YAP season is here, but don't be nervous! As you begin to apply for YAPs and start auditioning here are some helpful reminders about things you should take a few minutes to do. Taking care of yourself and you pre audition prep, is just as important as getting your arias ready! So before you hit submit and start your pre-audition prep, take some time to get yourself ready for all the auditons to come. Here are five things to think about when getting yourself ready for your next YAP adventure.
Spend your money right
Your YAPs don't have to break the bank, in fact you can actally apply and have money left over if you plan it all out. Before you start submitting your applications, have a budget for yourself and try to stay within that budget. Every application that you send in is worth the money spent if you know if could be a great oppertunity for you! If you don't know where to start, try writing down your budget, or try a site like everydollar.com to help you manage your money for the season. On top of spending money on your applications, budget some money to spend on yourself to get yourself ready to wow the audition pannel. If you need a new pair of audition shoes or a new audition dress, go and buy it! Looking and feeling the part is just as important as sounding amazing. Look at the end of summer clearance racks or go shopping when there is a big holiday sale and save a little while you splurge.
Have you ever walked into a room to audition, and as you go to hand your resume to the moderator you realize you left off your most recent production? Sounds scary, but we know that this has happened to many of us before. If it isn't on your resume, no one will know that you performed that role, or sang with that company. You have worked hard for each role that you get so why not be proud and show it off! No matter how long this takes you, update all of your audition materials before applications start, and especially before you send them out. This means creating business cards, headshots, your website, and everything in between. If you keep your digital files on your computer or on a cloud device, like Google Docs, clean out your folders of old materials, and update them with the newest version. If you need to name all your files with one name and a date like Last Name_First Name_ Year so you can find your most up to date files. Look to make sure that everything is consistent and accurate, because you never know who is going to look at your materials.
If you are new to creating some of these materials, don't worry, it's never too late to get started. You should have a headshot and resume ready to go when you audition, but you can also have a few other items as well. When you are ready, you should create a website so you have a general location that people can come to to see all of your information and find out about you. Some great sites to start creating your own are wix.com, weebly.com, wordpress.com, or squarespace.com with lots more a Google search away. If you aren't sure what it should look like, take a look at other singers sites and see how you might like yours to look.
If you need business cards look into sites where you can customize them yourself. Sites like moo.com, shutterfly.com, or even a large retailer like Staples will make some beautiful cards for you. You should make sure to include your name, fach, a number to reach you at, and of course your website that you have put together.
Get a calendar and keep it up to date
Say hello to your new best friend, the calender. There are so many dates to remember! Keeping track of application deadlines, live auditions, and call back dates can get really confusing. Use your phone calendar or play it old-school with a paper calendar and write all these dates down so you can see where you need to be on each date. If you want to get really organized, color code the auditions you really want to go to vs the auditions your not sure about. Put dates, times, and locations on your calendar so you are ready to go when you get the green light.
Practice your pre-audition routine
Ever heard about how important first impressions are? Well, it's true! When you walk confidently into an audition room with a smile and ready to go, the panel notices. Before you go to an audition, practice walking into a room, smiling, and saying your name and your opening piece in front of a mirror. Saying the name of your piece can be so important, but also so nerve racking! You already have eyes on you and lots of pressure, so don't let the name of your first piece slip you up. Stand in front of the mirror and say the piece, and composer a few times so you are confident in what you are saying. You may have done this a hundred times at auditions, but we all know practice makes perfect.
Do you need a pre-audition routine or just really want one? You can add simple things to your practice like Yoga, breathing, or listening to something before you start your day. If you love Yoga, you can get an app for your phone to bring your practice with you anywhere you go. Apps like Fit Star Yoga, Yoga Studio, Yoga Workout and so many others can bring you a little relaxation before you start your audition day. Not really into yoga or deep breathing, why not try something a little different? If you have some free time, grab a great book to take your mind off of things or even get a coloring book for your travels. Sometimes looking at something non music related can help you de stress before you go into an audition.
Re-do your pianist binder
This may be one of the most simple tasks, but it is often forgotten. The pianist at the audition will love you forever if you can make your binder nice and neat. Many singers love to have a plain 1 inch black binder with labeld dividers for each piece of music they bring to an audition. When you are creating your binder, you should do it with the pianist in mind and make it as easy for them as possible. If you can, make your pages double sided so it is easier to turn, and copy out your repeats so they don't have to go all the way back to the beginning. Go through and check that your tabs are labeled correctly, all the pieces are in the right order, have ALL of the pages, and cuts are clearly marked. Just because the pianist is playing for you doesn’t mean they don’t have a say in the casting process. If you are prepared and organized in your music presentation, chances are that they will trust you to be a prepared performer, and they might just put in a good word for you!
You are ready to take the YAP season by storm, and are going to have a blast doing it. These are only a few helpful hints to get you ready to make the best out of your audition season, and there is so much more you can do! Need more help or more suggestions? Check out other articles from Modern Singer to help you be ready for this YAP season. Happy singing!