audition sheet, I had to go with the obvious.
Acting- you’re vocal performance is foreshadowing how you’re acting is going to be, essentially. In my opinion, songs are monologues put into a melody. When you’re on the hunt for monologues, pick ones that are from plays- which you should read to know the meaning behind the monologue in context- that will fit your strengths as an actor. Pick monologues that are contemporary and something that you can easily relate to. I’ve done a monologue in the past about a girl who was bullied; I was bullied until I was 14 so it was relatable and easy to portray. Whatever you do, never never NEVER, take a monologue out of those monologue books that don’t come from a play and have no real objective. Just, no- avoid them at every cost. Two tips: contrasting monologues doesn’t necessarily mean dramatic/comedic and know who wrote the play the monologue is from even if you don’t say it in your slate.
Dance- an extremely acquired and required skill. You either can dance with technique, passion and rhythmically or you can’t. Sadly, I can’t dance. I can move pretty well and stay on the beat of the choreography but other than that, I’m lost. I’ve never had any dance training growing up because my mom never had money to pay for that, even when I was in high school. I learned as I went when I was in musicals in high school. I know the basics but nothing like the dance audition here. The dance audition here is outside the comfort zone if you’re not a dancer or don’t have some dance training. Ballet, modern, jazz and musical theatre are covered in an hour at the audition. It can be very intimidating because our dance professors do not fool around. The most important thing I learned from going into this dance audition- have an open mind, show that you have a sense of movement in your system if you’re not a dancer and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Out of each category in this audition, this is where you’re going to interact with the professors the most.
This is so much information to process; it took me a whole year to understand it. I’ve been putting everything else going on to the back burner just to make sure that this audition goes as well as I would like it to. I’m not saying perfect because quite frankly, nothing is perfect. The emotional stress is so much, I don’t know where to release it; singing, acting and going to the gym can only do so much. When I’m living in Mason, sometimes I feel like I’m just going to be wasting my time or their time and making the same mistakes over again- those are my biggest fears going into this. I want this more than anything right now and that’s all I have my eyes set on. After doing the audition and waiting, I don’t know what I’ll do. I get accepted, great. I get rejected, I tried and I have no regrets. I’m putting myself out there again to the same department which is so hard to do especially when you’re rejected the first time. If I’m being honest, the most I’ve opened up to about this audition is on here. I’ve wrote about how I’ve felt, my struggles, battles and about this audition as a whole. There was even the occasional tear when I thought I should just say no to re-auditioning, give up on this major completely and pick a “realistic” major to make my family happy. After thinking: I’m not going anywhere- this department, my major and Fredonia is where I’m staying. This is what I need to do with my life- perform. And that’s what I’m going to do.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” Og Mandino