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Gaining control of your singing audition - By Jeannie Deva
Going to auditions is a fact of life for most vocalists and musical theatre actors. Yet, the experience can often be nerve-racking and confidence shaking, with a whimsical defeat by Lady Luck. What can be done to eliminate the stress from this necessary ordeal?

The key lies in your approach to the overall audition experience. You must empower yourself by recognizing that you have the ability to create your own career and that you are looking for and finding the right people and situations that align with your own goals and visions. Getting into a musical group or production has just as much to do with what you want for yourself as with what the auditioners (those holding the audition) are looking for. The first step is to decide what it is that you want to achieve.

DEVELOPING YOUR FOCUS

Take some time to assess your level of expertise and determine your objectives. By doing so, it will become easier to decide on the appropriate steps that will help you arrive at the "larger picture."

Prior to answering casting calls and audition ads, decide on the following: What do you hope to gain by auditioning? Do you just want to gain experience with the auditioning process, or are you ready for a high-level group of total profession-als? Are there particular styles of music or shows that you are unwilling to be involved in? If you're a seasoned veteran, you're ready to audition appropriately; but if you need to hone your skills, you may want to audition for less demanding groups that allow you to work toward a professional level.



A MATTER OF CHOICE

Remember: Just as much as you want to be out there performing, being with a group of people you donít like and playing music you canít stand will not make you happy even if they ask you to join them. YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN THE AUDITION PROCESS. Itís a two-way street. You may dislike the musicians or director or cast members as well as the script or music played. You may find disagreeable the places a band plays or plans on playing. You may want to be with people who are drug-free, and discover some of the members use drugs frequent-ly. You may find it difficult to rehearse in a room full of cigarette smoke, and find that everyone insists on smoking during rehears-als. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be courteous, but get the information you need to make the right choices for you.

It can be helpful to write down a list of questions you want to ask before you youíre your inquiry phone call. Get as much information as you can before you end the conversation so that you can make a decision whether itís right for you and if so, properly prepare. †What kind of songs you prepare can make a big difference in the success.



A MATTER OF QUANTITY

Often, it's just a numbers game. The number of phone calls you make and people you contact; the quantity of posters you put up and ads you answer; the amount of exposure you give yourself and the number of auditions you do. Doing things related to your objectives is key. Every audition will not hit "pay dirt" but what's important is continuing to do things towards creating your goals. So beware of decisions which keep you from reaching out, being creative and taking forward steps.


Next month in Part Two of this article, we'll look at ways to put your best foot forward and networking ideas to find and succeed in your audition process!

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© 2003 Jeannie Deva. Jeannie Deva is the founder of Jeannie Devaģ Voice Studios since 1978 and of The Deva Methodģ A Non-Classical Approach for Singers. While her private voice studio is located in Los Angeles, Jeannie maintains private clients across the country and in Europe. Author of the internationally published vocal home-study course: "The Contemporary Vocalist" book and CDs, she has been flown to recording studios internationally to handle album vocal production and has been endorsed by producers and engineers of the Rolling Stones, The Cars, Aerosmith, and many others. Clients include Grammy Award Winner Aimee Mann, Patty Griffin, Coppertree, Dar Williams, Moodcrush, members of the J. Geils band, cast of Fame, Jesus Christ Superstar and many more. www.JeannieDeva.com

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