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How to Rock a Singing Audition

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Read Time: 7 min

You got asked to audition, now the real pressure is on. Time to prepare not only your song, but also your strategy to audition effectively. 

Before You Arrive

Calm any anxiety and get pumped up to perform by following these pointers before the audition.

Be Fully Warmed Up

At most singing auditions you're not going to have the time or ability to do any vocal warm up exercises, so it is imperative that you be fully warmed up before you walk into the door of the audition waiting room. 

Most auditions don't allow vocalizing due to the sheer number of voices that would create an unmanageable volume control problem.

Cattle call auditions for a TV show appearance can be a particular challenge because you'll be competing against hundreds of other singers, meaning that you may be waiting several hours in line before you even get back to the judges. 

These types of auditions rarely allow for vocalizing. Ensure you've really taken advantage of any time you can to do your hums, scales and other exercise before you get to a point where you must be quiet.

What to Eat and Drink Before the Audition

What you eat and drink before the audition can make or break your success. Never drink or eat dairy products less than an hour before you perform to avoid building excess phlegm, and additionally avoid large quantities of citrus juice drinks. 

Always bring a couple of bottles of cool water with you.

Try to eat a very light meal and do not over eat. Foods like salads, broth-based soups, fresh fruits and vegetables are great choices that will not weigh your stomach down and will digest quickly. 

Avoid heavy foods like steaks and pastas.

Dress for Success

Always dress the part for whatever you're auditioning for whether it's as a band singer, musical theater actor, cruise ship singer or a TV show contestant like on America's Got Talent

When you audition you want the judges to be able to visualize you performing and not just basing the audition on singing abilities.

At the same time that you want to look your best, also make sure that the clothing and shoes you select are comfortable and don't require a lot of management to keep looking good. 

The last thing you want is shoes that pinch your feet or an article of clothing that fits so uncomfortably or moves around so much that it distracts you from your singing.

At the Audition

Capture the judges attention with these tips.

How to Introduce Yourself

Many auditions will be recorded either on video or audio for the judges to review when selecting the final candidate. This introduction is also called slating your name.  

How you slate yourself will set the tone for how you are perceived. A weak slate may leave judges feeling less than enthused even if you give a decent performance.  A strong slate paired with a good performance can make the judges feel that you will be confident and a true star.

When you slate your name, do it with a confident, positive and excited tone. Consider putting an emphasis on your last name, or do some sort of word play. 

For instance I slate my name by saying "my name is Rage." I smile very large and pause about one second to create slight tension, then I raise my eyebrows and state very emphatically "Christine Rage." 

The judges hear "Rage" and it catches their attention every time, then my dramatic pause followed up with my full name creates a memorable slate. 

Find a way to slate your name that goes beyond just saying "my name is [first name] [last name]" by using a unique way to state it both in structure and in emphasis.

No Apologies Attitude

Everyone makes mistakes, to crack slightly or sing a wrong lyric is as human as erring. If you mess up, don't call any attention to it, just keep going. 

The chances are the judges won't notice if it's not a major mistake, but if they do, the last thing you want to do is to come off as unconfident. 

Walk in with a rock star attitude and do not break out of character. Ever.

Exiting the Audition

Auditions often feel like a whirlwind that went by too fast. No matter what you do, don't break the momentum of the audition by asking lots of questions or trying to showcase more than the judges ask you to. 

Anxiety can make you act in ways that can jeopardize your chances, so make sure to keep yourself in check and do only what is asked of you.

There are very few questions if any that you should ask of your judges no matter what type of audition it is. Questions make you appear unprofessional. 

As they say in Hollywood, don't call them, they will call you if they are interested. Then when you do get the call back, you can pose all of your questions at that time. 

Your main concern is to walk into the audition room promptly, slate your name emphatically, sing your piece, then thank the judges for their time and exit promptly.

What to Expect After the Audition

Knowing how to conduct yourself after your audition is as important as preparing for it. Follow these tips to ensure you'll get the right gig for you.

Waiting On the Call Back

There is no standard length of time to expect a call back, and since you don't really want to ask how long it takes to hear from the judges you are going to be left with no real answer to how long you will have to wait. 

In some cases you might get called back later the same day you auditioned, or it could be a few months down the road if it's for a cruise gig for example.

The best way to alleviate anxiety is by not counting on getting a call at all. 

If you didn't get the singing gig you will likely not hear back from the judges as they won't have the time to call back every one who wasn't accepted.

Following Up

Following up on an audition is generally not recommended. You could, on the day of the audition, send an email or note thanking the judges for the opportunity to audition, but whether such a thank you will be seen and appreciated is unknown, though it seems hardly to be an obtrusive way to follow up. 

Outside of such a gesture, calling the judges to follow up would likely result in you not getting the gig as it may be seen as unprofessional. Your best bet is to simply keep tabs on the opportunity and see if an announcement is made of the new singer.


Re-auditioning is rarely out of the question. I have personally never known of any band, cruise ship, musical theater or talent TV show like The Voice that wouldn't allow you to re-audition at a later time. 

In fact, persistence can be seen as a positive. As the saying goes if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Don't Focus on One Audition

No matter how badly you want a certain singing gig, don't get so overly focused on the audition that you put off other opportunities. 

Keep going out and auditioning over and over. You might land a gig that is even more perfect for you than you could have imagined.

Practice Audition Regularly

Auditioning in itself is a skill beyond performing the actual gig you are trying out for. Keep auditioning at other opportunities even if you do get the gig you went for. 

Consider auditioning for opportunities you don't want as well, because every audition is a perfect place to practice keeping your auditioning skills fresh and effective.

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