Catherine Gregory's " A Love Affair with The Spot Light - Tips "

Tips for Those with A Love Affair With the SPOTLIGHT

by: Catherine Gregory

Did you ever wish you had a leg up on the competition?

I have auditioned so many times in my life that I have lost count. It has almost become a natural thing. Before senior year however, I had only auditioned for community theatre. These  shows came with less pressure since I knew what I was auditioning for. To add, I did not really mind what part I got. Things have changed because now I am a senior in high school. I am auditioning for my future.

I had heard from different people about the college audition process and how difficult it is, but it was not until I experienced it for myself that I fully understood. My first college audition was for Fairleigh Dickinson University on December 3rd. I do not remember the exact date that I went to my voice teacher to talk about the songs I should sing, but it was way too late. My first piece of advice for anyone auditioning is as follows:

1. Get whatever help you need at least a month in advance. (Even if you didn’t register for the audition yet, you should still prepare early on.) Thankfully FDU only asked for 1 song and 1 monologue so I took something I already knew and made it better. This leads to another piece of advice for ANY audition you’re going on-

2.  Make sure to have a list of songs and a monologue you already know incase you are asked to do something else. You should NOT say “I don’t know anything else” because that is the worst thing you can say to a director. Another big part of the audition process is letting the director get to know the real you aside from your interest in a particular major and program. They want to know how else you may contribute to their school in general. They determine this by conducting an interview.

3. Be ready to take notes because no one wants to work with someone who thinks they know everything. Be receptive. One thing I really enjoyed about my FDU audition was that the person I auditioned for me gave me notes and I had to take those notes and fix them. I really appreciated that because I got to show off my note taking skills and it proved that there is always room for improvement.

4. Know why you are auditioning. If you are auditioning for dance, know why you chose dance. Why not musical theater? What sparked your interest? These questions may not be asked, but it is always good to know. Do you know? Ask yourself this very important question.

5. They may also ask you if you have any questions. It is okay not to. However, it may be best if you do and if you do, make sure you write them down. Have them ready so that you do not forget to ask them. Coming back to ask questions later is fine but it is better to have them beforehand.

That was my first audition.

When I went to my second one for Nazareth College, I thought it was going to be exactly the same as FDU. When I looked on the website it stated that I had to have 2 songs, 2 monologues, and a dance call. One song had to be a ballad and one had to have been composed before 1965. My immediate thought was “WHAAAT!” I ran to my voice teacher about a week before the audition. ( I am sure she really appreciated my procrastination.)

Thankfully I already had the song I used for FDU, which was a ballad, and my prior to 1965 song. It was from a show I had performed in the past. Tip #2 check ! When it came to the dance call, my 15 years of experience concerning this art form,  made picking up new moves easy.

6. If you are going in for musical theatre, take a dance class just to practice picking up moves quickly and getting into the rhythm. As long as you can do those things, you will be fine. If you are going in blind, try your very best and look at other people. If you practice prior and perform to the best of your ability, it will not be as noticeable if and when you misstep or forget one line.

NOTE: All of this is happening at the same time as all the other senior year responsibilities and festivities. Therefore, start early and begin to prepare for your auditions as early as possible. Also, make sure your practices and auditions do not overlap with important school work such as PSATS, SATS, Exams and exam prep etc.

In a nutshell, be prepared!

That’s my biggest tip for you.

I hope all of my advice is useful to you and as they say in show business,

“BREAK A LEG! “ See you in the Spotlight !

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