It may be Black Friday, signifying the start of the festivities for a lot of people, but for others their heads are still very much in the game. As we move into audition season, particularly for those looking to head to college next year, many are filled with dread and fear at the thought of it all! So, having been to my fair share I've been reflecting on both my good and bad audition experiences and have come up with a list of things that are good to focus on either at the time or on the run up:
CALM DOWN! Nerves are sneaky and can creep up on us when we least expect it. There are a number of things I do to calm myself down:
- Focus. Allowing myself to 'get my head in the game' and blocking out any outside distractions really helps to focus on what I came to do
- Breathing. Clearly we should do that anyway ... all the time! What I mean here is deep breathing: I revisit my vocal training exercises as they are designed to keep the breath low in the body. When this starts to rise to the chest area, we can experience negative tension, which can add to the nerves.
- Channel the nerves. There's a fine line between nerves and adrenaline. For me, doing the above helps to push down the nerves and channel the adrenaline: the latter can drive a performance to the next level, so it's well worth it.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF! I speak a lot about the importance of looking after yourself; this is something a singer really needs to stay on top of to ensure optimum vocal health. Read my previous article; 'Running up that hill' as a reminder of three things you can focus on
BE PREPARED. There's nothing quite like not knowing the song well enough, to bring on a 'bout of nerves. This is the single biggest way to ensure you will not do your best! Practise makes perfect, as the age old saying goes and you will kick yourself for being nervous for this, when it's well within your control.
Outside of these rituals, working 1:1 with a professional coach: singing and/or acting can help to give a different perspective on your performance.