Please welcome the awesome Crystal Collier, author of Moonless! She will discuss how auditioning for a stage play relates to publishing. Thank you for coming over here, Crystal!
Have you ever auditioned for a musical, movie or play? Step with me behind the curtain…
You’ve carefully prepared two dynamic 30 to 45 second musical numbers—meaning they show opposite extremes of your vocal prowess—a soft, tender love song, and a character piece to be belted or draw laughs. You carry the accompaniment on a CD or digital device, unless you’re lucky enough to have a live accompanist. Heart pounding, you mentally review the words and accompanying blocking (physical movement) of your one to two minute monologue while waiting in a crowded lobby full of people who you’re certain are a hundred times more talented than you.
Your name is called.
You step through a door and stop in front of a panel of judges, typically three, who lean with glazed eyes and bored-to-death frowns on a long table, tapping a pen or finger against your audition application. Right at this instant you know they’re making a decision, yes, no, or maybe.
Gathering up your nerves you grin, introduce yourself with a flare, and perform!
You’ve done it! One of the judges is even smiling back at you. Maybe all three are. That’s a good sign—especially if they sat up straight or started scribbling crazy notes while you were performing.
You bow, thank them for their time, and step out on shaky knees, hoping against hope you’ll receive a call back in two weeks to dry read the script and be tested in your desired role. Then you spend those weeks agonizing over how well you did or didn’t do.
Awesome, right? Freaky too. The point is, you can’t accomplish anything unless you’ve adequately prepared and put your neck on the chopping block. The judges aren’t going to publically humiliate you, but your critics will—if you’re cast and aren’t ready.
That’s pretty much how I feel about publishing. You throw your best in front of critique partners and editors, work like a maniac to implement their suggestions, then put your best foot forward and wait to see how the judges, your audience, will react. It’s terrifying, exhilarating, and a darn good reason to each cheese.
Have you auditioned before? Published anything?