Audition Attire: Tips for Looking Your Best This Audition Season!
by Christie Connolley
You have taken the time to learn and perfect your arias….. coached the language and musicality…. examined the dramatic context and character’s motivation, but have you taken the time to perfect your attire to complete your presentation? Attention ladies, this can be one element that is woefully overlooked. Hopefully, these tips can put you on the right track for success this audition season!
1. Honey, you are not a member of the wedding party… this is an AUDITION!
Do not show up in your taffeta evening gown or bedazzled cocktail dress. Any piece that presents excessive amounts of sequins, rhinestones, and/or tulle will not dazzle the audition panel, but could end up reflecting so much excess florescent lighting that it sends them into a downward spiral that ends in a stroke. Do you want to be responsible for that?
2. This is not your temp job!
You probably have a whole section in your closet designated to office and professional attire. But beware – this is not the occasion to break out your coral colored, Hillary Clinton inspired pantsuit. Matchy, matchy monochromatic ensembles just scream Golden Girls and often look and feel restrictive. You will not be able to embody Carmen with three inch thick shoulder pads impeding your sexy body language and it may instead send you into a Lucia type mad scene. Which, no matter how convincing… is the wrong Fach, so no job for you!
3. You are not Carrie Bradshaw!
Which brings us to the topic of footwear. In real life, I love super high heels! I have hundreds of pairs of shoes that are strappy, hip, open toed, four inches, five inches, platform, double platform and beyond. However, an audition is not your opportunity to work the runway in your Manolo Blahniks. Instead, channel the more modest and practical Miranda Priestly. Wear a lower heel that allows you to move with comfort and ease, but still with style! For those of you with lingering questions on open-toe styles, that is a whole other Oprah, see that article here!
4. I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly…
Audition season alone, should not be the catalyst for you to get your undergarments in order. But if your mother never sat you down to impart this valuable advice, please allow me to break it into subsections for you.
A. Get your puppies up and out there! Not in a vulgar way, but in an Anna Netrebko kind of way. A good fitting bra is invaluable to your silhouette and makes your clothes fit and look better. Get thee to Nordstrom’s or Victoria’s Secret (or some badass local spot that doesn’t mistreat their employees) for a proper fitting!
B. Spanx are the key to happiness, do not resist. These little tubes of wonder are forgiving when the scale is not, they conceal unflattering figure flaws and help us look our best. PS – Word on the street is Pavarotti wore a man girdle or ace bandages to aid in his breathing, although it is clear this did not work miracles for his figure, in your case it will be a win- win!
C. Pantyhose – we all hate them, despise them actually, but they present a more polished look. I resisted over and over again, but finally couldn’t handle being marked down in juries any more for failure to wear them. So just comply!
D. VPL (Visible Panty Line) – This is what separates us from the women who shop for clothing at Walmart. Well, this and the pervasive use of polyester. Conceal your panty line by either wearing a cut (thong, g-string, what have you) that will not betray your undergarments or conceal them with the use of the aforementioned item in 4.B – yes, in addition to making you look slimmer, helping your appoggio breathing, Spanx will keep your undergarments under wraps. Seriously, they should give me a couple free pairs for all this promotion.
5. Maybe it’s Maybelline….
This is not the time to try out all the makeup techniques you learned on the pageant circuit. You don’t want to look like the Glamour Shot you did in high school, but actually like the real you! You can probably pump up the volume a little bit, maybe make stronger make-up choices, particularly for the eyes. You could probably do bigger hair – not Ms. Texas big, but a little volumizer couldn’t hurt. The one hard and fast rule in this category is by any means necessary keep the hair out of your eyes. This is not a Justin Bieber look-alike contest, so pin it up or spray it back.
6. Your uniform
You should dedicate some time and money to cultivate your ‘audition uniform’. Your uniform should be assembled using all the tips given thus far and should flatter you (break out the color wheel) and reflect your personal style. Personally, I have three ‘audition uniforms’, each styled from the best suited undergarments to the accessories to the matching coat and scarf, should the weather demand. Each style differs depending on the role for which I am auditioning. After all, I wouldn’t wear the same dress to audition for both Delila and Principessa. So be aware of the nuances of the characters of your Fach and plan accordingly. When it is time to audition, this is one less thing you have to worry about because your ‘uniforms’ will be clean and ironed in your closet, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
7. Never underestimate the power of a good tailor…. that is all.
There are so many things outside of our control at an audition, from the accompanist butchering your aria, to the terrible lighting, to the hour and half you spent waiting because they were behind schedule, to all the bitchy sopranos playing headgames in the waiting room. But the way you present yourself and the impression you make is one thing that is within your control and will give you a fighting chance this audition season! So strap on your Louboutins (the three inch and under ones anyway) and go show them what you got!
Christie Connolley is one of the founders and directors of Operagasm.com. You can learn more about Christie under the ‘About Us’ tab on the top of the page. Christie welcomes you to comment on her article or email her privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.