Thank you to Rich Harris Jr. for informing us with extremely useful information on how to prepare for an audition. Auditioning can be an intimidating process, but if you are prepared there should be no concern. Check out the following tips for auditioning:


How To Sell Yourself in an Audition

What makes a successful audition? I’ve heard this question asked so many times. Within three installments, I am going to give you some very useful suggestions on how to sell yourself in an audition. After hundreds of auditions (both good and bad), this is what I have found.

If you think about it, the process begins with one thing: A great attitude! What do I mean by that? Before you audition, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do I want this audition?
  • How do I walk into the audition? Do I walk in thinking I already have the part or do I walk in saying, “Why on earth would they want to hire me?”
  • Am I dressed for success?
  • How do I walk out of the audition?
  • What can I learn from this audition?

By asking yourself these questions, they can help put you in the right frame of mind. You are a product in a business, so you have to learn how to sell yourself! Learning how to sell product YOU is easy and can be done in a few steps. The first step is a positive attitude.

Why do I want this part?

Of course the easy answer is that you want the part, but you have to think broader than that. Will this part be good for my career advancement? Is this a company that I want to work for? People audition for hundreds upon hundred of gigs all the time. I suggest you do some soul searching. What type of auditionee do I want to be? The one that auditions for everything and anything or the one that is more selective? If I do become more selective, then why?

How do I walk into an audition?

The first thing that the auditors notice when you walk in is your appearance. When you walk in, they immediately start examining you. How does she carry herself? Is she smiling? Do the clothes she wears exemplify her personality while maintaining professionalism? Even if they are not aware of the types of questions they are asking the auditors will immediately make a judgment on whether or not they like you.

I used to walk into an audition saying to myself, “I’m not good enough to get this gig. Why would they even hire me?” As awful as that is, it’s true! That’s what would run through my mind. And inevitably I would never get the gig. Why? Because I conveyed that attitude in my face and in my presence, without even knowing it. People immediately noticed it. Finally, someone (who later become a good friend) said to me, “Ja-Naé, with your attitude the way it is, you are never going to make it. Being humble is one thing and a great thing, but thinking that you are not even good enough for the gig. If you think you’re not good enough, then you’re not.” She was right! If I wanted to survive in this competitive field, I definitely had to have an attitude adjustment.

Am I dressed for success?

What you wear to an audition says TONS about who you are as a person. You want a look that is professional, classy, yet shows off your personality. Though I’m a crossover artist, my primary genre is opera and those are the auditions that I have had the most experience with. Also, it is tricky with opera. You audition outfit changes with the season and the time of day. Here are some tips for both sexes in the opera world:


  • Use the cut of the suit, color of the suit, and the color of the tie to show off your personality. The colors and style you wear can say a lot about you.
  • Make sure your shoes are not scuffed. No one likes a well-dressed man with scuffed shoes.
  • Make sure that the shirt is ironed and the suit is dry-cleaned.
  • Auditors want to see you face, so clean-shaven is preferred.


  • Keep it simple. Daytime/Nighttime (ANYTIME): black or gray is great!
  • Unless it is a competition: NO EVENING GOWNS!!!!
  • Mezzos: The general concensus is to wear a skirt, unless you are auditioning specifically for a pants role.
  • Long or medium length skirts: NO MINIS! They distract from your voice.
  • Try solid colors (prints distract the listener away from your face and especially your voice).
  • Dark colors on the bottom with a lighter colored top (attracts more attention towards your face).
  • If wearing dark on top and bottom, accentuate it with a colorful scarf or an accessory.
  • Wear your hair away from your face and out of your eyes. This doesn’t mean that it has to be up, just out of the way.
  • NEVER wear stockings with open-toed shoes. That is a big no-no!

Before you walk out that door, ask yourself: Am I dressed for success? Would I hire a person that is dressed like me? Remember: Your first impression on the auditors happens as you walk in the door, so be smart about it!

How do I walk out of an audition?

Walk out of the audition the same way you walked in: with confidence and a smile. Even if it was the worse audition that you have ever done, do not show it. Your audition ends when you are out of the building you auditioned in and no sooner. If it was a bad audition or if you did not like the people who you auditioned for, it is better to keep it to yourself. You never know who might be watching you.

What can I learn from this audition?

I would have to say the best thing that you can do for yourself during the audition process is to form a healthy objective attitude. No matter if you get the audition or not, after the audition is over, analyze it. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What could I have done better? No audition is perfect. It is the ability to learn from your experiences and other people’s experiences that will make every audition better than the last.
  • Did I prepare myself well for the audition (we’ll get to preparation in the next installment)?
  • What did I learn from other people? You can learn a great deal from observing the other

    auditionees. Things like: what to wear, what not to wear, what new repertoire you can use, how people prepare and conduct themselves right before they go into the audition, how people prepare and conduct themselves right after their audition, etc.

  • Am I willing to learn? This is the biggest of them all. If you are not willing to learn from your mistakes along with your successes, then frankly speaking, you should get out of the business. You are a product, which means you are constantly changing, particularly your marketable angle. If you’re not willing to do that, then you’re not willing to do what it takes to sell yourself to your potential buyers: the auditors

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