I want to talk about audition nerves this week. I think that most of us experience nervous energy before and during auditions, during performances, and maybe even throughout the rehearsal process.
While nervous energy is a completely normal, and sometimes even beneficial, reaction to making yourself vulnerable and putting yourself out there, it can also have the reverse effect if you don’t know the cause of your nerves, and how to manage them.
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Real quick, before I share these tips, let’s get a little business out of the way.
Hi! I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m Kelly Gabel and I am a multi-passionate entrepreneur helping women to create their Purposefull life. 💙
I am so glad you are here and taking the first steps towards taking control of your auditions and more importantly, your audition mindset!
Have we met? Since you clicked on this post about vocal auditions, I want to make sure you know that I also have the following blogs to help you prepare to NAIL your future auditions:
The Secret Sauce
You’ll also want to grab my FREE Confident Audition Cheat Sheet where you will find my personal strategy for preparing for the practical and mindset aspects of auditions!
You should come join us in the Triple Threat Therapy Community on Facebook as well! I would love to connect with you personally!
Ok, back to dealing with nerves.
There are many different causes of nerves and just as many different tools to help you manage them.
To start, though, I want to ask you to do two things for me:
1. Acknowledge that you have them
Trying to pretend like you are totally comfortable in the audition room is not going to help you…and sadly, it’s also not going to fool anyone. Yes, you are an actor and can most likely “fake it” pretty well…but there are just some aspects of nervous energy that you can’t just ignore and hope that they will go away. Sweaty palms, redness (my personal downfall), and shakiness in your hands and sometimes even around your mouth, are telltale signs of your nerves and they are physiological, so no matter how good of an actor you are, you won’t be able to stop those things from happening until you have actually taken care of your nerves.
2. Stop trying to fight them
We treat our nerves like they are the enemy because chances are, at some point in your life, being nervous about an audition has caused you to completely blow that opportunity. You have convinced yourself that until you can get rid of your nerves, you will not succeed.
I totally disagree!
It’s true that when you let your nerves take control, they are likely to have a negative effect on your audition, but just because they exist doesn’t mean they are in charge!
So, how do you stay in control?
1. Find the cause
Where do your nerves come from?
Are you unsure what will come out when you open your mouth to sing?
Has someone been overly critical of you in the past?
Do you lack self-confidence in other areas of your life?
Are you unprepared?
It can be any and all combinations of these causes and many more that I haven’t mentioned here. Until you find the root of your nervousness, you can’t begin to understand it and until you understand it, you can’t begin to manage it.
Most nervousness stems from some aspect of insecurity.
Take the time to dig deeper and figure out what you are insecure about and when that insecurity started. Once you do that, you can start to work on healing those insecurities and finding your confidence.
2. Do the work
Once you have figured out what it is that you need to work on, don’t be afraid to do what you need to do.
That might mean taking classes to improve certain skills, or talking to someone to help you overcome hurdles from your past.
3. Create a routine
Creating a routine for your life can be a huge part of managing nerves. One of the reasons that auditions cause such fear is desperation.
Whether you are counting on an audition to help you make a living, or just really really want that part, when you start to feel like you need to get the role you are in danger of nerves getting in the way.
People often say to audition and then forget it.
I realize that is way easier said than done, but there is truth in that.
You need to treat an audition like it’s just a normal part of a normal day. Take away some of the importance it holds.
A great way to do that is to create a morning routine. When you start your day the same way every day, it trains your body and your brain to react accordingly. Just like Pavlov’s dog, you can train your brain to feel a certain way based on repetitive activity.
For example, I start my day every day with a simple formula:
Goals and gratitude
When I do these things right after I wake up, it puts my mindset in a very well thought out place.
I release some pent up energy and tension with physical movement, I self motivate and remind myself how blessed I am with my goals and gratitude, and I remind myself that I am always growing and learning with personal development.
On audition day, I start in the exact same way so that the day doesn’t feel any more important than every other day. It doesn’t have any extra significance which prevents me from feeling desperate to achieve any particular goal in my audition.
4. Learn how to focus
We all respond to different ways of learning and the same goes for learning how to focus. For some of you, finding a quiet place to close your eyes and take some deep breaths can do the trick. It also has the added benefit of naturally slowing your heart rate which can significantly reduce shakiness and lack of breath control.
Maybe you need more than that. You need positive affirmation. Listening to a guided meditation may do the trick to help you calm your spirits while also reminding you just how capable you are.
Or maybe you need to get out of your own mind entirely. Maybe talking to other people is the best way for you to avoid the trap of self-doubt.
Regardless of what works best for you, it all starts with self-awareness.
So if you find that audition nerves are a struggle for you, I challenge you to take the time to search within, do the work, develop a system, and find your focus.
To Your Purposefull Life,
If you need to work on your Vocal Audition preparation, the first thing you need to do is Build Your Dream Audition Book!
I can help!