Summer is starting to fade away, and with that comes the dawn of a new audition season. Every season we see YAP after YAP posted, and want to apply to as many as possible to keep advancing our careers. After a few audition go arounds, you start to question what you are applying for and if that program is right for you. Before you hit send on your applications, stop and consider a few thing.
Will this program break the bank?
If you answered yes to this question, you may already want to rethink applying for this audition. You do not want to owe a huge debt after a summer program, nor do you want to scrape money together just to go. Apart from the audition fee, you should consider the cost of the actual program, housing, pianist fee, traveling to and from the audition and program, and other basic costs like food. If you don't think you can afford these expenses, say no this year. Most likely the program will audition again next year, and you can apply then. Save up money for the program so you don't have to empty your piggy bank. Don't put yourself in a financial situation that will be difficult for you now or in the future.
It's not all in the name
When you see a big name program flash across your screen stating that it's accepting applications, don't dive in head first. Take a look at what they are offering and what rep they might be doing. Even though the programs name is a big deal, it may not be great for you. Programs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the best program for you might be a bit smaller and with a less flashy name. Remember what you are looking for in a program is not the name on a resume, but about what you will get out of it, and who you will work with.
They have nothing for me to sing this year, but...
Every year there is a program we are so excited to apply to until we see the season list and there is nothing for our voice type. We won't always be able to every program, so why apply during a year that isn't great for your voice type? If there is something for you in the season's rep, go ahead and apply if you really would like the chance to audition for that part. If there really is nothing for you, but you think a program has a lot to offer, write down the name of the program and save it for next season. Keep tabs on the company and stay interested in what they do. Next year, when they have the perfect role for you, you can apply!
I need all new rep to apply
Many auditions ask for specific rep before you even hit apply. They may ask you to sing from a specific composer, genre, language, or even time period. Look over your rep before you apply and ask yourself if you can fufill these requirements. If the answer is yes, go ahead and apply. If the answer is no, then ask yourself if you can learn this new rep in time. You should present your best singing at your audition, and a brand new piece may not be the best option.
I have nothing else to do
This is not a reason to apply to extra YAPs, or any YAP at all. If you have not found the right program or you don't have the money or time right now, don't put yourself through the audition process. It is ok to take a break and find something else that works for you. Use the extra time to edit or redo your materials, get new headshots, plan a recital, or do something else that will advance you musically. You don't need a YAP on your resume to gain experience. Creating your own opportunities can be just as rewarding and exciting as a summer full of YAPs!
YAP Season can be overwhelming if we don't take a minute or two to step back and breath. We want to sing our best and do as many auditions as possible, but knowing which auditions might be best for you this year can help get rid of some of the stress. Always remember there will be many more auditions, so passing up one or two won't be the end of the world.