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Summer audition strategy

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Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 133
Topic starter  


So it's that time of year again for the dumb dumb auditions at the fair and I am so very not ready.

A couple of concerns this time:

1. Last year I noticed a keener walk up to the panel of judges and introduce herself and shake their hands. I didn't do that. My score wasn't so good last year and I can't help but think that it was because I didn't go up and schmooze with the panel. Are the judges comparing us saying to themselves 'oh, that one didn't bother to come up to us and introduce him/herself and shake our hands so we're going to deduct points for not trying hard enough.'

The year before last I did meet a judge when I was performing at my venue. He heard me play a bit and we exchanged polite words. Only after a fellow musician told me to tell him 'to remember me during the audition' did I say this. It's not really me though but I got a decent score that year.
What's the consensus on this kind of thing and does 'schmoozing' really help our chances??

I've heard from some sources that most of the acts are pre-chosen anyway so that's why I always feel the odds are stacked against me.

2. Is there a 'discipline set-up work-out plan' that would help as a guide to prepare for an audition? Especially for those of us who for certain reasons haven't been keeping in shape. ie. tendonitis, life, etc.

It's the usual 15 minutes - play three or/and more songs. A guy comes up with a 'One minute' left cue card (which is really annoying).

It's going to be the usual lousy acoustics with one mic taped to one spot on the stage making it impossible to get good vocals with good guitar sound.
There's only one mic between vocals and guitar sound hole so... this makes it more conducive to standing (not convenient for classical finger-playing ) but allows for better vocal acoustics.

I always get the feeling that they want Elvis whereas I'm more of a Joan Baez type. I still haven't bought an amplified guitar so I need the mic for acoustics. I don't like to change so close to audition time.

suggestions most welcome and much appreciated,

:?: :?:

Portamento - The ability to move from a wrong note to the right one without anyone noticing the original mistake.
Harmonics - The buzzing sound that string instruments make.
Impromptu - A carefully worked out composition.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

in the visual art world there are schmoozers, posers and doers.
it seems those that schmooze get all the attention.
the posers look fantastic in the photo ops.
the doers spend all their time in the studio making art.

I learned I don't like small chit chat. so I dont schmooze.
I don't photo well.
so I make art. I spend my time in the studio and then show the work at the gallery.
I almost make a living.

I have made peace with my lot. I have to be true to who I turned out to be; like it or not. it is all that I have to work with.

I don't understand how schmoozers get by. I don't understand judges that dont see through the tactic.
not everyone will like my art. but those that do love the stuff.
that is my audience.
I get passed by all the time.
it is not fun. I am human and compare.
but when it comes down to it.
I live my life on my terms as much as possible.
but, I am thinking about the funny thing about artists; musicians included.
why do we seek the approval of others so much. really, is that why we put it out there?
subconsciously, we want pats on the back?
yet we risk rejection. crazy.

jury panels are subjective. sometimes they like sometimes they dont.
sometimes it is a reflection on them not me.

my advice is to try and not out think the audition.
present yourself as comfortable, confident, playing with feeling. smile.
as you walk up to the mike, make eye contact, nod or acknowledge the jury, then play. when done . smile and make eye contact.
and nod again.
walk off not showing your back side.
you have shown respect for them.
that and your playing will make an impression.

then walk off knowing you did your best

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5349

why do we seek the approval of others so much. really, is that why we put it put there?

Then don't. It's nice to hear compliments but it can't be the goal.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

of course compliments are fine, but I agree, my motivation comes from within.

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1305

why do we seek the approval of others so much. really, is that why we put it put there?

Then don't. It's nice to hear compliments but it can't be the goal.

It isn't the goal, but feeling that positive energy from an audience that's really INTO your performance is an awful powerful high. If you feel it often enough it becomes an addiction.

I'm driven to create my original music, but I love the high performing my music brings, no matter what size the audience, or what their reaction might be. The fact I provoke a reaction is enough to feed the buzz.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation