Are you looking for gift ideas for that high school senior who is about to embark on their college auditions? The holidays fall right before the height of audition season, so it’s a perfect time to get them the things they need for a successful audition season!

  • Audition outfits and new dance clothes. The holidays are a perfect time to get your senior some new clothes for their college auditions, especially new dance clothes that aren’t dingy or worn from hours of dance class. For a complete guide on what to wear for your college auditions, please grab a copy of my book today! The only thing I wouldn’t suggest are buying new dance shoes specifically for your dance auditions. If you do, make sure you buy them with plenty of time to break them in before the auditions. New dance shoes can be uncomfortable and may take a while to break-in. My go-to for Dancewear and dance shoes is Dancewear Corner. They are based in Orlando, FL but they have an online store so my students from all over the country can shop there. Also, if you use discount code “TCA2020” while checking out, you will receive 15% off your order!
  • A zip-up hoodie and sweatpants. Odds are your college auditions will not all be someplace tropical – unless you’re attending The College Audition Consortium in Tampa, FL! New York and Chicago are brutally cold during audition season and having a nice zip-up hoodie or a pair of sweatpants to throw on over your audition outfit or dance clothes between your audition to stay warm is always a good idea – especially in the drafty hotel ballrooms or studios at Unifieds.
  • An audition binder. Your regular binder from voice lessons or acting class probably isn’t in the most pristine condition. This would be a good time to get a new 1”-2” three-ring binder in which you can put fresh, clean copies of your sheet music or monologues. Be sure there are inside pockets for copies of your headshots and resume (stapled).
  • A Bluetooth speaker. Several of your musical theatre auditions will require you to sing to a pre-recorded track. A clear, loud speaker is NECESSARY. Sometimes Bluetooth can be temperamental get a speaker that can also be used with an aux cord. If you have in iPhone 7 or newer, be sure to also bring your dongle/adapter so you can plug your aux cord into your phone.
  • An audition bag. You’ve got a lot to carry around. Make sure you have a nice audition bag to put it all in. I always suggest a duffle bag that also has the extra compartment for your (dance) shoes. Pro tip: consider bringing a plastic bag with you to put your wet/snow covered boots or outdoor shoes in as you change into your audition shoes to prevent a muddy mess in your bag, or near your seating area.
  • A water bottle. It’s very important to stay hydrated during your auditions! Air travel, hotels, going in-and-out of the cold weather outside can all dry your voice out terribly! Having a sturdy, refillable water bottle is the best way to combat that!
  • A personal steamer. Whenever I’m traveling with my students for auditions, I travel with my steamer that I set up right in my hotel room. Airplanes,  hotel ballrooms and hotel sleeping rooms are VERY dry places. This handy little steamer takes just a regular-sized bottle of water. I plug it in by my bed each night, and wake up feeling moisturized and ready to go!

Stocking stuffers:      

  • A compact mirror (yes, you too, boys!) It’s a good idea to be able to give that hair and makeup one last check before you go to your audition room. At unifieds you’ll be going from dance call to a singing/monologue audition sometimes with only a couple of minutes to spare, and no time to run to the bathroom to check the mirror.
  • Sugar-Free Throat Lozenges. Something to keep that throat happy! I suggest sugar-free, so they don’t make you produce as much mucus, and the voice teacher in me says never… EVER lozenges that have a numbing agent/medicine in them during your auditions. I highly recommend a throat lozenge invented by Kaitlin Hopkins, Musical Theatre Program Coordinator at Texas State University called Fontus Dry Mouth Throat Lozenges.
  • Thank You Notes and Stamps. As I discuss in my book, you will need to send thank you cards after your auditions. I always suggest writing those thank you cards at the end of each audition day, or right after your audition and popping them in the mail before you travel home. This way, the thank you note is on their desk, within a day or so of their return. A great idea when you are ordering your headshots, is to also order postcard-sized headshots that can be used to send your thank you cards without envelopes! Put your face right on their desk!
  • A small notebook. Auditioners should keep an audition notebook. This is what you will write down the names of people who were in the room that you auditioned for, which songs and monologues you did, and also job down anything that stuck out as memorable about that audition, that you can include in your thank you note later. This is also a good place to jot down any feedback they gave you, or any information about their school you might not have known before, that you might want to refer to later, possibly when you’re deciding which school’s offer to accept!

I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season, followed by a happy, healthy and successful audition season! This is what you’ve been working for, so to quote our favorite founding-father-turned-Broadway-icon: don’t throw away your SHOT!

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and Happy College Auditions!

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