There's very little that you will have control over once you enter the audition room. Making sure that you're fully prepared with your audition material is the first step in making sure you're comfortable and confident. That includes keeping up with singing, acting, and dance classes.
Don't waste your time sizing up the other kids in the lobby auditioning for the same project. Trust that you were called in to audition for a reason, and trust that you're just as worthy for the show as everyone else auditioning.
Nobody is perfect. We're all human and everyone forgets a line or misses a note now and then. Don't worry about it. Even the best actors and actresses on Broadway make mistakes now and then and they learn from their mistakes for the next audition. If given the opportunity to start again, go for it and don't get nervous.
It never does any good if you challenge yourself with a song that you're not ready for. Just because there are songs on the radio that you love to sing, that doesn't mean they are the best fit for your voice. Make sure whatever song you sing sits comfortably in your vocal range.
If you're going in for a classic musical theatre show, don't sing a pop song. And vice-versa! Also, it's always smart to veer towards songs that are age-appropriate. It shows that you know yourself well.
You should never show up "in costume" but in a comfortable outfit that's appropriate for the specific role you're auditioning for. Remember, it's similar to a business interview, so you don't want to come dressed like you don't care about the part.
There's never any reason to be anything but pleasant to everyone you see at auditions. That doesn't just include the people behind the table- it includes the accompanist, the other kids in the lobby, the monitor, etc.
A lot of people in the entertainment industry will turn you down and tell you that you're not quite right for what they are looking for. That doesn't mean that you'll never get cast. The more you work on your acting, singing, and dancing, the bigger your chances are that you'll eventually land a great part.
Directors like it when kids are involved in more than just acting, singing, and dancing. It's always great to hear that kids focus on playing sports, playing a musical instrument, or commit to other hobbies. Being well-rounded is always a good thing, it will come in handy later on in life, too!
If you're not having fun when auditioning, then you shouldn't be doing it.
Patrick Goodwin, CSA – Casts for Telsey + Company, whose casting credits include current Broadway productions of: Kinky Boots, Motown, Newsies, Wicked, and Rock of Ages as well as past productions of Rent, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, Hairspray, Evita and many more. Film/TV: Friends With Kids, Across The Universe, NBC’s “Smash” and Showtime’s “The Big C”.