Preparing for Your Best Musical Theatre Audition


Sarah McMillan

March 16, 2022

Preparing for an audition can be overwhelming to say the least. Sometimes you hardly get any notice and other times you’re just feeling particularly nervous and auditioning seems super stressful. Here are a few simple ways that you can prepare and get in the right mindset in order to have your best possible audition, regardless of the circumstance!

Research, Know What and Who You’re Auditioning For

Whether you’re auditioning for a community theatre production or you’re out in the world auditioning for jobs, an important thing to do is research the show you’re auditioning for. Do your best in whatever time you have to know what the show is about, get an idea for the feel and style of whatever era the show is from, and maybe even look into some of the other work from the creators of the material. Be familiar with the big songs from the show that the audition panel could potentially ask you to sing on the spot. Lastly, look into who you’re auditioning for! See what kind of shows they usually do and who they are as people. The more you’re able to do, the more you’ll be able to feel confident in what you’re presenting to the panel!

cartoon magnifying glass over papers

Character Study

Know your character! This is one of the most valuable tools in preparing for an audition and developing a role once you get cast. Some key things to think about when working on a character study are the following questions: What happens in the moment before your scene/song/monologue? What does your character want? What do they do to get what they want? What is the obstacle standing in their way? How does your character see themselves? And do they win or lose at the end of the piece you are performing? These questions, among others, will help you create a detailed character study that will allow you to understand the depths of your character.

the words "who are you?" over clouds in the sky

Pick a Song You Love and Monologue it

If your audition requires you to prepare a song, pick one that is appropriate for the style and era. But most importantly, pick a song that you absolutely love – a song that feels right to you! Once you have a song picked, try speaking the lyrics as a monologue to get a feel for the intention of the words. Test out different ways of saying each line and play with how you can use your discoveries when you move back to singing.

music notes

Learn the Material

This one can be tricky depending on the amount of time you have to prepare but do your best to memorize the material you’ll be performing at your audition. The audition process is already so stressful, learning the material to the best of your ability will help to reduce some of that anxiety and allow your brain to focus on other things. That being said, everyone forgets a line or fumbles a lyric sometimes, it’s just part of performing! Don’t be too hard on yourself if that happens; try to push through it and focus on the character’s intentions!

person reading book

Update Your Headshot and Resume

Whether it’s a professional headshot or not, make sure you have an updated photo of yourself that looks like you on the day of your audition. Choose a clear headshot with good lighting and a plain background that shows off your personality! Along with your headshot, you should have an updated resume no longer than one page. Don’t fret if you’re a beginner without a lot of experience, as long as your resume looks simple and clean and includes your name, contact information, and any training/experience you have, you’re all set!

a chorus line cast holding headshots up in front of their faces

Dress for Success

Plan what you’re going to wear. Is there a dance call? Do you have to wear or bring something you can move in? What era does the show take place in? Should you wear something that suits that style? If it’s golden age, are you going to wear character shoes? All of these questions are things to ask yourself when considering what to wear for an audition. Ultimately, you should choose something that makes you feel comfortable and represents who you are, while also dressing appropriately for the type of show/role you are auditioning for.

people auditioning for the rockettes wearing different body suits with numbers on them

Meditate/Tapping Exercises

If you’re like me and auditioning makes you extremely anxious, try meditating or doing some tapping exercises! You can do this the night before or the day of to calm your anxiety as much as possible. Find a meditation that works for you or put a yoga class on YouTube if you need something a little bit more active! Using your fingers, try gently tapping the top of your head, above your eyebrows, your temples, underneath your eyes, under your nose, your chin, your collarbone, your ribcage, and your wrists. Tapping is proven to help reduce stress and negative emotion by sending signals to the part of your brain that controls stress.

cartoon of a person meditating with a cat and plants surrounding them

Warmup & Stretch

It’s the day of your audition! Warming your voice up by doing vocal exercises and tongue twisters (check out our blog for examples of tongue twisters if you need any suggestions), and physically warming up your body by moving and stretching (even if you don’t have a dance call that day) are essential to giving the best that you can offer.

young dancers doing a lunge stretch with back leg up

Be Yourself & Be Kind

Finally, just be yourself! Be kind to everyone you encounter at your audition and just be uniquely you. Audition panels want to see what sets you apart from others not only in your talent, but in  your personality as well. They are usually hoping to cast people that they can trust and get along with! If you come to an audition prepared and 100% you, then you’ve already won. People will notice your hard work and attitude and it will pay off.

dr. seuss quote "today you are you, that is truer than true. there is no one alive who is youer than you."

If you give these tips a try when prepping an audition, and always keep striving to get more out of your preparation and character work, you’re sure to have the best audition you’re capable of on each given day. Let us know if you use any of these tips or if you have some special tricks of your own!