1. Take ALL your bags in with you.
I know we’re always told, take you’re entire rep, shoes and a ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ but do not saddle all that donkey baggage into the room with you. A human (yes the panel are them) takes 15 seconds to judge another, and they’ll just think you look messy and ironically, disorganised. Plus you have to hoist them all back on again saying “Thank you so much, bye, bye, bye, thank you. Bye.” Just leave your bags outside and get out the room. They want to talk about you. Not once in my 15 years of auditioning have I ever used my knee pads. Save the room in your bag for your pointe shoes….on no, you won’t need them either.
2. Don’t learn the script they sent you
Unless your sight reading is as flawless as David Ghandi’s ass, you’re gonna need to learn the script. Once you get in there you just aren’t gonna be able to read, act, be nervous and try and guess what the panel are thinking all at the same time. Give yourself one head start. Still clutch the script, but the better you know it, well, the better. Casting directors always say “we don’t judge you on how well you know the script,” but they do. I would. Wouldn’t you? I think what they mean is; if you know the script but you’re still crap, that’s what they’ll judge you on. But you’re not crap are you? So learn it.
3. Don’t listen
There is a chronic level of panic hounding your eyes and you’re so distracted by your nerves you are not listening to a single thing they’re saying. It’s fine to not listen to your Flatmate when they tell you their “really weird dream they had last night” *snooze*, but you have to get out of your own head and hear what they are saying. Tune those ears in, then you’ll be present and IN the room. That’s the only way to dial your nerves down a notch and Tame Your Audition Anxiety.
4. Listen to the person in front.
Why why why would you do that? Because, you simply cannot help yourself. It’s a human condition; in a situation of high stakes you size up the competition. Congratulations, you’re normal. No sociopaths here. But just like those rolling OITNB episodes, you gotta fight the urge baby. Let them know you’ll just be down the corridor or do yourself a favour and put your headphones in. Listening in doesn’t change a single thing about your audition, even if they are Beyoncé…..well then, buy a ticket next time.
5. Listen to the people in the waiting room.
There’s always one. It might even be you, that is just a liiiiiittle bit more than the average over-talker in the waiting room. They’ve probably squealed and air kissed the casting director already. They’ll be talking about the “7 other finals they’ve got this afternoon” and asking when the audition is going to finish as they’ve “gotta get back for Warm Up”. Yes lucky you, you already have a job. All I can say about this is, smile sweetly and ig–fuckin–nore ’em. Nerves come out in different ways with different people, these chatty cats are just as nervous as you. Let them flit and flutter. Then put your earphones in again.
6. Be rude to the ‘Keeper of the Clipboard’
There are plenty of people I know that do this job, they’re either stage managers, company managers, production team members and they are very good at it. There is a lot more that goes on than simply signing you in. They are the eyes and ears for the creatives and management. You’re very own Casting MI6. ‘Spying’ may be a term used a little over zealously, but they will certainly report back if you’re a douche. Don’t be a douche. I mean, that’s a life rule isn’t it. Apply it.
7. Tell them you’re ill
You smell of snot and sound like a long distance trucker, how the hell are you gonna get through this audition?! Firstly, take the pills, all of them, anything to get you through. Secondly, unless you really think you’re gonna massively ruin your chances either reschedule or just carry on as normally as you can. It only takes a couple of sentences to tell if someone is ill. They will know without you saying a word. If they can’t tell then pat yourself on the back for your resilient talent even on 6 sachets of Beechams cold and flu. I know you can’t resist telling them but honestly, they don’t care. Ouchies! But true-ies.
8. Give the pianist evils
The pianist is sat in the audition room all day with the panel. They’ve probably had a cuppa, a muffin and tried out a few snapchat filters together. If you start giving them evils as they slowly sabotage your audition, who are the panel gonna side with? Chances are they are fully aware if the pianist is an “unhelpful” one. They won’t hold it against you. If you are really struggling, stop the song, you’re allowed to do that, and say:
“I’m so sorry, this is totally my fault, but I’d really like to start again. I may have set the wrong tempo. My bad. Don’t hate me. Still give me a job. Love me. Love me. Love me.”
Or something along those lines.
Nip over to the piano and re-set that tempo and go through any markers AGAIN. Then if they still cock-up the panel know it really ain’t you. Never forget, it’s your audition. Make it work for you.