If you’ve never thought about the whole audition process before, this website can be overwhelming. For those of you who are new to this, I’ve listed a series of suggested articles below to help you get started. I suggest you read these in order and feel free to take a week or two to go through all of them. If you feel overwhelmed even when breaking it down, you are completely normal. This process is overwhelming! But with the competitive nature of the field, its a fact of life and something you will need to get used to. These articles are here to help take away some of the mystery and simplify the process. Some students will start this process as Freshmen, others will start during their Senior year. Regardless of where you start, you can make this happen, it just takes hard work. Start a journal, either on your computer, or better yet in a notebook (that way you can take it with you on the road and make notes). As you do your research, you will want to use your journal as a way to track your thoughts.
Community Theatre vs. College Theatre
Journal Exercise: What are your reactions to these articles? At this point right now, what seems to be your #1 option? What are you’re 2nd and 3rd options? Did you read about an option here that you’ve never heard of before but it sounds interesting? Research it and write down what you like and don’t like about that option.
Step 2: Paying for college
How this decision could affect your financial future
What to do if you can’t afford your dream school
Journal Exercise: What are your reactions to this section? Have these conversations with your parents – what do they have to say? What is your estimate of what you can afford? Are your grades on track to qualify for academic scholarships? If not, who do you need to talk to at school about getting on the right track? Make an appointment to meet with that person(s) and set up a plan to improve your grades.
Step 3: Get to know the schools
Go through the list of schools here. Write down the names of the schools that sound interesting to you in your journal. Research the tuition, room and board, do the math, and write down the numbers in your journal.
Step 4: Compare and contrast
Singers tend to hear conflicting opinions/information from other singers/adults/teachers about the differences between studying classical voice and studying contemporary voice. Read these articles to familiarize yourselves with the options.
Vocal Performance or Musical Theatre?
What does an operatic career look like?
Review Step 3 and make notes about each school in regards to the articles you read in step 4. What do you and don’t you like about these schools after reading the articles in step 4? Write about it in your journal.
Step 6: Further MT research
Read the articles below. Journal about your thoughts (how do you feel about these issues; how important are these to you; what do you prefer), and make further notes on each school continuing on your work in step 5.
Read these articles on the audition process:
Guest Article: Jonathan Flom, author “Get the Callback”
What are your reactions to these articles? Write about it. Could you do audition in a manner consistent with these tips tomorrow? If not, what are you lacking? Who can help you strengthen your weaknesses? Come up with a plan to talk with those people who you think can help you prepare. Ask to talk with them and kindly ask for their help, how much they would charge an hour to help you (it takes money to make money in any business, this is no exception), and come up with a plan to meet with those people to begin your work.
Step 8: Do the work
It will take A LOT of work to get ready for your auditions. Classes, lessons, practice, practice, and more practice are in your future.
Read the following articles as you begin your work:
Before going through the process described in the article above, read the following articles. These articles will help you avoid mistakes and will also give you a few other ideas for finding rep.
Song list for young performers
Picking the perfect audition song
If you are considering auditioning for a classical program, also read this:
What to sing for your classical audition
Following the advice in the articles above, make a list of repertoire to work on in your lessons.
Step 9: Get your materials together
Putting together your MT Resume
If you are auditioning classically
Putting together your classical resume
Learn about screening videos
Review the list you made in step #6 and confirm for yourself the schools you will audition for. Review step #7 and apply to the schools you are interested in. Create an audition journal to take with you. Write notes about everything you learn about while at the audition and visiting the school. Even if you think you will remember something, write it down anyway. You will have a lot running through your mind as those acceptance letters come in, you do not want to be confused when its time to make a decision. Its also a good idea to take pictures at each school to help recall aspects of the school you did or did not like.
Step #11: Follow up!
After each audition, write a follow up thank you email to the admissions staff, anyone who helped you on campus, and the faculty who heard your audition. Tell them what you liked about the school and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Keep it simple, for example:
Dear Dr. X (if in doubt, call them Dr., its flattering)
Thank you for a great audition experience this past weekend. Everyone was very helpful during my visit and really made me feel like Blank University would be a great fit. After visiting your school, I know for sure it is my top choice (or one of my top choices).
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
If you are accepted to your #3 school and wait listed for your #1 school, let them know. For example.
Dear Dr. X,
I was excited to find out I was wait listed for Blank University. Today I just received an acceptance letter from University Z. Blank University is still my top choice but I may have to make a final decision in the near future. Do you have any idea when you may be making decisions about your waiting list?
If you choose to go to another school after being accepted to other schools, go ahead and let them know in a very nice letter. This will allow them to pull someone else up off the waiting list and make their dream come true. For example:
Dear Dr. X,
Thank you so much for making my audition a great experience. I really enjoyed my trip to University Y, but I came to the point where I had to make a very difficult decision and I have decided to go to Blank University. At this point I think they are the best fit for me. Please know this was not an easy decision and I will still be telling others about your program as I think many of my friends would find it a perfect fit for what they are looking for.
Take your time going through this and stop to take a breath from time to time. You’ll make it!