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Academy of the Performing Arts: An Interview With Drew

Because so many of our students audition for local performing arts programs, we decided to put together a collection of interviews with students who’ve successfully auditioned and been accepted to various programs. We’ll start with the ultra-talented Drew, who was just accepted into Huntington Beach’s Academy of the Performing Arts (APA) as a musical theatre major for next year. Drew shares her experience about her prep work for the audition and about the audition itself and even kindly offers her email address so that perspective students can get in contact with her and ask questions.

MM: Can you outline to me what you did to help prepare for your audition? Did you feel like preparation was an important part of your success?

DD: Preparation is the key to success. Without preparing myself and rehearsing over and over again, I wouldn’t have felt confident going into the audition room. I prepared by choosing my audition songs about 3 months in advance and just practiced as much as I could. It’s quite simple.

MM: Can you describe the audition process itself? Was there anything unexpected, or did it go like you thought that it would?

DD: So there was a dance, acting, and singing audition. During the dance audition we learned a short dance routine and auditioned in groups of four. In acting and singing there were about 4 or 5 people behind the table and I auditioned with no other students in the room. During my singing audition I only sang one of my audition songs and the pianist played some notes on the piano for me to match pitch with. I was at the school for about 3 hours since there were so many people auditioning but the actual auditions only lasted about 5 minutes each. Everything went smoothly and I wasn’t surprised that I only had to sing one of the two songs I prepared.

MM: Did you find preparing for the audition, or the audition itself, to be a bigger challenge?

DD: Honestly, preparing for auditions is always easy for me. I have an extensive knowledge of musical theatre audition songs and a musical theatre repertoire book that I can use for auditions. If you don’t know what a repertoire book is, it’s a binder filled with audition songs that are in your range and are a wide variety of different types of songs. Always have classic and contemporary songs, uptempos and ballads, and comedic and dramatic. I have a few pop songs in my rep book as well because you never know when the director might call for a pop song to be sung at auditions! I also fill my rep book with an array of different monologues. And I was nervous for the audition itself but it was over in about 10 minutes and went better than I expected!

MM: Do you have any thing that you do to help you calm down before the audition, or are you one of the lucky few who don’t get nervous?

DD: I’m one of those auditioners who seems like they’re calm and confident but on the inside I’m pretty nervous. I always try to calm myself by:

  1. Taking deep breaths
  2. Drinking lots of water because being hydrated can really calm you somehow
  3. Giving yourself pep talks! You can do it!

MM: How did it feel when you found out that you got accepted?

DD: Amazing! I felt that my audition material was great and my resume and essay were written well. I couldn’t stop smiling for a week.

MM: What are you most looking forward to in attending APA?

DD: Overall just getting to be around all my friends. I have been online schooled for the past 2 years so I sadly haven’t gotten to see many of them.

MM: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

DD: If anyone is auditioning for APA like I did and needs help finding audition songs, monologues, or just needs some advice feel free to email me at drewnicoleeee@gmail.com. I always love getting to help people find the perfect audition material for them!

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