College Auditions: The Student Perspective, Part II

College auditions are in full swing. New York City Unified Auditions have already been held, and high school seniors are starting to get a better sense of what auditioning for college is actually like.

We checked in with our three talented seniors to see what their experience has been so far (you can read Part I of this blog series by clicking here).

Name: Anna Bakun
Hometown: Beaverton, OR
Age: 17

Name: Maleah Moon
Hometown: Somerset, NJ
Age: 17

Name: Isaac Tardy
Hometown: Palmyra, Maine
Age: 17

How many auditions have you done so far?

Anna: As of today, 2!

Maleah: One so far.

Isaac: So far, I have completed 2.

Did you have a game plan on how you scheduled your auditions?

Maleah: For me, the most important aspect to scheduling them was making sure they lined up with my own busy days. Giving myself enough time in between to throughly process how it went and even tweak things if needed be. Also, timing: what time of the day works best for me and my voice?

Anna: Yes! When I was filling out my prescreening application, I sat down with my mom and scheduled all of our first pick audition dates. I scheduled my first pick auditions to fall on 3 weekends, each with one week of rest in between them, and just had to pray that I would get those dates! Luckily I got my first choice on all of my colleges, so I was able to keep it to those 3 weeks and not have to travel any more than that!

Isaac: Being a busy time of year, it is hard to have a game plan. I am currently in rehearsals for two shows, and one opens this weekend. I try to schedule my auditions within two weeks of each other to give myself time to rest and prepare. In February, I have two auditions scheduled the same weekend. They are located very close to each other, so it made sense to “kill two birds with one stone.” I believe that scheduling auditions back-to-back can be stressful, but when they are located in close proximity to each other, it provides for a more affordable process. The hardest part of the scheduling is keeping everyone in my family updated and taking care of myself. I schedule sit-down times with my parents to work through the scheduling and take daily vitamins to keep my immune system healthy.

Have you been happy with your audition material? If so/not, why?

Isaac: I LOVE my audition material, and I think that is VERY important. The number of times I have already worked and performed this material is crazy, and I am far from done. If I got bored with my material, it would be evident in my auditions, and it is important to me that my auditions are fun and authentic for me and the evaluator. Both of my songs tell a story of love. Performed together, they show the contrast and diversity within the singular emotion. It allows me to tell a collective story in the audition room. I get to show them the different ways it can be expressed. I selected material I am very comfortable with. It was important to me that I chose material I could still execute well if feeling tired, sick, or under the weather. With this being said, my songs still show my range and quality of voice.

Maleah: Yes! I have been. I’ve been working on my pieces for a while, all of which I’ve either done in a performance or have been coached on. I’ve had a lot of time to sit with them and finesse my material.

Anna: I’m definitely happy with my audition material. I think it shows my range not only as a singer, but also as an actress, both dramatic and comedic.

Name a couple things that have caught you by surprise (positive or negative).

Maleah: I literally just got back to Jersey from my NYU audition – or “artistic review” as they call it – and I was pleasantly surprised with how genuine and personable the experience was. It’s so well designed and accommodating to the needs of those auditioning like me. It was very refreshing.

Anna: From what I can tell, people are so nice! It’s really comforting to know that the people you’re competing against, as well as the faculty that you’re auditioning for all understand what you’re going through. It makes those small interactions you have with each other so special!

Isaac: Being rejected from a school is never an easy thing, but showing resilience in the situation will help me be successful in the future. At first I was discouraged after not being offered a spot in my early decision school, but after thinking about it, I had to remember that everything happens for a reason. This allowed me to schedule my next auditions with excitement and fervor. I used this negative experience to create a positive mindset for myself. Schools are always looking for something different; just because I wasn’t the person picked one time doesn’t mean I’m not good enough.

Can you name something you want to do better as you prepare for your remaining auditions?

Anna: I want to be able to take a few seconds to ground myself before stepping into the audition room. Being able to ground myself is such an important part of my process, as keeps me from being too stressed before going in. I hope that being able take those few seconds for myself will help me do my very best in the moment of the audition.

Isaac: I am going to say this for all the non-dancers out there. Fake it until you make it! I am in no way a trained dancer and haven’t had the technique experience that many others have. This causes some anxiety for me going into these extensive dance calls. I have to create a positive mindset for myself in order to stay optimistic and confident. If a school isn’t willing to work with me to improve my dance skills, I am not willing to go to that school. The best thing I can do in this situation is to smile and do my best. I try to act my way through it and tell myself, “You ARE a dancer”. The more fun I have with it, the less stressful it is. I can’t gain the twelve years of dance training some students have, so at that point I have to just give it my all. All I can do is keep my head up and not get discouraged.After all, I will be going to school to learn those skills. I hope to keep this positive mindset as I go into these nerve racking processes.

Maleah: I want to work my monologues a bit more. Make them even more personal and fine tuned. I need to get more comfortable in one of my acting pieces.

***

We’re grateful to each of these talented seniors for sharing their process at such a busy time. We look forward to checking back with them in a couple months, as they hear back from the institutions they’ve auditioned for and make decisions about where they want to spend the next four years. Stay tuned!


available on Amazon

Check out the updated edition of our book “Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions: Sound Advice for the Student, Teacher, and Parent.” The second edition includes more than double the repertoire recommendations, updated summer intensive listings around the country and internationally, and recent developments with common pre-screens, Unified Auditions, and financial aid offerings. Available now on Amazon

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