Enjoy Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska performance.
A jazz musician needs to know, by heart, as many standards as possible (hundreds). It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, most jazzers don’t rehearse and don’t decide on a set list in advance.
If you don’t know some of the tunes being called, then it doesn’t matter how great you play, you won’t get called back. You won’t believe how many times I’ve met musicians that consider themselves jazz musicians that can barely play ten songs without the realbook.
Photograph by Josep Tomás.
DON’T DO WHAT YOU THINK THE CASTING DIRECTOR WANTS – DO SOMETHING THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED!
Be bold. Follow your instincts and act on them. Make yourself memorable. Go against the grain and take risks!
Instead of planning your responses, allow yourself to connect naturally and act instinctively.
Show some personality in the room, the casting directors want you to be at your best, they are not against you, they brought you in because they like something about you- show them who you are. You’re not a robot…You are an incredible individual who is full of creativity and passion. Just be yourself!
Think of one thing you can bring to every audition piece that nobody else will have thought of.
Photograph by UON Library, University of Newcastle.
Have you ever found yourself at a fork in the road with your technique? A time when it feels like you’ve gone as far as you can go with your current approach, and that in order to go to the next level, you have to make a change of some kind?
Based on the relevant research findings that do exist, they put together a 5-stage model of change. Named the “Five-A Model,” it is a framework for understanding how best to refine skills in performers whose technique is already highly automatized.
Stage 1: Analysis
The first, and perhaps most important step in the process, is to ask whether a substantive change to technique is really necessary.
Is the inconsistency of our sound under pressure due to some funky bow arm technique? Or simply because we haven’t figured out how to deal more effectively with nerves? Maybe both?
Is our thumb injury due to the questionable mechanics of our playing? Or because we didn’t warm up properly? Or played way too much when we shouldn’t have?
Stage 2: Awareness
One of the great things about having done something for a long time is that we don’t have to think about the details. Complex skills can operate automatically, out of conscious awareness, at an extremely high level. You don’t have to think about what your thumb does when you shift to 5thposition any more than you think about what your mouth is doing when you eat a quesadilla. You just do it.
Stage 3: Adjustment
If Stage 2 was about making the unconscious conscious, and developing some level of comfort with the new way of doing things, Stage 3 is about flipping things. In other words, internalizing the new way, and being able to execute with greater accuracy and consistency. To the point where the oldway starts feeling awkward and the new way feels more comfortable.
Stage 4: Re-automation
So by Stage 4, we’re feeling pretty good about the new way. But, wait! We’re not done yet!
This is kind of a precarious stage, because the new way is comfortable, but isn’t really “pressure-proofed” yet. Under pressure, we’re liable to default back to our old technique. Or, we might be tempted to think too much about specific technical elements instead of executing the whole movement in a holistic way.
Stage 5: Assurance
The last stage is about building confidence and trust in our new approach. Where we practice letting go of conscious control, and prove to ourselves that our new technique has been so deeply ingrained that it works on autopilot (or reveal that it doesn’t quite yet).
Watch Edward Watson and Principal Mara Galeazzi as they take us behind-the-scenes to meet the individuals and see the effort that goes into preparing pointe shoes and footwear for each and every Royal Ballet performance.