Whether you’re auditioning for American Idol or your school orchestra, a lot of factors tie into preparing for an audition, beyond just practicing your piece – we’re talking what you eat, what you wear, and what you think about beforehand. Here, The Bulletproof Musician gives us 5 non-conventional things to consider when preparing for an audition:
What are you going to eat the night before? The morning of? What are you going to drink? How much? If you are a regular coffee drinker, are you going to wean yourself off weeks ahead of your audition so you don’t get caffeine withdrawal headaches? Plan all of this out and test it in advance, so that it is part of a familiar routine come audition day.
Keep in mind that you may be out of town on audition day, and may not feel like dragging yourself around in a new neighborhood just to find breakfast. Be sure to practice being somewhat flexible and adaptable in your preparation.
Practice performing in the clothes you plan on wearing, even down to the socks and shoes you plan on wearing (this impacts pianists more than other instrumentalists, but still).
Here, too, practice being somewhat flexible – if you’re flying to an audition, you never know when the airline might misplace your luggage and lose your lucky socks.
Run a few mock auditions on different pianos, a sub-par set of timpani, or a string slightly out of tune. Don’t allow yourself to be thrown off, even if the instruments aren’t exactly to your liking.
Conduct your mock auditions in less than ideal environments. Try big rooms, small rooms, cold rooms, hot rooms and rooms with acoustics of various types. If at all possible, scope out the room you will be auditioning in the day before. Walk around in it, play a few notes if you can, and take a mental snapshot of the space so that you can mentally rehearse having a great audition in that space.
Think of all the practicing you are doing, and combine this with the other daily responsibilities and demands that life and school place on you. What is the result? Physical, mental and emotional fatigue. In a study of Stanford University athletes, researchers found that increasing sleep led to greater alertness and vigor, faster reaction times, greater accuracy, speed, and explosive power. Note that just a couple nights of good sleep won’t cut it. Since most of us are operating on what sleep researchers call a sleep debt, you’ll probably need at least several weeks of sleeping 9-10 hours a day in order to begin reaping the benefits.
Keep things in mind and you’ll be prepared for anything that may come up during your audition. Readers, what other tips have helped you ace your auditions?
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