# 25 Audition Preparation Guide
Metropolitan Opera soprano Janet Williams has written a 30 day preparation guide for auditioning which is now available in paperback entitled “Nail Your Next Audition, The Ultimate 30-Day Guide for Singers” published by Lightening Source 2007 Press.
It’s a meticulous approach to auditioning which was prompted by the need, as Ms. Williams notes in the forward, to revamp her own preparation process when she began to experience performance anxiety as the stresses of more competitive auditions appeared on her career path. The situation that Ms. Williams found herself in is one that many young and talented singers experience. As the stakes are raised for the better jobs, to meet the challenge head on, one needs to be really well prepared, mentally and physically.
The 30-Day regimen in her book leaves no aspect of planning left to chance, and it addresses all facets of preparedness from best case scenarios where everything goes smoothly, to worst case scenarios where everything goes wrong.
Starting with Day-1, making the initial decision to audition and finishing with Day-30, assessing how the actual audition went, everything is scheduled; exercises for clarifying ones objectives, when to work with an accompanist, when to do preparatory mini auditions recorded on video for self-analysis, and how to keep a daily routine/practice log.
On the one hand, as a detailed program it’s likely to be helpful for young singers who need guidance in learning to work on their own in an organized fashion to develop professional level skills.
On the other hand, I wondered if the regimen might be so strict as to create more anxiety and stress if the singer isn’t able to accomplish everything exactly on schedule.
Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
A: Practice, practice, practice…
I think that preparing well involves combining all the modalities that Ms. Williams suggests; knowing what to practice and when, how to self-assess ones progress objectively, learning to be supportive to oneself mentally and physically, understanding and accepting ones limitations, as well as having the courage to expand ones potential.
I do recommend the book with a caveat:
If nailing the audition means you walk away from the experience feeling successful whether you get the part or not; that in itself may be the ultimate accomplishment.
After making a decision to audition, create your own audition calendar.
1. Clarify why you’re auditioning by writing down your intentions. Include what you feel are your personal and musical strengths.
2. Set aside time in your daily calendar for your regular practice routine.
3. Arrange to work with an accompanist frequently throughout your preparation period.
4. Audio and video record your practice once a week.
5. Listen to and watch your recordings and make notes for ways you’d like to improve.
6. Note your progress, and give yourself praise!
7. Set aside 15 minutes daily to practice visualizing yourself performing well.
8. Include in your daily visualizing a checklist of your concerns, and practice in your imagination how you’ll cope with them if they occur.
9. Write affirmations about the audition and say them to yourself in the morning when you get up, and at night before you go to sleep.
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Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Oppenheim-Beggs