signs it's audition season at uva
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10 Signs It's 'Audition Season' For UVA Students

As stressful and agonizing as auditioning can be, it's also a really exciting time of the semester when shows start coming together, singing groups are finalized, and artistic dreams can start to be realized.

10 Signs It's 'Audition Season' For UVA Students
Elizabeth Muratore

At the beginning of every semester, the arts community at UVA quickly whips into a frenzy over that semester's upcoming shows and concerts. Whether it's student theater, Drama department, some mix of the two (read: Virginia Players), or singing ensembles, there are always a multitude of auditions happening that require students to spend hours practicing their 32 bars of an uptempo contemporary song, or trying not to freak out about cold reads and dance combinations. It may seem like dozens of UVA students just went crazy all at once, but in reality, they're just worried about their upcoming auditions. Give them some space.

1. Every single practice room in Old Cabell is filled at all hours of the day

During prime audition weeks, it annoys me how they won't even let you use the room that's reserved solely for people who play the harp, even in these desperate times. Even despite this, I've spent up to 45 minutes perched on the benches or stairs in Old Cabell, hoping to squeeze into a practice room for 15 minutes to practice my song in peace. I sometimes start to wonder if I should just set up camp for the entire day, or build my own soundproof booth outside and practice in that instead.

2. Your singing friend has decided to drop out of classes and hydrate full-time for the next few days

Though it is certainly important to keep your vocal chords hydrated while preparing for an audition, I happen to think that people who carry around a literal gallon of water at all times are overdoing it a bit.

3. You're afraid to walk into any empty room or bathroom in Newcomb, fearing you may walk in on someone aggressively warming up

As someone who often warms up in the bathrooms of Newcomb or the Drama building before auditions, I often feel self-conscious about potentially being walked in on by a random passerby who just wanted to go to the bathroom in peace. The thing is, bathrooms have way better acoustics than most other rooms, so if you need a confidence boost about your voice before auditioning, definitely find a tiled bathroom to warm up in.

4. The bookstore and local convenience stores suddenly sell out of cough drops, tea, and honey

It seems like the more people enjoy singing and performing, the more often they get sick. Whenever I'm in any singing, performing, or auditioning context, everyone around me is toting around bags of cough drops and lamenting that the three cups of tea with honey they've had that day "aren't helping."

5. If you're auditioning, you spend hours every day refreshing Google sheets of audition signups for the show you want to do

I'm certainly guilty of procrastinating on my school work to check audition signup sheets over and over, and also to calculate the exact odds that I have of being cast in the show based on who is auditioning. Unfortunately, auditioning isn't an exact science, and though I know that I shouldn't focus too hard on everyone else auditioning, it's hard not to get up in reminding yourself of how many annoyingly talented friends you have.

6. You get used to your friends spending all of lunch talking about the seven audition songs they're deciding between

A common symptom of audition season is the utter inability to be decisive about your audition choices until the absolute last minute. One way to express these audition jitters is to talk over the same choices about audition songs, and potentially audition monologues, over and over with friends until you've completely psyched yourself out. At some point, everyone sitting around you who has nothing to do with your audition will probably be well informed about what's the right song for your higher range.

7. Your entire Facebook feed is filled with people promoting interest meetings and auditions

Half of these groups that keep popping up on your feed, you didn't even know were UVA groups. It seems like a lifetime since your Facebook friends had profile pictures that WEREN'T promoting their various extracurriculars. It also seems like as time passes, Facebook becomes less of a place to connect with people you know and more of an online bulletin board to display everything you're involved in at school.

8. You accidentally get peer-pressured into auditioning for a show or a group that you previously had no intention of auditioning for

It can be hard to resist the temptation to try out for a show or a group that everyone around you is talking about, "just for the heck of it" and "with absolutely no expectations." Of course, as soon as you start practicing an audition song, it's hard not to fantasize about having the lead in that show or a solo in your upcoming concert. Still, whether you audition for something on a whim or put every fiber of your being into that audition, it's usually best to keep those expectations as low as possible so you can stay calm.

9. When walking around Grounds, you hear a constant hum from nearby students doing lip trills between classes

One of my favorite ways to warm up quickly before an audition, or before doing more intense warm ups, is to do quiet lip trills as I walk around Grounds. I try not to disturb the peace while I do this, but I'm sure that at some point, my warm ups have not been as faint as I wanted them to be. I apologize to anyone who has questioned my sanity after they overheard me trilling my lips while walking.

10. Just when you thought auditions were over, you now hear students everywhere talking about this scary thing, "callbacks"

If you think auditions are intimidating, wait until the callback lists come out. That's when tensions are highest, when the pools of talent for various groups and shows have been whittled down to a select group of people who "are all amazingly talented" and "would fit in great with the ensemble." The best way to deal with your friends who are gearing up for callbacks is just to ignore them until it's all over, or tentatively support them from afar without putting extra pressure on them.

As stressful and agonizing as auditioning can be, it's also a really exciting time of the semester when shows start coming together, singing groups are finalized, and artistic dreams can start to be realized. Even if I'm not auditioning for a particular show or group, I sometimes get secondhand nerves from my friends who are, but then I get to firsthand congratulate them when they get into a show or group. And that means that my social calendar for the second half of the semester will be even more full of concerts and shows to attend in order to support my wonderfully talented friends.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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