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Auditions: what not to say

It’s audition season at Cambridge again, which means far too much sitting around and nervously chatting with my fellow actors and singers. Some of the things I hear seem calculated to psych me out. (And sometimes, I admit, these sorts of phrases slip out of my mouth before I realize, a fraction of a second too late, that they sound boastful and inconsiderate.) In the interests of improving the audition experiences of people everywhere, I present to you a list of things I have heard (or said) while waiting for auditions that you should definitely not repeat:

  • “It’s weird auditioning for directors who I know so well.” Way to make it clear that you have an advantage.
  • “I’ve played this part so many times… I’m just not sure I can bring anything fresh to my reading.” All the actors who are cold reading the provided dialogue just got a lot more nervous.
  • “Don’t bother passing on the audition pages; I know it by heart already.” See above.
  • “I’m a spinto lyric mezzo with a high tessitura, good coloratura and a great upper extension.” Or any other fach that can’t be described in three words of fewer. It’s better to say you’re still finding your fach or that your voice isn’t easily categorized than to throw an overly detailed description full of technical terminology into a casual conversation.
  • “I can tell it will go terribly, but I don’t really care; I’m in plenty of shows already this term.” Bragging about your other shows is unkind to those who are desperately hoping to get into a single show.
  • “Yes, I’m in [insert show here], but it’s no big deal. I think they pretty much took everyone who auditioned.” There will inevitably be someone listening in who auditioned and did not get a part.
  • “I got great reviews for [insert show here].” You never talk about personal reviews. You just don’t. You can discuss the reviews for a show as a whole, if the topic comes up, but never mention what the reviewers said about you. That’s what a website is for.
  • “I hope I’m not too good for them.”

What bad pre-audition talk have you heard? Share in the comments!

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