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AMDA’s Musical Theatre Auditions: What You Need to Know

May 11, 2022 - Educational Advice

Mastering the audition room is essential for any performer. For directors, the audition is critical to the production process because it’s what first brings their vision to life. For performers, auditions are valuable opportunities to make a lasting impression and demonstrate how they manage themselves under pressure. 


If you’re feeling nervous about the audition process – or simply find yourself asking how do college musical theatre auditions work – you’re certainly not alone. For many high school students, the professional career path all starts with an audition. Although auditioning can feel overwhelming at times, doing the prep work beforehand can help you mitigate the performance jitters and ensure you present the best possible version of yourself to the decision-makers. 


If you want to learn how to prepare for a college musical theatre audition, this is a good place to start. We’ve provided some useful tips below to help you make the most of your performance.  


Reframe Your Anxiety


It’s easy to overthink things when you’re asked to audition – however, making a conscious effort to reframe your anxiety can help you make a strong impression when it’s your turn to perform. Instead of looking at your audition like a competition against others, focus on yourself. Your audition is solely about you – an exclusive chance to express yourself and have fun doing something you love to do. Make the audition about getting better at your craft rather than focusing on a particular result. Ultimately, when you learn to stop regarding auditions as a daunting challenge to overcome and instead find ways to embrace the process, the feeling can be liberating and better position you for success. 


Understand Your Character


Musical Theatre auditions for college encompass more than hitting the right notes – for example, shows like Hamilton has resonated with audiences so much in part because they have an emotional core and rich, dynamic characters. Bringing these characters to life requires the performers who inhabit them to truly understand what makes them tick.  


It is vital to study the text and understand your character’s motivations – what aspects play to your strengths and what you can uniquely bring to the role? Musical Theatre auditions at AMDA will require you to prepare snippets of a song from Musical Theatre or Pop/Contemporary repertoire in addition to a monologue. Your monologue should ideally reflect your ability to inhabit a character, demonstrating a clear understanding of their emotional life and physical behavior. 


Find an Audience


Don’t overlook this aspect of the rehearsal process! Auditions are a lot less intimidating when you’re already used to performing in front of an audience. Whereas family and friends can offer some positive encouragement, don’t shy away from performing in front of directors and others versed in musical theatre – this outside perspective can help you fine-tune your audition and give you some constructive feedback. 


Be Kind to Yourself


There is no perfect audition. You may feel there were aspects of your audition that fell short, but perception isn’t always reality. No matter how you perform during your audition, try to appreciate the work you’ve put in and avoid being overly critical of yourself. At AMDA, the individuals on the other side of the table are rooting for you to succeed. Any feedback you might receive from your audition is intended to help you become a more well-rounded performer.


Musical Theatre College Auditions: Acceptance Into AMDA


Auditions are also critical to the admissions process at AMDA. The audition helps us determine where you would best thrive in our programs. For students who are accepted, their audition is also considered for a talent-based scholarship. 


Did You Know?


AMDA hosts weekly virtual audition prep classes! If you would like to attend an upcoming session, we invite you to RSVP here.