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Tips on attending a Poetry Audition with Confidence.

  • Prepare your poetry audition piece(s). Rehearse them as you much as you can. Work on them with a coach, director or other knowledgeable Poetry colleagues. Be as confident with the piece as you would a role you were performing. Work on them outside of the context of an upcoming audition. Work on them in front of people. Don’t wait until the night before your audition to search for, memorize and rehearse an audition piece! Practice, practice, practice!


  • Search and Research. Finding the perfect audition piece is probably the most difficult task of all. Take the time to find a piece that speaks to you; that you like and identify with. (see #5 below), ask fellow poets their opinions. Gather two to five possibilities (i.e. Poetry pieces) and ask friends and colleagues what they think.


  • Pick ideas from around you. It is perfectly okay to use a new poet that the judges/auditors have not heard before. But you can also pick a piece or ideas from an old poem. When rehearsing your piece, make one to three clear, distinct acting choices and commit to them fully. When in doubt, simplify.

  • Keep the blocking in your piece simple as well. When in doubt, simplify. Show the judges/auditors what they ask for. If the judges/auditors give you a choice of presenting one or two pieces, choose to do one and do the funny one. Give that one piece the same amount of preparation you would give two pieces.


  • Work to keep your audition pieces at one minute long. Usually the audition will have a time limit. Do not go over that limit. It’s best to keep your audition a couple minutes long if they don’t specify the limit. 2-3 minutes long is long enough for a complete audition and short enough to keep it interesting. Remember not to go to far under or over the time limit.


  • Enter the room with confidence. If hands are offered, shake them. Look the judges/auditors in the eyes during introductions if there are any. Introduce yourself and let them know what piece(s) you are doing. Then let them know which of the pieces you will be performing first. Remember to smile and show off your confidence.

  • Pause, glance at something other than the judegs/auditors or other people. (Glance at wall, empty chair, etc.) Try not to stare down the floor. Take a second (one second) to take a breath, focus your thoughts and communicate to the judges/auditors that you are beginning. Jump into your character with all your ability and passion. Transform into the character in a heartbeat. Commit one hundred percent. This is the most important half second in your audition. Practice it. If you want to be impressive, be impressive here. Continue with confidence if you make a mistake. All poets stumble once in a while. Pause if you have to, but do not berate yourself, or stomp your foot or leave character. Do not break the flow.


  • Pause for a beat if you missed your line and have to go back . Go back and continue like nothing happened. Do not expect the judges/auditors to applaud for you, if they do, make sure to smile and at least nod.

  • Do not ever take it personally if you are not selected or called back.They may not have been looking for someone who talks like you, or perhaps acts like you.

  • Congratulate yourself and other poets after the audition, successful or not.It is one of the most difficult parts of the competition.

  • Be polite and understanding to the judges/auditors and act the part and like yourself as well!Wish your fellow poets good luck, but don’t forget yourself. Make friends with the other poets and applaud them as well.

Culled and modified from http://www.wikihow.com/Audition-with-Confidence


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