5 Tips On What Not To Do During An Audition

5 tips for auditioning audition experience audition stories auditions dance what not to do Jan 09, 2023

     We are talking about auditioning in this article. Have you ever auditioned for something and you felt so prepared and then didn’t get the part? Or, auditioned for something and felt so unprepared but then got the job?      

     When it comes to auditioning, sometimes you can do everything you possibly can and be beyond prepared, but you still don’t get the job. It happens, and sometimes It’s just not meant to be. All you can do is learn from each audition you go to. And no matter how old you get, auditioning still can be stressful.

     Recently my friend got me involved in this audition for a nationwide commercial. At first I was like, I’m too old, I’m too out of shape, I don’t feel like it. But she told me, that they were looking for older dancers and looking for normal people that are also dancers. So I thought I would give it a shot. This wasn’t your normal audition process. I met with a group of people that I didn’t really know, some I have met before but never worked with them, some I did work with years ago. But we came together as a group and auditioned as a group. We actually learned the choreography online from a video which is definitely the norm now and then showed up to rehearse and film our audition all together in one day. We turned in our video for our audition and got a call back. We then returned to do the call back audition on camera live via zoom. We were then hired as a group! I was so excited and like, wow, I still got it. I was told to be prepared to receive phone calls in regards to wardrobe and schedule etc. And then the next day I received an email that I was no longer needed. They actually cut a few people from our group. And then, I felt like I did in my younger days. It doesn’t get any easier or less stressful. I did have fun though and went into it not thinking anything of it, or having a chance. It was a great lesson. The lesson being, that it is still possible to dance as we get older, heavier and enjoy the process. That’s why I have made it a goal of mine to not only get in shape for myself and for my family, but to maybe… possibly… dance again… Or put myself out there more even though I am older.

     So if you have students or a child that is wanting to audition, get them prepared to dance on camera, practice your video skills, and have them practice speaking in front of the camera.

     I remember when I auditioned for cruise ships years ago when I wasn't prepared or even thinking of going. I literally remember running into a friend at a night club, and he told me there was an audition the next day for Carnival Cruise Lines. In my head, I was like, there is no way I’m waking up that early lol. But, I did, and wasn’t expecting anything, but got hired at that audition. I think there was only about 5 of us that auditioned that day, so it wasn’t a stressful audition. It’s amazing that sometimes when you aren’t prepared, you get the job. I’m not saying to not be prepared, but you just never know. Of course, always give it your all.

      Auditioning for Disney World Equity dancer always got me stressed out. I don’t know why, maybe because there was so many people. I felt that I would never be the right “look” for them so I never got the parts that I were auditioning for. I’m 5’2, not stick thin… muscular built. I might have out danced the ones that got hired, but I wasn’t the right look for that particular role.  As a teacher and parent this is a hard lesson to learn. It’s not always how we dance or how high you can kick your leg. It’s how you are put together. The whole package. Your hair, your makeup, your physical appearance, your outfit, your talent, your personality and your professionalism.

    Personally, when I judge dance routines or watch dance competitions or cheer/gymnastics competitions, I prefer the routine that made me feel something. The dancer that has personality on stage is so much more entertaining than a dancer who has just perfect technique.

     I remember when I was little I auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club. I never knew what to expect at these auditions especially being young and not having an older sibling or friend I could look up to or ask questions. I actually made it past the dance part. I was surprised. So then they asked me to sing… guess what, I was not prepared. At all. I am horrible at remembering lyrics to words especially back in the day when we didn’t have easy access to lyrics. I didn’t have a track so I had to sing acapella. I knew happy birthday, but went for the only song I could think of… do, a deer, a female deer, re, a drop of golden sun…. Sung by Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music. I was young, and in my head, I was mad at myself because I wasn’t a singer, and I wasn’t prepared, and sung it, like I was just talking. Kind of sarcastically. If I would have just faked it and put personality into, I am sure I could have moved onto the next part. But I literally gave up. I don’t know why my younger self did that. I could have had a chance. But again, I always say, every experience, is an experience, good or bad. And we can always learn from our experiences.   

      So, here are a few things you should not do at an audition:

#1. Don’t compare yourself with other dancers. I remember I would totally do this. And it would ruin my concentration. I would think, Oh, she is way more flexible than me. Or, she is prettier than me. But this one time, I watched this particular dancer, who I thought was so perfect, do the routine, and I remember thinking, what was I worried about, she was horrible. So from then on, I just don’t look at people when they are stretching before the audition, or how they look. I am not saying to not be polite, I just try to focus on me and the audition.

#2. Don’t be your own worse enemy! Don’t put yourself down. If you are like me, just don’t watch them perform when it’s their turn to audition. It is an audition so keep pumping yourself up!

#3. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. If you are asked a question don’t be afraid to answer it. Or if they say, doesn’t anyone have a question, ask one! Or if they say who can demonstrate such and such step? Jump in. The more you are seen by the judges, the more they will remember you just make sure you do it in a good way!

#4. Don’t be underprepared. Bring extra headshots/resumes, dance shoes. Have a freestyle routine ready to go if they ask for freestyle. Bring extra clothes if you have an emergency or if it’s not fitting the way it was at home or if someone is wearing the same outfit. Bring a snack incase the audition goes long. Make sure your car is working! Set multiple alarms so you aren’t late to the audition! If you or your student is auditioning for a musical, and looking for dancers, have them be prepared to sing or act, just in case! In high school I auditioned one summer to be in the school musical to get extra high school credits. I wanted to dance. Well, somehow, I ended up getting a lead role and had to sing, act and of course dance. It’s sad because when I think back, I don’t even realized how much of an honor it was to have a lead role like that. When I look back, I am proud and wish I knew what I know now and appreciated things more!

#5. Don’t assume that the person that signs you in doesn’t have a say in who gets the job. Often times there is a team that makes decisions on who gets the job. You never know who is watching or listening in to your conversations so just be mindful. 

     If your student or child needs some advice or someone to critique their audition routine I am here to help! I recently had a client reach out in regards to her daughter who is a gymnast. She needed to add more pizzaz to her routine dance wise. Via video I was able to watch the routine and give some advice on routine on how to add sharpness or style to the moves. I had another client who reached out for their son and wanted advice for their talent show routine. I collaborated with the boy who put most of the routine together which I honored, and gave a few steps on how to make it even better. Another client just needed me to watch a video of her daughter doing an aerial. She was looking for any advice on how to get her to do her aerial cartwheel. Again, this was via video, I gave some tips and she did end up getting her aerial in no time!

If you are needing these services I am here! It’s always nice to get another opinion! Just go to my shop and pick which service bets suits you. I hope some of these tips or stories help you or your student or child with auditioning. Best of luck with your auditions and I can't wait to hear how you did! Share your story on my social media or my community or if you want to share your story, message me to be on my podcast! 

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