Reader Danica R. commented:
“I am also a dancer – have danced my whole life studying various disciplines from tap/hip hop to Latin Ballroom. Over the last few years I have tried the recreational audition circuit for a local dance company. After many seasons of being an active member, the last two seasons have not swung in my favor. Mostly because I am an EXTREMELY nervous auditioner and it shows on my face as I often blank on the choro when we break into small groups even if I know the routine and know I can slay it. Needless to say, the disappointment has been hard to overcome. Would love to hear your tips and experiences on auditions and how you have overcome disappointment.”
This is a great question; one that I’ve been asked frequently over the years.
When I first came to LA, I went on auditions for everything – from acting in commercials to dance-related TV spots. It took me by surprise at how nervous I was when out in front of a panel of people who looked like they didn’t have the time for you at all. I even remember running out of a few auditions because I was nervous, embarrassed and completely blanked on the choreography.
When I was younger, my mum used to tell me to imagine everyone in your audience all sitting on a toilet. As goofy as it sounded, the thought made me giggle a little inside and relax. But that only worked sometimes.
As a 30 year old, I can tell you I still get nervous in auditions, but, obviously, I manage. The one thing that never fails me? Confidence in myself and my work. I know that if I go into an audition and doubt myself for even a second, I may as well pack my bag and walk out because my head’s not in it. So before any audition, any performance, I have to tell myself over and over AND OVER again, “Peta, you’ve got this. You know exactly what you’re going to do. Just RELAX and DO IT.” And then I forget about the judges or casting directors or the looks on their faces and just, well, dance like nobody’s watching.
That’s what works for me, and I hope it can work for you, too. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Stefania Orru