Preparing for an Audition: Some Lessons in Extremes

Tina Belchere Ewing and corporate auditions have come and gone, and I am so happy for my friends and classmates that made an impression. Auditioning is no picnic for anyone, especially if you're like me and may wake up feeling like you don't want to get out of bed, everything is awful, etc. It's an anxiety trip, too, because the mind can race with nervous energy. Then the audition’s over, and there's the wait for news of how you did. Some may feel as if they bungled up the audition somehow or sit with their phone, refreshing their email every two minutes.

Trust me. I've been there. In fact, I'm the mayor of that township. So I thought it would be a good idea to compile a few notes about what may help you during your next round of auditions. In addition to that, I listed ideas of what not to do that may provide a different perspective on how you believe you "messed up." After all, it could have been so much worse.

Please… lay out your nice audition clothes the night before. This takes away the stress and lost time that could cause you to scramble in the morning. And if you're a genius that knows how to pre-program your coffeemaker, please do that so you can have a nice, relaxed cuppa with your easy-to-make breakfast.

Please don't... wear the pajama pants and Cheetos-stained sweater that you wore to bed last night. Or your unicorn kigurumi. Apparently, dressing up like a unicorn is not considered "professional." Which is ridiculous, as unicorns are majestic creatures that inspire magic and imagination, but I am not a casting director. #Improvicorn

Please… prepare as is necessary for what you will do on stage. This typically means running lines, practicing songs, or coming up with your pre-scripted chat with the director allowing certain variable responses. It's harder to do this with improv auditions as there are no monologues or songs to memorize, but there's nothing wrong with vocalizing and stretching beforehand. Your neighbors already think you're weird, so make some siren sounds and shake out your limbs to an eight-count. Also, meditating helps, even if it's only for five minutes.

Please don't... go on a bender the night before. The 7th Birthaversary celebration for DCH is one thing, but if you're out until 5 a.m., you might not be ready for auditions a few hours later. In fact, you might look dead, and may even feel like you want to die because your hangover is a reminder of the ringer you put your body through. But hey, you got over your social anxiety for a night, so that's something.

Please... arrive early. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled time is best, especially if you need to find parking. It also helps to have those last minutes of peace before going inside.

Please don't… leave your apartment five minutes before and drive 105 mph on the highway. The cop pulling you over to give you a speeding ticket will just make you later. Unless you are Vin Diesel and can manage to fly off a ramp, then leap out of your car into a helicopter that will fly you to the audition location. That's the only time it's acceptable. However, if you are not Vin Diesel, obey traffic laws.

Please... have fun! This is the perfect time to play and perform a once-in-a-lifetime show. Give those that are watching something to remember.

Please don't... curl up in a fetal position in center stage and moan. It's possible to get away with this in the first scene, but the casting directors will catch on if you're still there whimpering by the end of your 15 to 20 minutes.

KC Ryan is currently a Level 4 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.