Whilst many professional performers have their audition preparation pretty much in the bag, the post audition analysis is so often overlooked, which is a pity, because post-audition analysis (in this case, specifically journaling) is important. But why is it important?
In 2018, Broadway director Kenny Leon told a frustrated actor that auditions are not just about auditioning for a role in a play. Rather, in every audition, you are in fact, auditioning for your career. Whilst getting the job is a goal, it isn’t necessarily the goal. Your career is not made by the number of times you get the part. Longevity in your career includes hundreds and thousands of auditions AND the shows that you get cast in. Auditions are therefore a major component that make up your career. They should be paid the same, if not more, time in understanding and improving them as you do during a run of a show. How many more hours do we spend in auditions and callbacks compared to in shows, when looking back at a career that hopefully spans decades?
Audition journaling can be as simple as writing down a couple of notes to yourself to remember for the next time, or it can become a fantastic project that incorporates creativity, insight and personal methodology in helping you nail your future auditions.
The key is to find the easiest way to document these experiences and in a way that will make sense to you a year later when looking back. Just as there are many ways to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, so there is every kind of journal available. Here are some components that I believe will set you on the best path possible:
THE BOOK: Get yourself an A4 book/file or digital book.
Stick/glue/staple your audition brief and the sheet music that you used. This is useful for future references of what you sang, why you sang it and whether or not the sheet music cut worked well. Similarly, you can do that same with any monologues and call back materials.
Write down (or type) a couple of goals that you want to achieve during the whole ordeal: from waking up the morning of your audition to exiting the building afterwards. It doesn’t only have to be when you are in the room. Whilst the obvious goal is to get cast – these goals that I am talking about are ones that are solely in your control in order to achieve them. You cannot force a director to give you the job (wouldn’t that be a lovely!?) but you can achieve a steadier walk and panel greeting upon entering, or ensuring that you speak to the audition pianist in clear concise English, as opposed to a whispered panicked mumble.
Next is to figure out your pre-game plan and write it down. The more specific you are, the better. Here are some examples:
Spotify playlist when getting ready and when sitting in the waiting room, physical warm-up, vocal warm-up type and length, anti-dry-mouth aid, mascara, hell even what time you left your place to get to the audition. When you get home, you can then refer back to these notes and write down what worked, what didn’t and really importantly – where you can do the fine-tuning in the future. Details matter in auditions: A few small improvements can make a massive difference!
Finally, voice noting yourself directly after your audition.
I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. Remembering exactly what happened during your audition is like holding water in your hands: after a short amount of time, the water starts to leak through the cracks, so too will the details about what just happened. As you exit that room, grab your phone, start talking and describe exactly what just happened. Think of it as a stream of conscious talking. Then, when you are later journaling, you can listen back and make further detailed notes of what went well and what didn’t.
Why is this important? Because when deciding on what goals you want to achieve in the next audition, you actually have goals and tangible improvement can actually happen.
Can you just imagine what having a book of all your audition experiences would look like 20 years from now? All the hidden gems, rep songs and insights you will have collected over the years. How exceptional it would be to have this kind of archive that not only that documents the work that you did, but also holds all the stories, anecdotes and lessons you achieved from one hell of a career – one has got absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you got the part.
If you would like to book a Musical Theatre Repertoire Intensive session, you can click HERE
AUDITION PREPARATION INCLUDES:
Extensive and exclusive access to repertoire selections, with appropriate audition cuts.
Audition analyses for pre and post auditions to improve audition technique.
Critical preparation and constructive feedback covering all facets of the audition.