Everything in life is an audition! First impressions, everyday interactions, networking, applications, interviews, even dating is like an audition. When you have a job, you audition every day to keep it. You must continue adding value to your team. Dancers are required to audition at all levels of training from studio performance groups, to local/community theater, to school teams and productions, and professional jobs.
There are 3 components to every audition:
- The emotional component: anxiety, fear, and confidence
- The logistical component: preparation, resume, and showing up prepared
- The physical component: previous training as required, dressing the part, taking care of your body
Auditions can make a dancer feel vulnerable. It’s easy to worry about what other people think about you, or to feel like you are not good enough. Consider this: what other people think about you is actually not your business.
Get to know what your emotional triggers are:
-What shuts you down emotionally?
-What makes you feel motivated?
I believe that the feeling of nervousness actually means you care deeply about what you are doing. Tell yourself “I am nervous because I care deeply about this.”
Think of every audition as a step on a staircase. Every rejection is one step higher on the staircase. Self-reflect after each audition, regardless of outcome, and step up to your next audition.
For each audition, dancers should run through these questions in their mind:
- WHY am I auditioning for this part?
- Do I WANT to do it?
- Am I feeling pressured by others?
- Does this part match my value system?
- Is this part safe for me?
- What am I willing to do and what am I NOT willing to do for this job?
The audition is a tiny piece of the bigger picture of how you get a job! Networking, social media, and character traits can all play a role.
It is valuable for people to have a good impression of you before you ever enter their audition. In the dance world, you can get jobs simply because PEOPLE LIKE YOU. You can get jobs simply because you have established yourself as a HARD WORKER. Auditions are not always fair. Casting directors have no obligation to be “fair”. Talent alone will not guarantee you jobs. Similarly, having challenge areas or technical weaknesses does not mean you won’t get jobs.
Why would someone hire you into a situation that requires dedication, work ethic, respect, a team mentality and a positive attitude, if you do not demonstrate these things consistently?
Treat your social media as a digital resume. It can make or break your career!
- Make wise choices on the internet. Do not compromise your integrity in hopes of gaining attention or a following.
- Always remember WHO you are and WHY you are doing this.
- You are not your resume. You are not your skills set. You are who you are regardless of your resume and skills.
- You are not your social media profile. You who truly are is reflected in your daily interactions with other people.
- Help your dancer catalogue his/her character traits.
- Always be kind.
- Remember, even if you don’t get an award, you are still a kind person.
- Be helpful. If you don’t get the job, you are still a helpful person.
- You get to keep who you are no matter what.
- Nobody can take who you are away from you.
Service to Others: My advice: As much as possible, use dance as a service to others. It gives dancers so much more satisfaction and fulfillment that scrambling to keep up an impressive resume. What you do in service to others is so much more valuable than the self-serving opportunities in this world. Use dance to make the world a better place than you found it!
Click HERE to to read about the wonderful places you can go in the world of dance!