Still hesitating on scheduling that audition? In How to Prepare for the Big Audition, Part 1, we discovered that there are four factors that multiply together to build your own personal X-factor:
1. Confidence
2. Time Management
3. Personality
4. Environment

As discussed in Part 1, Confidence is built when the rest of the factors all come together. Time Management involves everything you do leading up to the big day.

Now we’ll turn to the last two factors. At first glance, Personality and Environment may seem to be something that can only be dealt with in the moment, but there is actually much you can do to prepare your own personality, the perceptions of others, and to be ready for any environmental situation.

Personality

A natural part of the audition process is for either one or a group of individuals to decide whether or not you are a fit for their specific project.

Role Play

It’s important to understand that sometimes what they are looking for is not solely based on talent or ability. For example, in my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to be on both sides of the judge’s table. When auditioning new band members, I learned early on that when the choice comes between personality and talent, personality proves time and time again to yield the best results for long-term success.

Talent can and will be improved upon with the right mindset, whereas a non-team oriented personality is less likely to change. Remember that a band’s success is contingent on how well the band members work together.

Progress is made when effective communication and listening skills are utilized to move the whole of the band forward. Although you don’t want to ignore the other members, it is best to attempt to identify who the band leader is and focus particular attention on him/her. In most bands, you have your “Band Leader”, “Workhorse(s)”, “Contrary Mary” and “Comic Relief”. Your chances of winning the audition will tank if you to establish a disproportionate amount of rapport with “Contrary Mary” rather than “Band Leader”.

Becoming Your Reality

When it comes to reality TV-shows or similar auditions, just remember that there will be many judges that will need to screen you before you even get into the same building with Simon Cowell. The preliminary judges are going through a checklist of certain personality criteria. It’s up to you to do your research and understand what those criteria are.

Being a talented singer is just one of the many aspects that are taken into consideration when looking for a good reality TV persona. TV audiences love a heartwarming comeback story of someone who has overcome many obstacles to realize their lifetime dream, and they like to feel that they play a part in making that dream come true.

Producers also love paradoxical character types. It is much easier to generate TV audience interest with, say, a tough tattooed bodybuilder who sings emotional opera arias. It’s important to recognize patterns of contestants from previous seasons who have advanced and discover similarities with traits that you already possess. Then, amplify them to enhance your chances of success. In this way, it is still your personality – or their perception of your personality – that will be conveyed to the judges.

Environment

Sometimes the most overlooked aspects of an audition can have the biggest impact on your performance ability. We can control how we prepare; we can be cognizant of roles and personalities. But the one thing that we have the least control over is the physical environment that we will be performing in. We may be sensitive to smoke, dust and even humidity fluctuations. It is our responsibility to think of the absolute worst-case audition environment and then come up with tangible solutions in advance. Here are some items you singers may want on your list:

  • a thermos of chamomile tea (or other herbal tea) infused with lemon and honey
  • nasal spray and allergy meds
  • a listening device stocked with MP3 warm-ups
  • plenty of water

A guitarist may wish to bring a portable hand warmer to prevent their digits from being too cold to perform that tricky number. Whatever your instrument or voice, use your imagination and research to prepare for any and every contingency you can think of.

Be prepared that many reality TV auditions take place in a large arena or business center that may not allow you to bring water or food into the facility, forcing you to throw it away and re-purchase from their vendors at a very big markup! So make sure you read carefully the policies on bringing in outside items.

Your Inner Environment

Many singing teachers suggest that vocalists eat lightly the day before and during the audition, and bring a small snack to have sufficient energy.

Do not eat anything that will make you too lethargic or cause digestive issues. Avoid ingesting too much sodium, dairy or caffeine the day before or day of your performance. Sodium will dehydrate you and caffeine as a known diuretic will not only dehydrate, but also can cause muscle cramps and make you a bit jittery. Caffeine can also interfere with your ability to stay open with relaxed and controlled singing breaths. Dairy can cause excessive mucous which could interfere with a strong performance as well.

There are always exceptions to the rules and you know your body best, so remember to keep track of the various physical aspects that hinder or enhance your performing ability.

Am I Ready?

In the beginning, auditions can seem scary and nerve-wracking. But now that you have the right tools and wisdom to guide you through any audition, you’ll begin to enjoy the thrill of the pursuit and attainment of progress! Remember these tools are a framework for you to build off of. The more times you audition and gain experience the more you’ll be able to add to your personal list of items that will improve your chances of success.

”When the choice comes between personality and talent, personality proves time and time again to yield the best results for long-term success.”

If you feel that you may not be ready or are too intimidated to audition, then the very first thing you need to do is schedule an audition! When you have a date on your calendar you are setting the wheels in motion and will now have something tangible to build momentum for your audition preparation.

Now that you’ve read through and studied these four factors – Confidence, Time Management, Personality, and Environment – go ahead and make the call! You will never gain confidence “thinking” about “doing”, so don’t let your fear interfere with your progression as an artist.

Your second audition will likely go better than your first audition and so forth and so on. The key is gaining confidence from experience and understand that you have to start somewhere. You have the tools needed to succeed, so go out there and do it!

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