So, you've got an audition coming up. What should you do? How should you prepare? Here are five simple tips to help your audition go smoothly.
1. Practice. "Well, duh," you're thinking, right? However, you should practice the audition not just the song(s). Your audition has started the moment you enter the room, so practice entering. Practice announcing yourself. Speak with confidence, speak with strength and speak with resonance. This is a good chance to test out the acoustics of the room you'll be singing in as well so that you're not completely thrown off your game when you begin singing.
2. Prepare your sheet music. Make sure that your accompanist can easily find and play your music. Accompanists will very often have input in casting decisions. Don't make an enemy of your accompanist with bad copies or difficult page turns. You also want to avoid piano mistakes that will trip you up. So, make clear copies of your music. Get a binder with page protectors and label your songs clearly with tabs. Mark your music with tempo changes or anything else that might surprise the accompanist. Some accompanists will even prefer certain editions and publishers of sheet music; free copies from IMSLP may be fine, but they may also be bad. It's often better to purchase a more recently published copy. Use your best judgement.
3. Stay hydrated.Hydration is extremely important to vocalizing. Basically, there is a gelatinous layer located under the vocal fold lining that is integral in the vocal folds' vibration. The mucus that coats this layer will be thick or thin depending on the amount of fluid in the body. The more hydrated you are, the thinner your mucus is and more conducive to healthy, steady vibration. So, this means drinking, yes, but it also means avoiding anything that dehydrates; don't take any antihistamines if you can. Caffeine can also impact your hydration. Perhaps not drastically, but enough to influence the sound production of your fiddly little larynx. I especially like drinking herbal teas; if I have a sore throat any herbal tea with licorice root (often called Throat Coat or Throat Comfort) works wonders.
4. Warm up with a straw. Singing warm ups through a coffee stir/straw is a great way to establish steady air flow; it's also quiet which is great right before an audition. You probably won't find a good place to do a full-voiced warm-up at an audition, but you can almost always find an out-of-the-way corner somewhere to warm-up with a straw.
5. Power pose. If you're not familiar with the idea of power posing, watch the TED talk by Amy Cuddy. Basically, strike a strong super-hero like pose for a minute. Cuddy says that this boosts testosterone and lowers cortisol which will help you to feel more confident during your audition. Try power posing during your practices as well as before you walk into your audition.