How do I gain confidence in an audition?

I am fourteen years old, and I have an enormous passion in musical theater. I find it exhilarating to be on stage, and have no trouble with that at all. My only problem is that I cannot do auditions. I feel confident seconds before it is my turn to audition, but once I get up there, I try to sing my number, and I completely freeze. My throat closes up, my hands become clammy and sweaty, and I end up apologizing after about three notes, and walking out. I feel crushed, because I dream more than anything else on earth to be on stage, but I simply lack the confidence during auditions. If anybody has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

One thought on “How do I gain confidence in an audition?

  1. Hi there!

    Great last answer!

    You definitely have to believe in yourself. But I realize it’s easier to say than to do, so I will try and explain it to you better.

    What's really important is that you first of all are as well prepared as you possibly can be. Practice and make sure you know your stuff!. Practice. Practice. Practice. That alone will help you to feel more confident.

    There is something else that your drama classes and your teacher can help you with and that is a concept called ‘public solitude.’ If you can, take a GOOD acting class. They will teach you that. You learn how to develop public solitude, which is really feeling comfortable in any situation and being able to block out everything around you. While as a speaker you can’t block out your audience, the exercise and acting classes in general will help you to feel more comfortable in front of a group.

    Something else that is crucial is that you need to focus on what you want and not on what you don't want. You need to focus your mind on what a great performance will be like and not on the things you are afraid will happen if you mess up.
    Why? What will that do for you? Let me give you an example.

    If I tell you right now, "Don't think about a yellow elephant! Don't think about it!"

    What's the first thing that comes into your mind?

    You don't have to tell me, because I already know. It's the yellow elephant isn't it? Why is that? Because that's how the human brain works. That's how your brain works. In order to forget something, our brain first has to understand what it is supposed to forget. How does it do that? By first bringing it to the forefront and creating an image around it.

    So what does that have to do with your feeling comfortable while speaking? Everything!

    If you tell yourself before you go on stage or into any performance itself things like; "I hope I don't mess up. I hope I don't get nervous. I hope I don't forget my lines. I hope I don't freeze in front of the group.", you are putting yourself in a position to think about what you don't want. Your imagination will go there and recreate that image of all those negative things you keep telling yourself. Your focus is on the wrong things!

    So now you know what you have to do? What kinds of things will you tell yourself the next time you go into a speech? Positive things! Good things! You will give a great performance! You will be very comfortable in front of your audience! See yourself doing that. If you have to, close your eyes, breathe deeply before you go on stage and visualize yourself being brilliant. How confident will you be while you are on stage? You know your lines. You are in the character. You feel it! You can see that you feel it! You are confident and you will be brilliant!

    When you talk like that to yourself, you will feel your posture change. You will be erect and your shoulders will be back if you really feel it and if you really believe it. So BE confident and FEEL confident and you will BE the best that you can be.

    And breathe!

    Hope that helps!

    Good luck!


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