Auditions. Some dancers love them, some (most) dancers hate them, either way, we all face them.
It goes without saying…or at least it should, that RABs are always lurking around the corner, but that aside, how do Dyva’s survive the audition process?
Look no further, I will tell you…
The Dyva’s Survival Guide for Auditions:
The first step is home preparation. You know that any audition is going to conjure up some nervous energy, so spend the night before preparing anything and everything you may need for the big day: snacks, water, your resume, a pen, clothes you feel good dancing in, a change of clothes, shoes (tap, jazz, pointe, sneakers), DO for your B.O, your IPod and headphones…and of course, bright lipstick. **I forgot lipstick at my last audition earlier this week actually…and I definitely didn’t perform at my best…I’m just saying….
I’d rather be over-prepared than seizing in the corner with anxiety because I forgot my ballet shoes on my bedroom floor under the pile of dirty clothes (…true story for 17 year-old Nicole…) Put in the necessary time to make sure you’ve checked your bag for all of the essentials before you even go to bed.
So let’s say it’s the day of the audition, do yourself a favor and eat something…quality food please. Keep it clean so you don’t feel weighed down. Keep it substantial so you don’t feel famished by the time you hear “5-6-7-8”. Just keep it classy…I mean nourished…keep it nourished.
Breakfast: oatmeal with half a banana, almond butter, chopped dates, butterscotch chips, a shimmy of cinnamon, and brown sugar.
Lunch: Egg salad with avocado (wholly guacamole 100 cal packets instead of mayo) on two pieces of whole wheat bread, and some crunchy veggies.
Snack: Small apple with a handful of almonds or roasted chickpeas.
Dinner: Salmon with pesto and Parmesan cheese, and a side of steamed green beans.
There…now no matter what time of day you’re auditioning, you have no excuse not to eat healthy.
An hour before the audition:
Stop freaking out. Clap your hands in front of your face three times, and realize that in that particular moment, you have absolutely NO control over what will happen 60 minutes in the future. Make sure to give yourself ample time to warm up and physically prepare for whatever might be thrown at you. If you’re a yogi, see you in downward dog…if you’re a bunhead, see you at the barre…if you’re a RAB, go to hell. Trust your facility, and know that whatever happens…it’s going to be great!!! (…my motto for 2012…)
Take everything in stride, and do your best to stay focused. I find that the less time I spend glancing around worrying about what everybody else looks like, the more time I can invest in just picking up the information as fast as possible. Keep breathing, and never be afraid to stand out. **Try to use your context clues if you’re unsure about something: there’s never any harm in asking questions, but if it’s something you can figure out by observing others (…not judging), do that instead. It’s always better to stand out for your dancing (and lipstick), rather than your laundry list of questions and insecurities.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now, what do I look for when I’m on the other side of the audition looking to cast dancers?
- Confidence: Don’t be afraid to stand in the front row. It’s important to make your face seen, but don’t be too pushy; there’s a fine line between throwing elbows for the front row and being noticed because of your incredible skill and unique presence.
- Stylistic Compatibility: Will your dancing fit the needs of my choreography for this specific project? I’m not going to cast a dancer with an affinity for lightness and free-flow if I’m looking to make a grounded hip-hop piece with bound flow… (…wait…picture Balanchine tutting…you’re welcome…)
- Your Reputation. Never forget how small the dance community is; we all talk. Be a professional: show up on time, show up prepared, and keep the talking to a minimum. Don’t make me blackball you… (I WOULD NEVER!…)
- Our relationship. Have we met? Have we worked together before? Do we have matching friendship bracelets?
- Scheduling: Sometimes timing just isn’t right. Nothing personal and no hard feelings.
Moral of the story: go in and do the job to the best of your ability. If you have a genuine interest in the project and are a good fit for the choreography, you can rest assured that if it’s meant to happen…it’ll happen.
May the odds be ever in your favor, Dyva!