This is the first part of a four-part series about Surviving Audition Season.
Is it too early to start thinking about audition season? NOPE! Some of the bigger companies are already starting to post on YAPTracker, and before you know it summer will have slipped away and we will be in the thick of audition season. The best way to not stress about this later is to start planning for it now while you have the time.
Before you sing your auditions, nay, before you even get the auditions, you must apply for them. But with the huge number of companies out there, it just isn’t feasible to apply for them all. You can automatically rule out many companies that are clearly below or above your current skill/experience level, but what about everything else? By doing a little research, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to apply to any company.
I use the following 2-step process to narrow down my potential auditions.
Step 1: Quickly Scan the Audition Notice
Look for info points that can automatically rule out the company. Some questions to ask:
Is their season’s repertoire a good fit for your voice?
Are you available for their audition dates? What about for the dates of the program itself?
If it is a pay-to-sing, does the tuition fall within a range you are willing to pay?
If it is a no-tuition or a paid opportunity, is the basic job description worth the benefits/stipend offered?
Is there anything else about the audition listing that lets you know immediately that it is not a good fit for you at this time?
Step 2: Compare Audition Dates for Commonalities
This step is slightly more involved than the first, but it is invaluable when it comes to narrowing down your list further. First, I grab a few monthly calendar pages (any blank calendar will work, or you can check out any of the monthly calendars in The Organized Singer Shop. On my calendar, I write down every audition date and city offered by every program left on my list. This step helps me see when multiple auditions are being held in the same city over the same time frame. It might make that expensive plane ticket a little more worth it if you knew there was a possibility of taking 6 or 7 auditions over the course of a week rather than just one! You can eliminate several programs this way if you decide that it’s not worth the travel costs to go to their auditions.
Optional Step 3: Impose a Spending Limit
If you need help narrowing down your list even further, consider imposing a spending limit on your application fees. These fees can add up FAST, so if you don’t want to pawn your piano to pay for your applications, you may need to settle on a spending cap for this part of audition season. It usually makes the most sense (cents? heehee) to start with auditions that have overlapping audition dates, since you will automatically be saving in travel costs with those auditions by doing them all in one trip. Then start adding in the costs of other potential auditions in order of preference. Once you hit your limit, no more applications!
With these steps you can easily navigate the sea of audition applications this coming audition season!
Click here for more posts from the Surviving Audition Season series: