Audition must do's

This week, we’re hearing from one of our coaches on the blog for the very first time.

Over the past year, Olly Gourley has coached students into a number of high profile shows - including West End, UK Tours and on TV. So, we thought we’d ask him what his top 5 audition must do’s on the day are:

  1. GENTLE WARM-UP TO START THE DAY. As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, start the process of waking up the voice by humming and lip trilling - you can do this before even leaving the bed! This is a particular good ritual for an early call. This is separate to a full vocal warm-up, which you should make time to do when you arrive at the audition venue, so it’s fresh.

  2. STAY HYDRATED. Louisa has spoken about this in many of her posts previously: staying hydrated is a key piece of advise in most scenarios. Try and ensure you have drank at least a litre four hours before you sing.

  3. BREATHE. Nerves can be a real bind in an audition, causing all sorts of problems such as dry throat, shortness of breath and memory lapse. An exercise used to reduce panic attacks works a dream for here: Breathe in (through the nose) for four counts, hold for four, breathe out (through the mouth) for four. Repeat the process for 3, then 2, then for 1 count.

  4. BE OPEN MINDED. Things might change. Be prepared to react to changes or variations to the original brief you’ve been given. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning the material you’ve been asked to, just don’t be surprised when you’re asked to change it up. I’ve known casting directors to ask for anything from a reduced version of the song or text that’s been learnt, to asking for a ballad to be sung in the style of country!

  5. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP. Remember when you go for an audition, you’re going up against someone else’s vision for the part/show. Your job, as the person auditioning, is to fit that vision or to challenge it. Castings are NOT all about talent and ability, which is why when you’re not cast after the audition of your life, this can feel extremely personal - don’t let it.

    You just didn’t fit someones vision*.

    * this time

These are tips for on the day. We of course need to also be prepared, much of which happens on the run up. Every audition is different. Whether you need to research your character/character choices, or choosing the right song to show off your best qualities - taking the time to prepare is paramount.

Also, be confident in your preparation. If you’re questioning yourself, then the casting agents will be questioning you too.

Please feel free to get in touch with any of your additional audition must do’s and for anyone who needs audition coaching, please drop me a line on