Mastering the Callback: Strategies for a Successful Second Audition

Mastering the Callback: Strategies for a Successful Second Audition

Embracing the Audition Journey

Oh, auditions. To master auditioning is indeed an art in itself. Even the best artists can completely freeze up in an audition setting. I’ve auditioned for countless dance opportunities, from summer intensives to casting of a show to colleges and finally, dance companies. Each and every time, I learn something new about myself. But the most important thing I’ve learned is that every day is an audition. Every day, someone is watching you, and the opportunity to be recognized is always around the corner.

I recently finished an important audition circuit during winter break. As a senior, I have the opportunity to go to Europe to start making connections with dance companies. This intense period of searching for the next step of my career is strangely parallel to my experience of auditioning for colleges. After some reflection, I realized that my most valuable audition tips lie in the past. It has taken me four years and many auditions to take stock of this.

I auditioned for Juilliard with the same sort of halfhearted fantasy that one enters the lottery. I was encouraged by my friends and teachers, yet no one thought I would get beyond the first round in the notorious audition process. Juilliard was also the last of 24 auditions that I battled through my senior year. I laid myself on the line for ballet companies, college BFA programs, and certificate programs in dance. Thus, I entered this building thoroughly wrung out. That day, I danced purely for me. I stopped trying to give people what I thought they wanted to see and instead, I reveled in the moment. I reveled in me and the thrill of moving someone else.

Embracing Authenticity in Auditions

Early in my freshman year, I told a faculty member that people had said I was not supposed to be chosen for this school. The teacher responded, “You are supposed to be here. We don’t make mistakes.” Those words freed me to begin my true journey. Since that audition day, I’ve continually tried to search for that frightening balance of having no power in a decision that people will make and my ability to communicate through my body. I must be authentically myself to continue forward and communicate my truest passion through movement.

I try to reclaim the essence of being true to myself and enjoying myself in each audition I undertake. The rule holds true as I attend cattle-call auditions and private auditions across Europe, Canada, and the U.S., and even when entering a new environment. To be oneself is to have no regrets, regardless of the outcome of the audition. I think this is actually the most important part of auditioning – the moment after a result is given. Either you can revel in the pleasure of victory and disregard further development of your strengths and addressing your weaknesses, or you can let a rejection ruin your spirit. I make sure to make each audition an opportunity to learn and experience, regardless of the outcome, and to enjoy the journey.

Preparing for the Callback

Now, let’s talk about the callback – that second round of auditions that can make or break your chances of landing the role. The callback is where you get to showcase your skills in a more in-depth and personalized setting. It’s a chance to really shine and prove that you’re the right fit for the part.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to treat the callback like a performance, not just an audition. This means that you need to be fully prepared and polished, but also able to let your personality and passion shine through. As an acting coach once said, “The callback is your opportunity to show who you are as an artist.”

To prepare for the callback, start by thoroughly reviewing the material you’ll be expected to perform. This might include a monologue, a song, or a dance combination. Familiarize yourself with the character, the story, and the emotional arc of the piece. Analyze the text or music, and really dive deep into the meaning and subtext.

Next, work on your technical skills. Refine your vocal technique, your dance movements, and your acting choices. Seek out feedback from your teachers, coaches, or mentors, and be open to constructive criticism. The callback is your chance to showcase your growth and development since the initial audition.

Maximizing Your Callback Performance

Once you’re in the callback setting, it’s time to bring your A-game. Start by taking a deep breath and centering yourself. Remember, you’ve put in the hard work, and now it’s time to let your talent shine.

One key tip is to be responsive to the director’s or choreographer’s feedback and direction. As one musician shared, “I didn’t rehearse my solo or scales at all. I just warmed up, played random pieces, and joked around with my friends to release my nerves.” This flexibility and adaptability can make a big impression and show that you’re willing to collaborate and take direction.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to take risks and put your own unique spin on the material. The callback is your chance to truly showcase your artistry and individuality. As the Juilliard student noted, “I stopped trying to give people what I thought they wanted to see and instead, I reveled in the moment. I reveled in me and the thrill of moving someone else.”

Finally, remember to enjoy the process. The callback is an opportunity to connect with the creative team and share your passion for the art. Approach it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude, and let your love for performance shine through.

Handling Rejection and Moving Forward

Let’s talk about the dreaded scenario: you don’t get the part. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s important to remember that rejection is a natural part of the audition process. As the wise Juilliard faculty member said, “You are supposed to be here. We don’t make mistakes.”

When faced with rejection, it’s crucial to take a moment to reflect and learn from the experience. What did you do well? What areas could you improve? Use this feedback to inform your future audition preparation and growth as an artist.

Remember, every audition is an opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of the outcome. The team at the Musical Theater Center understands the ups and downs of the audition journey, and they’re here to support you every step of the way.

So, don’t let a rejection get you down. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and get back out there. The next big opportunity is just around the corner, and with the right mindset and preparation, you’ll be ready to knock it out of the park.

Conclusion: Embracing the Audition Journey

Auditioning is an art form in itself, and mastering the callback is a skill that takes time, practice, and a healthy dose of resilience. But with the right strategies and mindset, you can conquer even the toughest second audition.

Remember to embrace authenticity, be responsive to feedback, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. Each audition is an opportunity to grow, learn, and connect with the creative team. So, take a deep breath, channel your inner confidence, and go out there and show them what you’ve got.

The road to success may be paved with callbacks, but with the right preparation and a positive attitude, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of the second audition. Break a leg, and happy auditioning!

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