Auditions are almost here. You’ve been practicing hard, but you’re not quite sure if you’ll make the line or not. You want this so bad, but there’s a ton of other people auditioning for the same spot. High stakes in such a fickle game. So what do you do if you get cut? Here’s 5 tips to help you after you’ve been cut:
Often times rejection can cut deep into the soul, leaving us feeling empty & hopeless. This feeling can easily turn into anger or aggression, which is the absolute wrong way to handle being cut. When you leave the room, thank the instructor for the opportunity and exit the building graciously. This leaves a more lasting impression than one might think. Don’t leave like a crazed American Idol contestant, spewing insults at the judges as you are herded towards the door. Not a good look. In the event that someone drops out on their own, do you think they’re going to call the guy that cursed them out or the guy that thanked them for the experience? You also may run into the people in that room later down the road, burn no bridges.
Take Time to Decompress
As stated in the latter, rejection hurts. It’s a good idea to take some time after the audition to yourself, to reflect & meditate. This will help you avoid lashing out at others or just giving up on your dreams. While being cut is an awful feeling, it does happen, it’s a natural part of our process. Always remember that it’s not personal.
Review Your Audition
If you want to get better, you need to know exactly what you did wrong. Do not ask the instructor that auditioned you immediately following the audition. This can come off as annoying or as if you are questioning their judgement. It’s best to wait a few weeks or find another instructor/leader that was a bystander (they have insight into the organization and will know what’s going on). Always make sure you approach an instructor with respect and kindness, no one likes a rude player. Doing this, if done the correct way, can also earn you some much needed brownie points because it let’s the instructors know that you care about improving. If you cannot get a response or do not feel comfortable speaking with an instructor, go over your audition in your mind as soon as you get home, trying to remember every detail. You may start to remember things that you did not initially notice in the moment, which can also be helpful.
Simply reviewing is not enough. Putting these new skills/ideas into practice is the only way to improve. Seek out an expert first; a band teacher, private instructor, or professional drummer. If no one is available, look to a friend that knows a bit more than you do; a section leader, alumni, or someone marching in a higher classification. In the event that you have nowhere else to turn, YouTube tutorials are also a great option. Be consistent in obtaining help and putting what you are learning to use, practicing on the days that you do not have lessons is always suggested.
Prepare for the Next Audition
You went through it once already, so you know exactly what this particular organization expects. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Begin preparing at least 4 weeks in advance, drawing on your previous experience. Keep in mind that technique, sound quality, and reading come into play in almost every audition worldwide. Focus on using the preferred technique, producing a consistent sound, and having adequate reading skills, among any other skills that the organization may expect.
Obviously, just like the last audition, a spot is not a guarantee. However, if you’ve followed all of these steps, you have drastically increased your chances of making it. Believe in yourself and happy auditioning!