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PREPARING FOR YOUR PERFORMING ARTS COLLEGE AUDITION - PART 2


So you are seriously considering applying to a musical theatre/performing arts college? You have checked out their open days, narrowed down your list to about 5-6 colleges…  and you have read our part 1 about how to prepare for your audition day? So what next? 

To make sure you don’t forget anything we have done a breakdown of what you need to remember for the day and here is our part 2 - with focus on the singing and acting part of your audition. - Did you miss part 1? Take a look here.

 

SINGING

Most performing arts colleges will have singing as part of their audition day.


Make sure you have at least 2 contrasting songs prepared for your casting [this means age appropriate, gender and ethnicity].

Basically it should be suitable for you and your age. If you are a 16 year old boy you don't want to sing about a middle aged woman worrying about her child. Even if you love the song. It shows lack of intelligence and a lack of research of the song you have chosen. 
It should also preferably not be from a current West End show since you may be compared to the professional singing it in the show. 


It is always best to have watched the section of the musical you have chosen. You may well be asked about the musical you have chosen, and possibly about the character you are portraying so make sure you are prepared for these kinds of questions. 


You also need to make sure you have your sheet music ready to give to the pianist. It should be taped up not double sided or in a folder. If you decide to bring your sheet music in a folder with other songs, you must be prepared to sing any one of those songs as they may ask you to sing another song of their choice from your rep folder. 


To keep it safe and be prepared, remove any song from the folder that you don’t believe your are either prepared to sing or shows you off to the best of your ability. 


You will also often be asked present the pianist with a tempo. You can either clap or tap on the side of your thigh to show the appropriate tempo for the song. Practising this before is essential. Some pianists don’t like clicking your fingers...

Most auditions also expect you to have warmed yourself up before your singing audition so make sure you are ready when it is your turn to go in. 


Most of the time you will have the opportunity to change out of dance wear for singing so make sure that you wear something that shows your figure in a flattering way but isn't revealing so think of normal smart casual ‘sixth form’ type attire. 
If the panel don’t feel like they have seen your full range during your song they may ask you to perform a set of scales with the pianist. 

Do

  • Walk in to the room confident and smiling even if you feel super nervous. This is your opportunity to show a bit of your personality to the panel. 
  • Make sure you perform your song
  • When asked what you are singing make sure you can state the full name of the song, the character singing it and which musical it is from.
  • Make sure you are vocally warmed up and ready to sing.


Do Not 

  • Whilst singing do not walk around or sway from side to side since this shows nerves and you want to make the panel feel at ease and also come across as confident.
  • Overuse your hands whilst singing
  • Over practise within the last few minutes of going in to your audition as you will just psyche yourself out and increase the chance of you forgetting the words. 
  • Don’t be shy! 


ACTING

You will either be asked to prepare a monologue of your choice or they may give you a list of preferred monologues. They usually want to hear about 1,5 minute or so and it should be a contemporary monologue, again suited for your casting. It is similar to the song choice; make sure it suits you and your age and also make sure that you know the background information about the play, character and the story line. 
Some colleges may have an improvisation styled workshop where you might work together with a small group of other auditionees. They will let you know in advance how the format of their day will be. 
You may also be asked if you would like to use a chair or not, so don’t feel the need to say yes if you don’t need it since it is something that should have been rehearsed and thought about before you walk in the room. So if you do wish to use a chair as a prop but don’t get offered, don’t be afraid to ask. 

Do

  • When asked about a monologue you must understand about the background of the play/musical. You might be asked several questions about the scene you have chosen so being as prepared as possible is a good thing. 
  • Walk in to the room confident and smiling even if you feel super nervous. This is your opportunity to show a bit of your personality to the panel. 
  • Make sure you perform your monologue
  • If your performance quality is angled at the audience then set your eye focus above the heads of the panel.

Do Not

  • Do not arrive in costume! Just wear the same you wore for singing. 
  • Do not stare at the panel whist performing your monologue. 
  • Over practise within the last few minutes of going in to your audition as you will just psyche yourself out and increase the chance of you forgetting the words. 

INTERVIEW


There will also be a short interview with the panel at some point during the day. Make sure you have done your research about the college, perhaps check out some previous students that are now working in the industry, find out about the teaching faculty and prepare a few reasons for why you want to go to this specific college. 

Make sure that you are aware of who the principal and the founders are in case they end up being the ones actually interviewing you!  

The panel wants to see your personality, but also that you have researched your preferred school, and that you are confident. 

If you have had previous auditions where you have been successful don’t be afraid so if they were to ask since it shows that you are in high demand. 

The interview section of your audition is all about being yourself and showing the school why you would be a perfect fit!

MAKE UP

The make up needs to compliment you. You need to look groomed and performance ready but not caked in makeup. False eyelashes are very popular - again, make sure they compliment you so don’t go over the top and buy the biggest, thickest ones you can find. Make sure you have researched the school in case eyelashes isn’t their thing at all. Just check on social media to see what current students look like. 

If you wear false nails… make sure they are a short, natural length with a natural colour since you don’t want to draw attention to the wrong thing.

 

JEWELLERY

Small studs in your ears are ok but anything else you might be asked to remove. Other jewellery like rings, necklaces, anklets bracelets should be removed before entering the dance studio.


FINALLY 

Throughout the whole of the audition your phone needs to be either on silent with the vibrate off or completely switched off. You don’t want to be that one person who's phone goes off in an audition! 


Auditions are scary but the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. It is a way to meet other people who also want to go into the same career path as you. Be smiley and chatty to all current students, auditionees and staff as it is important to leave a good impression and you never know who might be watching you. 


Remember you are auditioning for the school but you are also deciding on them - you are looking for somewhere where you can picture yourself being for the next 2-3 years and that they share the same values and teaching outcome that you are looking for. Don’t just choose a school because of their big name, or  because your friends want to go there.

Every school is perfect for someone and you need to find which one is perfect for you!

We hope this guide will be of some help to you when you prepare for your auditions. We will post the second part about the song and acting part of the audition in the next few days. 

Still unsure about the different colleges and what they offer? 

Check out our guide to the different courses and funding here or our list of colleges in the UK. 

Please comment below to let us know what you think of our guide, and if there is anything else you think we should add to it. 
 
Helena and Sarah 
xxx
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