30 Thoughts Every Musical Theatre Actress Has Before, During, And After An Audition

A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line

Here’s a secret: Auditioning is always a little scary.

It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been performing, or how many auditions you’ve been on. Nerves will always be a part of auditioning – the only thing that changes is how you handle those nerves. Eventually, you learn how to harness your adrenaline into positive energy that results in a kickass audition. You figure out how to control those pesky butterflies so they work for you, rather than against you.

Regardless of your butterfly-training status, there are some thoughts and emotions that you will have at every audition, every time, no matter what. It’s only natural to second (and third) guess your audition song, and wish you had a time machine every time you give a bad audition. And once you reach the level of callbacks, it’s an entire new level of anxiety. We’ve all been there. It comes with the territory (folks should stick together.)

Here are thirty thoughts you cannot escape. Sorry.

Before your audition…

1. The posting says “dress comfortably” so obviously there’s a dance call, but does that mean I should wear full-on dance gear or, like, workout clothes? Should I bring all of my dance shoes in a duffel bag? Will anyone judge me if I do this?

2. I know they’re asking for 32 bars, but this cut is technically 36 bars and that last bar is really what shows off my money note…. Hopefully they won’t be counting.

3. Should I curl my hair or straighten it?!!? Hot rollers??

4. When they say that the unofficial sign-up list won’t be honored, do they actually mean it? Whatever, better safe than sorry – I’m getting there at 6AM. Okay, maybe 5:30.

5. Should I attend day one of auditions or day two? They may remember me better if I go on day two, but will they be sick of hearing people by then? Will they forget about me if I go on the first day?

6. Gaahhhh my throat hurts… Not now, throat! You had one job!!! I need to go to the store and purchase all the olive oil, paprika, lemon, and honey available.

7. Maybe I should organize my audition binder again…. Contemporary in the back, classic in the front.

8. Which of my black dresses best says 1920’s?

9. Am I going to be the millionth person to sing this song today????

10. I need to google the notation for my vocal range, again. What is it…F3 – B5? Or is it B6? Oy!

During your audition….

11. Why does everyone here look familiar? Why is the theatre world literally the smallest world ever?

12. Ughhhhh of course SHE would be here. She’s obviously going to be the lead. Does she have to be at every audition I go to?

13. Hmmm… Will I accept a role in the ensemble? Will this work against me if I write no? Does it make me look amicable if I write yes?

14. I relate so much to “Climbing Uphill” right now. Cathy Hyatt, you are my home girl.

15. Okay, I’m next. Breathe. Breathe. Smile. Check teeth for lipstick. Make cat noises at the back of throat. Sirens. You can do this!

16. I hope the accompanist appreciates my organized binder – not to mention my start/stop points clearly marked and highlighted.

17. Dear theatre gods, please let this accompanist be kind to me. I think I was clear about my tempo, but did I remember to tell him about the second ending and the fermata? Ugh…

18. I need to slate before they get a chance to ask me what I’m singing. They want me to slate, right?

19. Was that note flat? I think that note was flat…. Whatever, here’s my money note / power belt! Learn it, live it love it.

20. And now, the waiting game begins. I hate this part.

After your audition…

21. They said that we’d hear about callbacks by tomorrow, but what does that mean? Like tomorrow morning? Afternoon? Evening?

22. Time to over-analyze everything I did in the audition room…. Should I have asked to start over? Is that really the kiss of death? Maybe I would have done a better job if I had the opportunity for a re-do….

23. I should have told them I was getting over a cold….

24. …No, I made the right call. Never tell them you’re sick! Never apologize.

25. Should I text the people I knew there and ask if they’ve heard anything yet? Or does that make me look desperate?

26. Apparently some of the other girls were asked to sing scales after they sang… I wasn’t asked to do that…. Is that good or bad?

27. I wonder how many people attended on the other day of auditions. Maybe it was only a few, which might increase my chances.

28. Omg is that an email from the director?! It is…okay…fingers crossed…

29. …I GOT A CALLBACK! Yasssssssss! Okay, what do I prepare? Going to download every song that this character sings right now and find the karaoke versions on YouTube.

30. I feel the opening number of “A Chorus Line” so hard right now. In fact, I’d better go blast that and pump myself up. TC mark

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