You finish your performance, smile graciously, and thank the auditors for their time and start to head to the door. Suddenly, you are stopped and brought back to the center of the room as they have some questions for you! Before your heart starts beating out of your chest, calm yourself down by remembering this is a great thing. They want to get to know you and find out what you can bring to the program.
Many performers only focus on their audition material when preparing for a college audition. However, a huge part of auditioning for college is allowing the school to get to know you as a human being and what unique qualities you can bring with you for four years. Let’s take a look at some common questions you should be prepared to answer in the room:
Why did you pick your material?
Saying you liked it or connected with it is not enough. Let’s hope you like your material! If you truly found a connection with your song, you should be prepared to explain what that connection is. Why did you pick that song over other songs? What really spoke to you? Giving the auditors some insight into your selections allows them to learn about you and your preparation process.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I know! This is a tough one! I think the trick to this question is not limiting yourself to one “future.” Many musical theatre performers will often respond with, “I see myself on Broadway” – sure, okay, but what else? First off, being on Broadway is a pretty narrow dream and as you know, a big goal to work towards for most of your life. I encourage students to think more broadly, maybe start by saying where you hope to be living. Next, you can talk about how you will be auditioning constantly and hopefully are able to make a living from the performing arts. Discuss the classes you want to be taking and what hobbies you’ll continue to pursue. This is a much better and thorough answer covering multiple bases.
What can you bring to this program?
For this question, I encourage you to talk about something other than your art form. They’ll make their own judgments on what you can bring musically or theatrically after your audition - so instead, I encourage you to talk about what you can bring as your unique, lovely human self. Are you great at encouraging and uplifting your peers? Then talk about how you could bring kindness and support to your other classmates. Do you have a great sense of humor? Let them know you’ll be sure to light up everyone’s day! Talking about your human qualities let’s your auditors in on a side of you they can’t get from your audition materials.
Why do you want to go here?
Saying that you know it’s a good program is, well, lame! They know it’s a good program, that’s why they teach there. What about this amazing program are YOU most interested in? One of my biggest pet peeves is when a student has a school on their list but they don’t know why (check out our previous post about The Top Musical Theatre and Acting Programs.) If a school is on your list, and you audition for them, you should be well versed on what the school and program offers that fits your needs and wants. Does it offer an abroad program and you’ve always wanted to study in London? Does the program offer a minor in Costume Design and you are dying to learn to make costumes? Make sure to have specific reasons on why you love the school, not just because it has a “good” program or a beautiful campus…because as I said, those are weak reasons!
When fine tuning your audition material, be sure to squeeze in some time to drill yourself on some common interview questions. It’ll allow you to be more calm, confident and your true self when inside the audition room. Oh, and you’ll then hopefully be able to avoid saying “um” or “like” fifty times!