IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS  we offer some general advice about the process of auditioning.

The advice may be "common-sensical," but it will help you present yourself in a mature and professional way.

  • Look your best. Dress casually but neatly in clothes that allow freedom of movement. Present yourself as a prospective student who will be fun to teach and highly employable after graduation. 

  • For the dance audition, you may want to invest in some basic dance wear. Women should wear character shoes, jazz shoes or ballet slippers, leotards, tights, dance skirts or non-bulky warm-up wear. Men should wear jazz or ballet shoes, tights, t-shirts or shorts. Sneakers are not recommended -- how can you do a double pirouette when your Nikes keep you nailed to the floor? 

  • DO consider your deportment. That means the way you behave (and are seen to behave) from the moment you arrive at the audition to the moment you leave. Show that you are well prepared and have done your research about the school and the program. Ask intelligent questions, exude confidence as you enter the room, say your name with authority, answer questions in a provocative way, look your best, thank the faculty for their attention and leave with the air of a job well done. And if you are really interested in pursuing the program, write a note to the faculty on your return home. 

  • DO be confident. Like yourself. Be proud of who you are. In short, make the faculty want to teach you. Arouse their interest through the sheer force of your personality. Dare to be different -- in other words, true to yourself. 

  • DO ask questions about the school or the program if you wish. Remember you are auditioning the faculty, too. But how shall we say this -- keep the questions logical and to the point. Take the opportunity to talk to the current musical theatre majors— they'll be happy to give you the dirt on the school, the faculty, the classes and the productions. Just remember, they often give us feedback on the behavior of prospective students, too. 

  • Please do not expect the pianist to transpose your music on sight.

NO-ONE CAN SUCCEED in musical theatre without skills in its three component areas. These are the areas they assess during your audition. They try to gauge your level of accomplishment in each and in all three as a whole.

But they are also looking for more than mere accomplishment. Your skills must be complemented by drive, commitment, confidence and like-ability. Your performance can be greatly enhanced by the way you present yourself -- in fact the "packaging" can transform a pleasant audition into a striking one. Your aim is simple: to convince the auditors that you are the student we most need for the success of our program.

With careful planning you can do just that. If you can audition successfully for a college program by applying these simple guidelines, you will have acquired a skill that will stand you in good stead throughout your career in theatre.

By Aubrey Berg