A Month by Month Guide to Prepping for College Auditions

With the uncertainty of the times we are currently living in, it is important to realize that you are in still in control of one thing. Your drive. The ability to be the best actor you can be. This is something you should never take for granted especially when you are about to enter the world of college acting auditions. Using that drive to take every step possible to ensure you leave a great impression on each program you audition for is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your future career. Below I have highlighted all the steps needed to not only achieve success but also have a once in like time experience throughout the college audition process you are about to embark on.

January-May

The last half of your Junior year is a great time to start prepping for the audition process. 

  • Stay up on your grades because you could be missing a lot of school next year for auditions. Getting really good grades this semester will help counteract any slacking that will inevitably happen with so much on your plate senior year.
  • Study and take your SAT/ACT until you have a score that you are proud of. Trust me. You want to get this done now so that you can fully focus on your artistry next year. 
  • Create your list of schools (including reach, middle ground, and safety) either on a spreadsheet or some scratch paper where you are going to apply to next year.
  • Get on the same page as your parents with the financial and travel expectations. It is important to work this out as early as possible so there are no misunderstandings down the line. 

June-July

  • Make a master spreadsheet of prescreen schools, audition dates, and locations. This will help you keep your sanity and not drop the ball on any important deadlines. Do this before school starts and you get busy again. As hard as it seems, I promise it will help you out in the end. 
  • Decide if you are attending the Unified Auditions or not. There are pros and cons to the Unifieds but they certainly save a lot of money in flights.
  • Figure out your coaching situation early on. This way, there will still be time to audition and there will still be openings for your top choices. Also figure out if you want to coach through a professional college audition service or a private coach. Each has their pros and cons. To view my private coaching services click here.
  • Begin searching for the perfect material to audition with. Depending on which schools you have chosen there will be different requirements for monologues and materials. Click here for a database of all requirements. What ever you pick make sure they are pieces you love that meet the requirements and highlight the best aspects of your talent.

August

  • Finalize your audition material and start working on it. You don’t necessarily need to start working with your coach yet it couldn’t hurt. Make sure you read the plays and get familiar with the character and relationships.
  • Get your applications out of the way now rather than last minute. If there is one regret I have from my own experience, it’s that I waited until the last minute to do my applications. It was super stressful so I’m pleading with you to not make the same mistake.
  • Solidify your list of schools by revisiting and making sure they fit with your goals. No reason to apply to a school that you wouldn’t attend, trust me, it’s just extra pressure.
  • Book hotels and flights earlier rather than later. Since you already have your spreadsheet (if you don’t then what are you doing, make one now) just reference it to figure out when you will need to be gone. 

September-October

  • Get to work on your material and make sure it will be prescreen ready. Give yourself plenty of time to make sure you give your best performance and don’t wait until the last minute (like I did).
  • Record your prescreen videos before the deadline hits. This can be one of the most stressful parts of the audition process but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Give yourself ample time to record the best videos you can. 
  • Make an eye catching wildcard video to help stand out from the crowd. Student’s often don’t know where to start but creativity and effort go a long way.

November

  • Communicate with teachers early. Teachers usually aren’t used to students in this situation so make sure they have clear expectations about your upcoming schedule. Get on top of your work and don’t give teachers an excuse to fail you.
  • Keep working on material with your coach. Work really hard to make it the best it can be. One word of caution is that you don’t want to over work your materials. There is definitely a sweet spot that is different for everyone so don’t be fooled by what other people say.
  • Double check everything from audition times to material requirements. Don’t let yourself be flustered on the day of the audition by a lack of preparation and knowledge.

December-February

  • Get packed for your big trip(s) a few days in advance. You don’t want to leave anything important behind so. it is super helpful to make a detailed list of everything you’ll need.
  • Be knowledgeable about every school you audition for. Having answers prepared for common questions can set you apart from the other auditionees and show schools that you are willing to do the work. 
  • Stay healthy and take conscious precautions starting two weeks before your first audition. You do not want to feel awful for any of your auditions.
  • Have fun and accept the nerves during this crazy time. You will never do anything like this again so cherish it while it’s here. If you make the most of it and come prepared, it can actually be a super fun experience. Nerves will happen but don’t let them take control.

March-April

  • Be a high schooler for your last few months. Having just spent a whole year preparing for and completing your audition process means it’s time to enjoy being a high schooler. As much as you can, try to not worry about the results of your auditions and live in the moment for the remainder of your time in High School.

May

  • Don’t dwell on the no’s but do celebrate the yes’s. I know it’s hard but its not very productive to beat yourself up. Instead, think about what you did accomplish because that’s pretty cool!
  • Make a new spreadsheet of all the colleges who have offered you admission and compare and contrast. It will help you clear your mind and make a confident and informed decision.
  • Decide on your school and don’t look back, it’s just not healthy. Instead of thinking. about. what could have been, be excited for your first year of college at your new school.
  • Celebrate and Breath because you deserve it. These are crazy and exhausting times but guess what? You did it. You took the initiative to make your dreams come true and that’s something to celebrate.

The college audition process is full of ups, downs, and everything in between. Do yourself a favor and prepare early and well so you can be ready for anything that gets thrown your way. during this crazy process.

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