The 24 hours before an audition or a performance are a unique kind of hell for musicians. Do you cram in some final practice? Do you sleep late and stay away from your instrument?
There’s no single formula for everyone, but here’s the advice I use before any important performance or audition:
- Avoid social media. To get in a good mental place, I avoid using social media for at least a day before my performance. I believe that you have to be a little selfish before auditions, and that includes not wasting any mental or emotional energy on social media.
- Pamper yourself. Self-care plays a huge role in my pre-audition routine. I stock up on magazines, do a face mask, cue my Netflix watch list, and enjoy a nice meal before going to sleep early so I can wake up refreshed and reinvigorated.
- Play as little as possible. Personally, I don’t play much the day before an audition. I do 5-10 minutes of long tones, then I hit any problem spots in my repertoire. I prioritize musical and mental preparation in my normal practice routine, and I rarely practice for more than 30 minutes the day before major performances. I’ve found that the longer I practice the day before important auditions just leads to a greater likelihood of psyching myself out or creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
- Prepare for the audition day. I lay out my audition outfit, make sure my clarinet case is ready to go, check to see that I have all my music, and gather everything in one place. Make sure you know where the audition is, where you will park, and any other relevant information. Do every little bit you can do to ensure your audition day runs as smoothly as possible.
- Don’t stray too far from your routine. If you’re a caffeine addict like I am, now’s not the time to quit. If you don’t eat large breakfasts in the morning, make sure you don’t start now. Avoid any major life changes before auditions so you remain physically and mentally prepared to play your best.
- Embrace your emotions. I’ve got bad news for you – if you want to be a musician, you better get used to dealing with the awkward day before performances and auditions. Nerves are normal, and so is self-crippling doubt, exuberant joy, and any other infinite spectrum of emotions. Hopefully you’ll have many more performances in your future, so experiment to see what works best for you in the final hours before your auditions.
What do you do the day before your audition? Leave a comment below!
Here are a few other articles I’ve written to help you prepare for your next audition: