By Gilda Joffe B.M, M.M. The Juilliard School, International Performing Artist and HeartMath® Certified Trainer
You know you have what it takes: You dance, sing, play an instrument, create fine arts, jam in the studio, play your favorite sport, act your heart out, present fabulous livestreams. It’s what you love to do!
So, now it’s time for college auditions!
Currently, due to the difficulties posed by COVID-19, many schools have had to offer different approaches to the audition process. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared for several different scenarios.
Before you panic, remember, that whatever school you end up attending does NOT determine your future. Only you determine that. That doesn’t mean that you don’t prepare the best you can; it does mean that temporary hurdles such as auditions are only one step of many which will create the beautiful mosaic of your life.
So how do you prepare for these challenges?
Preparing for the pre-selection for live audition/ or video audition.
- First, make sure that you’ve exactly fulfilled the required repertoire. You don’t want to be eliminated from consideration because you didn’t read and follow the requirements carefully!
- Of course, you want to show your very best capabilities. That means excellent preparation in terms of practice, expressivity, timing, memorization, stage/camera presence.
- Perform for your iPhone or video camera many times over, to get a sense of what you really sound/look like! You need to be the performer and your own audience at the same time. Look at yourself, in a critical/helpful manner in terms of what you can do to improve your performance, as if you were looking at someone else.
- Along with performing for your camera, you’ll want to do as many mock auditions for real live people as possible. That means friends and family in person or even over Zoom and Facetime.
- Send only the very best visual /sound quality presentation. Don’t send something sloppy from your phone that hasn’t been edited nicely or that doesn’t represent your best qualities!
For the video
- Sit or stand facing a light source so that you are well lit
- Be sure your entire body is in the frame at all points (for dancers and actors) and that your instrument (if you have one) and posture are clearly visible.
- Perform in front of a neutral background (wall) if possible! No judge wants to see the inside of your bookcase, what’s lying on your desk, floor or closet, or the contents of your living room.
- Make sure that everything is in focus and that there are no odd visuals showing up on screen.
- Experiment with mic placement. This will be different for each instrument and/or speaking position/dance/voice
- Point the bell of directional instruments away from the mic and not directly into it
- Do not engineer the recordings with added reverberation!
- Be sure not to slump on camera. Remember that your performance begins the moment the video is recording! Smile with confidence and speak clearly without mumbling.
See you next time with tips for the live audition!
Read more about Gilde on our College Essay Whiz Consultants page!