How to recover from the audition… Cause you have to bounce back.

When you’ve made it through the auditions, the callbacks, perhaps another round of callbacks and maybe a surprise where they ask you to read something you weren’t expecting… you then have to reflect on the process – and you will, because you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. (You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you?)

First of all, you need to feel proud of what you accomplished, no matter the outcome. Maybe you’ve been successful and got the “part of your dreams”, or maybe you got offered a different role, or perhaps you are still waiting to hear, (that’s the worst), or the final option… we know what that one is, of course. Regardless, you’ve got to congratulate yourself. I mean it. Do it now. Give yourself a pat on the back, the audition process is one of the most difficult things you can do and you need to recognize that you did something many people never do. So, go ahead, I’ll wait.

Good. Do that for yourself regularly – because when you audition, you get a show, (or not) and then, eventually, the show is over, so you know what? You audition again. So you have to put yourself through that again. You will get better at it, each time – it all takes practice. Keep it up, keep working on the audition process and remember to congratulate yourself every time you manage to make it through another audition. Find something good in the process or you won’t keep going. And that’s the most important thing, to keep going.


Auditions: The Callback – getting ready on both sides of the table…

So, you’ve made it through all the auditions and now you have to prepare for the callbacks… What the heck, you say? More auditions – yes… sorry, more auditions.

So, if you are behind the table, what do you ask them to do? What do have prepared for them? What are you looking for from these talented people? Do you have a list prepared? Are you ready to make the tough decisions? Do you even need to have the callbacks? And if you decide that you do, can you ensure that the process is rewarding for your actors and everyone else involved? Cause it isn’t an easy time, so at least make it fun!

FIRST – be sure you have some material ready from the show (this goes back to making sure you read the script, right?), material that is challenging, fun and will show you what you need to see to make your decisions.

SECOND – have that material prepared and ready to share with your people. Is it digital? Copies? How many? Do they need accompaniment? Can you provide it for them to prepare? What is the easiest, and classiest, way to share this with your people? Whatever you do, don’t make it difficult for your actors to prepare. Ensure that they have a really good experience getting ready to sing, dance or act for you. They might not make it to the finish line, so you want them to at least have a good time at the race.

THIRD – be ready to make choices. The choices are tough and if you agonize over them too long you will start to second guess yourself. This is dangerous. Go with your gut. Return to your list of a dream cast, return to your notes and continually tell yourself…. “I have to judge them based on what they showed me today at these callbacks.” That’s all you can do. Then, make the decision and be ready to back it up.


So, what if you are on the other side of the table?

FIRST – celebrate!!! You’ve been asked to a callback. That’s impressive. No matter what the role or what you were hoping for from the audition team. You impressed them enough that they wanted to see more, so feel good about that.

SECOND – prepare! No matter what your hopes are for the show, prepare yourself to show your best performance and in your best light. You might not get the role, you might not even get the show, but if you impress, it could bode well for your future. You could be offered a role from the very first audition the next time the team sees you – people remember good work and professionalism.

THIRD – have a good time! The audition is your time to play. To show off your skill and to explore a character you may or may not get to play. Have a good time and don’t consider the outcome, you can’t control that, you can only control what you put into the audition and how you feel about it. Make it the best you can and be proud of whatever comes from it!

So, people… what are you waiting for? You’ve got to get ready, don’t you?!?

Auditions are nerve wracking… for everyone.

Did you know that when you audition for a show, the people behind the table are REALLY happy that you are there? Do you have any idea how happy they are that you decided to take the risk to come out and show them what you’ve got? It’s a pretty big amount of dependency on their part to even hold the auditions, and believe me, they are really, very glad that you are there.

Auditioning is stressful – for everyone. But for the people who are behind the table, they are extremely nervous that you WON’T show up. Think about it, they’ve chosen a show, or been given a show to produce/direct/choreograph, etc. and they don’t know if the right people or ENOUGH people will walk through that door! When YOU walk through that door and bring in your positive attitude and your energy, they are excited to see you and very, very hopeful that you will be the answer to their dreams.

