One of my responsibilities as a vocal coach for My College Audition is to introduce young performers to the audition process. Many of these young performers have auditioned for community theaters, high schools, and summer camp programs. However, few have auditioned for the number and scope required for college auditions.
This multi-audition procedure mirrors the life of the professional, who will audition for many different opportunities and directors throughout a lifetime.
To prepare my students for the profession, I encourage them to keep an audition notebook. Knowing that we’re moving from paper into electronic media, keeping a spreadsheet is the next best thing.
Why keep a spreadsheet?
The spreadsheet is SEARCHABLE. It can become a database for the performer of their auditions. They can track what WORKED, and what didn’t. They’ll be able to keep track of people that they’ve auditioned for and search this database by multiple parameters. A resource like Evernote, while helpful, is not as useful for ‘databasing’ an audition process, I’ve found.
The simplest way to create this database is in Google Docs. It is simple, very user friendly, and lives in the cloud so it will always be available for the performer, regardless of their location (no more lost journals!). The spreadsheet can also be kept on the cell phone with the Google Docs application downloadable from the iTunes and Android stores.
The next thing to do is capture the columns of information that will be useful for recording the audition process.
The following parameters can be labeled for the audition spreadsheet:
- DATE OF AUDITION
- LOCATION OF AUDITION
- PEOPLE IN THE ROOM?
- WHO PLAYED?
- WHAT DID I SING/ACT?
- WHAT DID I WEAR?
- HOW DID I FEEL IN THIS AUDITION? (Health, hydration, energy levels)
- DID I GET A CALLBACK?
- ANY ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ROOM?
- WHAT DID I LEARN IN THIS AUDITION?
- ANY OTHER NOTES
When these columns are filled out, they become searchable for the performer. This is where their value becomes priceless. You can search your spreadsheet by column to scale information to your needs.
Let’s say you have questions about an audition song you’re using – is it getting you callbacks? Then it’s successful! If not, maybe you should re-evaluate its use. Who did you audition for? Have they seen you multiple times? Are you improving each time you audition for them? This can be tracked in the spreadsheet. If you’re offering the same old to the same people – you can easily see that. You never know when you might be at a party and see someone you’ve auditioned for – always a good idea to have recall in case conversation is made!
Do you see audition patterns of needing more rest? Hydration? This will be captured. Was the venue dead? Bad acoustic? Did you have stage fright? Capture this! Then you’ll know the NEXT time you audition there. Keep notes on your clothes! If you get the callback it’s a good idea to wear the same thing to jog the memory of the table. Are you wearing the same thing? Do you feel GREAT in it?
What did you learn in the audition? You need more preparation? More sleep? Better songs? Better fitting clothes? More travel time?
The audition spreadsheet is the actor/singer’s homework and should be completed 24 hours after ANY audition, and as soon as possible. Once this practice becomes habit, the wealth of information it offers the performer is priceless!
Do this homework – it’s an important part of the work.