Part Four in a series of posts containing audition season advice submitted by Wolf Trap Opera alumni.
Today, some thoughts on interacting with other singers at auditions.
Navigating the Colleague Waters
A few separate short bits of advice:
- Be leery of colleagues who offer unsolicited advice.
- Be well-prepared, polite, kind, courteous and a good colleague.
- Don’t spend too much time at the audition space before your audition! Arrive as close to your audition time as possible, it’s healthier. Leave right after!
And a bit more detail from someone who has thought a lot about this:
I love singers. I am a singer. But I do everything I can to minimize my interaction with other singers when I go to auditions. Not because I don’t like them, or because I wouldn’t enjoy a drink with them later. But because many singers, in the default-nervous-before-singing-neurotic-robot mode will launch into the following questions: “What are you doing these days? Who are you singing with? Have you sung for company XYZ? Have you done competition XYZ? Who do you study with? What are you starting with? Do you have management?” etc. and so forth. I find this rather aggressive and neurotic line of questioning to be maddening and distracting, and I can’t help but feel that it comes from a very dark place singers can get into of needing to compare every single thing they do to those around them. When you go to an audition, how anybody else sings has nothing to do with you. Your purpose is to show the best of yourself, and no one else. Most of the time I know this, but in a crowded hallway at a cramped audition space, this line of questioning from singer after singer can very easily drag me down into that neurotic spiral.
An epilogue from yours truly: You’re all under a lot of stress on audition day. Be kind to one another and to yourself.
Next: The Power of Positivity!