If you are getting ready to go off on your college auditions, you might be filled to the brim with stress and worry. I definitely was, but I found a lot of great de-stressing relaxation tips along the way. At first I was going to make this just a morning routine post, but I wanted to include a few bits about the night before and some general stuff leading up to your auditions. Just remember that you’re a superstar and no matter what happens, it’s all going to be okay!
I am a vocalist, so some of my steps might not apply to people who play instruments, but some of this advice is more generalized and will be useful for everyone.
The Night Before
A Nice Hot Shower
Taking a hot and steamy shower is great for your sinuses, especially when you’re feeling a little bit under the weather. Because my hair takes so long to dry, I usually shower at night, but you can do this in the morning too if that works better for you. Your hair should always be fresh, clean, and presentable for auditions, so washing it is obviously a must. For some people, like me, a shower can be very relaxing and can help to clear your mind. A bonus of a steamy shower is that if you hang wrinkled clothes in the bathroom it will help get them back to normal. If you’ve travelled a long way and had your audition outfit shoved in a suitcase, it’s probably smashed and wrinkled by now. For me, by the time I got to the hotel I was usually a little bit stressed from being on the road for so long, that taking a nice long shower helped me calm down a lot.
Cup of Tea #1
You might have noticed that this is labelled #1. Hot tea is a huge part of my regimen for a healthy voice, and it always will be. The same as a hot shower, hot tea is great for lubricating and hydrating your throat, and certain varieties of tea have different vitamins, minerals, and herbs that will help soothe you in your time of stress. I love all kinds of tea, but for audition days I like to drink the Throat Coat with Lemon & Echinacea. I like this tea because it’s slightly sweeter than the original flavor of Throat Coat, which has a much stronger herb taste. If I have it with me, I add a little bit of honey to my tea, and occasionally a packet of Sweet n’ Low. I find drinking a nice hot cup of tea to be very relaxing when I’m nervous for auditions.
Have Everything Laid Out
Before you go to bed, have your audition outfit hung up or laid out so it won’t get wrinkled, along with anything else you need to have ready to go at a moments notice.
This also means having all your paperwork, your music, your resume/headshot (if applicable), and any other papers you need on hand ready to go. My mom and I always had directions to the campus printed out, a campus map, print outs of emails regarding the audition day, multiple copies of all my music, and blank paper to take notes during the day if necessary.
Go to Sleep Early
Getting enough sleep is so insanely important when it comes to any kind of audition or performance. How are you supposed to do your best if you’re a sleepy zombie when you go into your audition. I know it might be hard to sleep if you’re in a hotel and you’re stressed about doing well. Just in case, I always brought Melatonin gummy vitamins with me. The ones I get are flavored with White Tea and Passion Fruit.
The Morning Of
Get Up Early
Another reason to go to bed early is so that you can get up at a reasonable time as well. I’ve always been told that you need to be awake at least four hours before you need to sing for your voice to fully wake up, but you shouldn’t follow that rule if it gets in the way of a full night sleep. If you have to be at your audition for check-in by 8am, I wouldn’t recommend getting up earlier than 6am, unless you are driving from home and live far away (in that case maybe you can sleep extra in the car). It’s not likely that your audition will happen right away, so even if you have to be on site at an early time, you’ll still probably have at least an hour until you have to sing/play.
It’s also important to get up early because you need to look presentable for your audition. If you role out of bed 30 minutes before you have to leave, you probably won’t look your best. For me, I usually got up two hours before I had to be at the audition site. This gave me plenty of time to get dressed and ready.
Taming the Hair
As soon as I get up I start on my hair before anything else. I shower the night before, but in the morning I have to re-wet my hair so I can put all of my hair products in it (I have super curly hair, so this is clearly a very important step in my morning routine). My hair takes about an hour to dry, so I do that before I get dressed.
I have all my clothes laid out and ready to go, so it doesn’t take much time to throw them on. I don’t put my shoes on until I’m about to head out the door because I prefer walking around barefoot while I’m getting ready. To avoid awkward staining and marks, I don’t put deodorant on until after I’ve gotten dressed. Trust me, I’ve seen multiple people walk in to the auditions with white deodorant marks on their dark clothing. But hey, at least we know they’re not sweaty 😉
For info about what clothing is appropriate for college auditions, see my previous post: What to Wear to College Auditions & Juries
Cup of Tea #2
After I’ve gotten dressed, I make a second cup of tea. The Throat Coat I drink usually calls for about 10 minutes of steeping, so I throw the tea bag in and let it sit while I start my makeup. As soon as it’s cooled down and ready, I drink it fairly fast.
Putting my Face on
While waiting for my tea to steep, I start on my makeup. This will usually take me about 15 minutes unless I make some kind of mistake and have to redo something. For auditions I usually wear: concealer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, and sometimes lipstick. I usually do very small wings on my eyeliner, I curl my eyelashes, and I lightly fill in my brows.
For more info about what makeup is appropriate for auditions, see my previous post: What to Wear to College Auditions & Juries
Eat a Good Breakfast
If you are staying at a hotel with a continental breakfast, take advantage of the free food! If you are at home, make sure you have something decent to eat in the house or grab something healthy on the road. I usually like to have a bagel or some kind of grain because the carbs will give you the energy you need to get through all the day’s activities. I also try to eat some fruit, as well as drinking, you guessed it, Cup of Tea #3 (or coffee if I’m feeling especially groggy) Do you think I’m tea crazy yet?
After I’ve finished eating my breakfast, I use my MediHerb herbal throat spray. I’ll be honest with you, it tastes like absolute crap, but it works wonders. I usually get this spray ordered through my chiropractor, but you can also order it online. It is specifically made with public speakers and singers in mind, and I highly recommend it. It’s best to use the spray at least an hour before you have to sing just to give it time to sink in, but you can use it whenever.
Go to the Bathroom
Make sure you go to the bathroom before you leave for the audition, because you don’t want to keep chugging water and have to pee in the middle of your audition. Audition days are jam packed with activities and things to do, so you might not get a bathroom break until you’re finished.
Listen to Meditations
My mom is always the one driving, so on the ride to the auditions I like to listen to some kind of meditation or inspiration for singers. The one I like best is a YouTube video called “Master Voice.” It claims to have subliminal messages, but I know that’s probably not true. I like it because it’s specifically made for singers, and it includes bird and nature sounds that are super relaxing. This is super easy to do because you can just pull it up on your phone and put in your headphones. You can find it here: Master Voice: Subliminal Meditation for Singers
Rock Your Audition
You’ve taken the necessary precautions and hopefully you’ve been able to relax a little bit. Don’t worry if you’re still nervous, that’s totally normal! No one is perfect, and it’s okay to be afraid. Just remember that you’ve worked hard for this moment, and the faculty you’re performing for genuinely want to see you do well.
Want to Hear More?
I love writing about these kinds of things, but let me know what you want to see more of! If you have any additional questions regarding college auditions, or anything college related please feel free to let me know! If you have any requests for future posts please speak up and tell me!