It's that time of year; audition season!! Whether you are trying out for a winter guard, drum corps, or even a marching band (depending on where you are in the world) I have got some tips to help you have your best possible audition.
1. Do your research. If the organization you are auditioning for has a website, look them up. If they don't have a website, find them online, or better yet just CALL THEM. When doing research, you need to have two goals. First, you want to learn about the organization; their mission statement, their expectations, their previous shows, and so on. Be their biggest fan. Second, you want to know the audition expectations; both what they expect from you and what you can expect from them.
2. SLEEP!! I cannot stress how important a good night's sleep is. I know it's difficult to sleep the night before an audition because you might be excited or nervous, but drink some hot tea, do yoga, listen to a white noise machine (there are a lot of cool apps that do this if you have a smart device), and do whatever it takes to have the best sleep of your life. You will look healthier, feel better, and be far more prepared to put your best foot forward the next morning. 3. Dress appropriately. Hopefully during your research stage you found some dress guidelines that the organization has. Follow those as much as possible. If the organization doesn't have guidelines, my advice is to wear all black dance attire. This can include yoga pants, capris, tights, leggings, shorts, leotard, fitted t-shirt, tank top, and DEFINITELY a sports bra for the ladies. Dance shoes are your best option for footwear, and in most cases your jazz sneaker is the perfect combination. However, if all you have are sneakers just make sure they have good arch support (converse and other types of skate shoes are terrible for doing color guard). 4. Express yourself. As long as there isn't a guideline against it, add something to your outfit that sets you apart from the crowd. Having a pink hair bow, orange sports bra, or a brightly colored belt are all great ways to demonstrate your individual personality and get noticed. You want to make sure there is some visual that allows the staff to remember you and then discuss you during their meetings without knowing your name. If you aren't allowed to do this with your clothes, but you are bringing your own equipment, having something simple like a candy cane striped flag pole or a rifle with an oddly colored bolt (mine always had pink prism tape on the bolt) can help you stand out as well. 5. Arrive early. Show up at least 20 minutes but no more than an hour early for the audition. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to meet people, explore your surroundings, and get your body warmed up before the audition begins. Many auditions have warm-up time worked in to the actual audition time, however not ALL of them do so be prepared. 6. Pay attention. Listen to the staff and do what they tell you, of course that's obvious. However, if you want it you need to go in with a deeper attention to detail than you've ever had before. Listen to exactly what they say and do things exactly as they demonstrate right down to the placement of their pinky finger on their equipment (seriously, that's a big deal to a lot of instructors). Also, there are going to be veteran members there auditioning as well and they know what they need to do to get noticed and get in because they've done it before. Watch them, listen to the questions they ask, and even ask them for advice or assistance if you get the opportunity to chat. 7. Have a positive attitude. Even if things get tough - which, they are going to; why else would you be auditioning for a group unless you wanted to do something harder than what you already do? - make sure you keep your attitude positive. Negative attitudes are a quick way to get yourself cut because nobody wants to deal with that on their team. I know that's a frank way to put it but it's so true. I've cut incredible performers from my own guards before because they had negative attitudes or they liked to spread drama. Those are two things that color guards do not want any part of. 8. Perform everything. Just relax and let your personality shine through your performance. Smile when you're supposed to smile, look sad when you're supposed to look sad. Give all of your emotions over to the performing of the choreography and you can't go wrong. I hope this entry is helpful for everyone who is auditioning this season! Good luck to you all and I hope you each earn a position that you deserve and you continue to work hard and grow all season long! J.M. Hope