From the road: Thoughts from the Audition Tour

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Home base: the stage at The Barns at Wolf Trap

Every fall my colleagues and I embark on an audition tour, trying to find the best emerging talent in the country. (It must be the most involved HR hiring tour of its kind!) Every year it teaches me new things, so from time to time I’ll post about the most striking discoveries.

We’ve only been on the road for a few days, only two full days of auditions under our belts. Here’s what I’ve observed so far:

  • Preparation is perhaps the only weapon we have against rampant nerves. Auditioning is a weird construct: we all recognize it. But those who do it often tend to do it well…
  • It is what it is. I get a lot of flak for embracing this saying, so let me describe the ways in which I employ it.
    • Sometimes an audition is a legitimate interview for work. Sometimes it’s an opportunity for practice, to try something new…there are many reasons to take an audition. Realize the opportunity for what it truly is, embrace it, and learn from it.
    • Things don’t have to be so difficult. Sometimes it really can be “I’m going to go in and enjoy myself.” Often it’s sufficient, both for you and the panel. Leave the expectations at the door, and let’s have some fun!
  • Every year between where I am and where I was when I was singing, I realize how little right I have to give you advice: I’m not singing anymore, and I remember viscerally how difficult it was. I do hear a lot of folks every year, and yes that gives me information on the state of the art form and that overarching view. But really, I’m in awe of the work you do, the time you put in, and your willingness to navigate the audition gauntlet over and over again. That generosity of spirit is a wonderful thing; it’s why I love working with you, and why I can truly say that I have the best job in the world.

Looking forward to hearing more of you over the coming months. Toi toi toi, al!

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