Audition Tips

Madalyn Cottrell, Staff Writer

Auditions for Mt. Vernon’s production of Elton John’s Aida have passed, and looking into future auditions there are some things one may need to know before taking the stage. Going in, some people might be rather nervous to audition, especially if it is something they have never done before. To relieve some of the pre-audition anxiety, here are a few tips. 



  • The Director NEEDS You: The director needs you, and wants you to do your best. They don’t want you to fail, even if you might be thinking that way. Just put on your best performance, but do not try too hard. Overperforming your audition and partnering your song with a dramatic dance routine. You want to perform, but don’t give the director everything you have. Give them something different, and make them want to see more of what you have. 




  • Be Prepared for Anything: Go in prepared. Know the audition material given at workshops know the songs, and know the dance routine. You could be asked to sing or read for anything, and being prepared will look good in the audition room. 




  • Everyone is JUST as Nervous as You are: Everyone is feeling the same way as you, even if it is their fifth or sixth audition. Sympathize with the people around you and offer support. Knowing you are not the only one feeling anxious will help soothe those nerves. 




  • Confidence is Key:  Ego is different than confidence. Be confident in your abilities, but do not take a negative route. The director knows the difference between the two, and an  inflated ego will not get you into the right places. 




  • Don’t Expect Anything: Walk in with an open mind, and be prepared to receive any part. Be relaxed about your goals, even if you are on the edge and nervous. Walking into an audition room with a relaxed approach will give a good impression to your director, and you will come off as far less intimidating to your potential castmates. 




  • Be Realistic About Your Goals: Do not walk in expecting to get the lead, even if you have a good shot or seem like the only sensible option. Be realistic about the results of the cast list. The director has a vision, and everyone is put in their certain roles for a reason. Yes, the director will pick up on your ego about a role, and it does not ever work in your favor. Never feel entitled to a role, anything can happen and it always works out in the end. 




  • Try Your Best: Theatre may or may not be your thing. Cuts will happen and not everyone will get cast Whatever happens in the end, just accept the results in the end and know you did your best. Be positive, and if you got the role you wanted or if things went in your favor, celebrate it. Just try to be sensitive towards those who may not have gotten the casting results they wanted. 




  • Less is SometimesMore: Do not partner your 16 bar audition with an entire dance routine. Use the stage, but do not overdo your audition. Less is more, and show off what your voice does best. Avoid doing and extremely difficult part of the song as well. If you can show the director that you can perform the material well with a good characterization, it will stand out much more in the audition room if as opposed to belting “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. 


Choose an Original Audition Piece: This is something that applies to any theatre audition outside of high school. When selecting a song, choose something that fits with the genre of the show and something that feels comfortable with your voice and range. Avoid using anything overdone in the audition room, and avoid using anything from newer musicals. For example, if you plan on auditioning for future Mt. Vernon should avoid using anything from newer musicals such as Beetlejuice or Hadestown.