Managing your audition anxiety is key to your audition success. You want to be at your peak of health, relaxation, and confidence when you stand on that stage. But your anxiety about the outcome can feel like an impossible obstacle.
Performance anxiety is normal. Professionals learn how to manage it, but it never fully goes away. So don’t interpret your fear as a sign that you have no talent, or don’t deserve to succeed.
Here are 6 tools that may help—things I’ve learned from my own performing life, from my training as a speech therapist, and from coaching and counseling students like you.
1. The #1 antidote to anxiety is being prepared. So practice! The moments before you perform are when you’ll be most nervous, so work that sequence just as you work your music. Rehearse walking in, what you’ll say to the faculty, and your cues for the accompanist.
Link these actions to breathing: exhale-pause-inhale before you enter, before you speak, and before you start your music. This breath sequence—and your attention to it—will help keep you calm.
2. When you’re bored or in a rut, change it up. Run your pieces too fast, then very slowly, with comic attitude one day and melodrama the next. Do them in crazy order with dance or calisthenics in between.
Plug in competing music at the same time. Wear a stupid hat. These variations help keep your interpretation fresh. More important, they prepare you to cope with the unexpected distractions—snowstorms, family crises—that could challenge your audition.
During the last week before auditions, just run the program straight so that you’re not confused when you need to be clear.
3. Mentally practice, as athletes do. Go through the audition in your mind, seeing and feeling yourself glide easily from front door through hardest arpeggio to final exit. This reinforces your skills and you can do it anywhere.
Read the last three tips on MajoringinMusic.com!
Keeping the voice healthy used to be as mysterious as the power of voice itself. Modern science has revealed much about the vocal mechanism and its health requirements, but simple information for the average voice user has remained hard to find and harder to trust. In Everyday Voice Care: The Lifestyle Guide for Singers and Talkers, respected voice therapist Joanna Cazden brings together a wealth of practical tips and advice to help keep your own expressive voice in top working order.