Follow These 5 Rules To Ace Your American Idol Audition

Let’s set the scene:

After months of anticipation, you are ready to go and stand in a long line for hours while your competitors stare you down.  No pressure!!??
By now you’ve heard all kinds of advice from friends and family about how to ace the audition.  You’re going over it in your mind while patiently waiting in line.  Fast forward, you’re inside in front of the judges, your mind is in a freefall, your palms are sweating, and your heart is pounding like an Olympic sprinter.  Ok, now give us the performance of your life!  YIKES!

Here is some advice to help get you through your audition:

  • Rule 2.  (Yes, I’m deliberately starting with #2.)  Let’s pause and breathe. Before you enter judging area, pause and breathe.  After you enter judging area, pause and breathe.  Do you see a pattern here?  Keep in mind that people are staring at you and prompting you to begin.  Don’t jump the gun here, remember this is not a race, it’s an audition so taking a few seconds to control your breath is perfectly acceptable.  Pause and breathe!

  • Rule 3.  Song selection.  Now you have your breathing under control and you’re asked what song you will be performing.  When choosing your song, keep in mind that America is voting if you make it through the early rounds.  The judges are critically aware of this, so now you are too!  Try to choose a song from a popular format (POP, R&B, Hip-Hop, Country, etc.).  Popular and familiar.  Does this song speak to you?  Does it make you feel good when you sing it? (Please say YES).  The song should be in your vocal sweet spot.  If you are struggling to hit a note, you’ve picked the wrong song.  If you are struggling, so too are the judges.  Keep in mind if considering a “unique” song that it can come across as unpopular and unfamiliar.  Do some quick research on iTunes if you’re unsure about the popularity of a particular song.
  • Rule 4.  Are you wearing a rainbow clown wig?  Would Bey wear one?  Don’t wear a costume, save your best costume for your Halloween Party.  Do you want to be remembered for a bad wig or your singing?  The key here is to be yourself.  If you are jeans and t-shirt person, go for it (but not the t-shirt with armpit stains).  Do you have a favorite hat? Go for it, just make sure it isn’t hiding your face, your audience wants to see you. Try to pick comfortable clothing that does not restrict your breathing.  When doing your final ‘mirror’ check, the person that you are looking at in the mirror should be YOU.
  • Rule 5.  You just finished your song or a portion of it.  Keep in mind that they may stop you!  Don’t freak out, now stop and listen.  They just listened to you, now return the favor.  You are getting feedback from experienced professionals.  If you give them the impression that you can’t take advice or criticism, you won’t get their vote.  Advice and criticism are part of a career in music.  This is not the time to make excuses (my guitar string broke, someone from production sneezed in the middle of my performance, Mercury is in retrograde).  They don’t care, they are successful because they’ve learned to overcome all obstacles while performing.  Listen to their advice and thank them!  This is valuable information if you want a career in music.

Drums roll, please…………

  • Rule 1.  RULE ONE IS HAVE FUN.  You heard me if you’re not having fun, neither is your audience! #ruleonehavefun
Practice, prepare, and rest!  Yes, rest don’t over prepare and arrive with a hoarse voice. (PS limit your gabbing in the line and waiting area).  You’ve got this! Be proud of yourself regardless of the outcome.  This takes courage and guts, in my book you are already a winner.  Good luck!

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