Red-Faced Do's and Doníts
For That Dastardly Audition
By Tom Edwards
Voice Actor & Humorist
We leave auditions red-faced and wonder "Why?"
Hmm. Well, let me tell you, by way of some closely observed do's and don'ts ...
Do: Get up well ahead of time.
Donít: Hit the snooze button and roll over saying, ďFive more minutes, thatís all I need." Itís very likely youíll realize youíve done that after the third or fifth time.
Do: Warm up the voice with some simple exercises and tongue twisters.
Donít: Say nothing, eat a milky bowl of cereal, continue to say nothing, scarf down very crisp bacon and then sing loudly with Led Zeppelin on the radio.
Do: Leave the house or apartment ahead of time to allow yourself a comfortable, unstressed trip to the audition.
Donít: Sit on the computer playing games, reading news items of the day or watching videos until 20 minutes before your audition, which will actually take you 40 regular minutes to get to Ö if youíre going the speed limit Ö and youíre not eating breakfast at the same time Ö or performing your morning shave Ö or doing vocal warm-up exercises while shaving.
Do: Hydrate the throat and body with a healthy glass of water to moisturize the vocal chords and clean the gunk from the mouth.
Donít: Cease all liquids three hours before the on-mic performance. You will crack like a dry noodle.
Do: Cease eating well before your audition.
Donít: Increase your intake of salty or sweet food while sitting in the waiting room, especially if you missed breakfast because you were late in getting out of the house and had to whip into a gas station to pick up pop, chips, and a Mars bar.
Do: Read over the material carefully and grasp its tone and speed. Make your initial decisions on how to deliver it as full-of-life as you can the first time through.
Donít: Read it through once and take a snooze to catch up on sleep or continue reading the ingredients on the chip bag or try to decide on what celebrity impersonation to do with this one.
Do: Take any directions from the auditioner and try to make them work.
Donít: Get cocky and try to make it your own if the director wants something else, even if you love your celebrity impersonation Ö or even if you didnít hear what the auditioner said because you fell asleep for a couple of seconds while they were talking.
Do: Look happy about what you did, thank the auditioner, and say good day.
Donít: Make a weird face like you just belched much more loudly than you thought you would, and say, ďWell, thatíll serve me right for bar-hopping like a deranged kangaroo last night Ö I think that one is the fashizzle, though, donít you? When are you going to call the person youíre hiring for this job?Ē
Do: Leave confident and go back to your regular life and plan for the next audition.
Donít: Beat yourself up and go through all the permutations of what you did wrong or could have done right. Downing another pop, another bag of Doritos and yet another Mars bar (perhaps the King-size version this time, because the pain is King size.) will not do your body, mind and soul - least of all your vocal chords - any good at all. You will, however, gain weight, a stomach ache, and possibly throw up a little in your mouth.
Do: Prepare for your next audition, forgetting about the last one and focusing on the new one completely, clearing your mind of unneeded complications.
Donít: Grumble about your last audition to other people in the waiting room or try to psych them out with fear tactics about the coldness of the auditioner, and how extra dry they keep the sound room on audition days.
Do: Return home after your auditions and give yourself a little rest time before doing any work of any sort. You deserve it, and your brain will love you.
Do: Try to have fun in your career every day you perform!
ABOUT TOM ...
Tom Edwards is a voice actor and the owner of the web site Demos 4 Dummies, a site designed with the express purpose of adding a humorous flavour to your demos.