You could be the boy who can sing that one part of the song that is integral to the show. You could be the girl who can do the right amount of acrobatic movement to sell the big production number, or you could be the person who wants to work behind the scenes to make everything better for all the people involved in the show. And in reality – when you show them that glimmer of what makes you special – the “scary” people behind the table are absolutely THRILLED to have met you. They just can’t show it, because they are supposed to remain neutral until the whole process is resolved.

If you are lucky, you might hear some stories later on about how happy they were when you arrived, but in reality, you may never know how important you were to the production. Just always think that to yourself when you audition – “I am super important to this production. And I just need to show them that!”

If you do, you’ll be an asset to any show. I promise.

Why everyone should try an audition at some point.

“Everything you do, you still audition…” Putting It Together – Sondheim for B. Streisand

Everyone on the planet should audition for something at some point in their life. Everyone. And I think that everyone should take classes on how to audition and how to deal with the stress, nerves and anxiety of the audition space. Why? Because of what it teaches you and how you develop as a person from the experience.

Auditions are tough. Even when you’ve been at it for ages and you’ve won lots of great roles, it never stops being a difficult process. Top actors enjoy being at the top of their game because they start to get offers of roles without having to audition. Even the pros don’t enjoy it – because it is a really nerve wracking experience. But everyone should learn to do it, because everything in life is really an audition.


The obvious things are: the job interview, asking someone on a date, even shopping for a car… all of life’s experiences with other people are opportunities to leave a good impression and show others how you belong on their team. In the reverse, every little experience in life is a chance for you to audition someone else. For example: making new friends is an audition process.

Think about it – you meet them on the playground. You’ve been forced together into groups because you all meet the criteria of an age group or learning ability and you need to figure out where you fit. You try a joke – it doesn’t land. You sing a little song – one person knows the words and hates it (they aren’t on your team), while another person joins in the chorus (potential friend). You start to play a game and three of you know the rules, but have to iron out which script version you are going to use for the game… All of these are mini-auditions.

If we actually had everyone practice the skills of getting up in front of a group of judgemental strangers, (not because they are mean – it’s their job to judge you), and give them your all to impress, people might begin to┬áconsider their everyday moves and motives with a bit of a critical eye.

But more importantly, people will learn the best ways to audition. How to put that best foot forward. How to impress others. Why it is important to impress others and how to deal with the stress of that everyday judgement process.


Imagine how much easier the job interview/proposal/whatever would be, if you’d already practiced it?

Why you should (almost) always audition…

I’ve been on both sides of the audition table. I’ve done the bit where you are new and you try to break into the group, where you are experienced and hoping for a bigger role and when you are a known entity and are experienced enough to know that the community holds a dozen more like you who are just as hungry for the role.

I’ve also done the artistic team side of the table. I’ve done it when the cast is fed to you and you just need to decide where everyone fits. I’ve done it when you have a clear idea of who may be right for the part – and they may or may not decide to audition. I’ve waited in the “audition hall” hoping for the right new person to come in the door and knock our socks off so we can have an incredible production and I’ve been on that side of the table when not enough people have heard about the auditions or been inclined to show up to commit to the production. I’ve also been incredibly lucky and had the opportunity to see amazing people come through the door and had an incredible time debating over who is just right to create the magic we need for our show.

My message is clear on this though, AUDITION. Always audition.

When you have another commitment, but you really love the show – audition. They might need you and accommodate you.

When you LOVE the part, but are afraid they’ll choose someone else – audition. You might change their mind.

When you are afraid of the show/role/team/time (or whatever) – audition. You will almost never regret it.

When you are inexperienced, but think it could be fun – audition. You have nothing to lose and they might adore you beyond belief.

In short – don’t be afraid of the audition. I know it is terrifying. I’ve been there. Especially when there is a lot at stake. But even if you don’t win the role, you can OWN the room for a moment and take something from the experience on to the next audition.

Regardless, always go into the room thinking, “They need me.”

Cause it’s true.