So, you love music. You’ve been honing your musical skills for a while. Your hard work shines whenever you perform in your own room or in front of a small, supportive group of people.
Now you want to push yourself a bit further and bring your music to a wider audience. Chances are, the audition room is your next step.
But there’s a tiny problem: your nerves get the best of you every time you think about auditioning…
If that sounds like you, I’ve got two important truths you need to know:
Truth #1: You’re not alone.
Truth #2: Anxiety never completely goes away, even if you’ve had 999 auditions.
What you can do is learn to manage your anxiety and fear. More often than not, your ability to do this will make or break your audition.
Here are some ways to help you deal with your inhibitions and have the audition of your dreams.
The moment your body gets tense, your brain thinks you’re doing something dangerous or scary (and it’s right!). Your breaths are irregular. Your heart races. Your palms sweat.
First, don’t beat yourself up for reacting like this – that will only make things worse. Remind yourself that it’s normal to get nervous.
Then focus on your breathing. Every 5 seconds, inhale, hold, and exhale. Do this for a few minutes and your body will start to relax.
It will also help to stretch your muscles. Do some yoga, or simply move your legs and swing your arms in big circles. Getting your blood flowing will help you relax and improve your overall mood.
2. Don’t Resist
Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and father of Jungian psychology, took a different view on anxiety, which can be summed up in his wise saying: “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.”
Anxiety is part of our body’s natural response to stressful situations. When we try to completely eliminate it, we refuse to listen to what anxiety is trying to tell us. Instead, we get all worked up in the moment we feel worried. We fight back, which only intensifies the problem.
How can we ever eradicate something that is natural and inherently part of being human?
Stop resisting. Embrace your anxiety and accept its existence. Before you know it, you’ll feel much better.
3. Visualize Your Audition in Advance
Imagination is powerful. Try to visualize your audition from start to finish: from the moment you enter the audition building and get ready backstage to the moment you perform and leave the stage.
At the same time, think of the emotions you want to feel when you perform. If it helps, recall the times you’ve successfully performed in front of an audience. Remember: it’s all about your mind – it can work for or against you. Make it work for you.
Even with careful preparation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious before an audition. Much of your success depends on how well you handle your nerves. By taking ownership of your feelings and going the extra mile, you can overcome your fear and have the great audition you deserve.