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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart

The Agony of Defeat

Your name is not on the cast list. Why?

There might have been something in your presentation, preparation, audition piece selection, or your resume that created a negative impression. Below are some of the major “don’ts” that may have contributed to your downfall.


1. No headshot.

2. No phone number.

3. No current address.

4. No alternate phone number.

5. Resume lacked organization

6. Overall ill-prepared resume.


1. Inappropriate audition piece. Do you see yourself realistically?

2. Speech problem. Did your piece highlight that problem?

3. Song selection not show-appropriate. Did you research the production you’re auditioning for?

4. Piece selection did not show contrast in period, dramatic genre, style of character. What exactly are you capable of?


1. Pronunciation or word definition errors. Did you do your research?

2. Required accompanist to transpose accompaniment. Wasn’t that a risk?

3. Asked for a second chance or special consideration. Did you read the audition packet’s rules?


1. Sang a capella. Did that show your ability to sing rhythmically and in tune?

2. Didn’t show versatility in vocal pitch, rate, volume, and quality. What happened to the interpretation of the song?

3. Too much volume. Did you think the committee was deaf or stupid?

4. Selected a piece requiring an accent which you couldn’t do.

5. Poor articulation.

6. Weak imagery.

7. Physical characterization (gestures) were weak or nonexistent.

8. Didn’t adapt blocking to the space.

9. Did not create believable and appropriate actions for your character.

10. Didn’t acknowledge the committee as “the audience.”

11. No energy, no spark.

13. Lousy self-assessment.

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