Given your comments from singers and CDs alike - both public and private, I shall continue discussing this craft called "the audition".
As you can see from reading comments and reading other blogs, not all professionals will agree completely on this elusive called the audition.
Ultimately, it is up to you, the singer, to discover what you DO and HOW YOU DO IT! Then, it is an acknowledgement of what is working for you - and what is not.
The craft of auditioning is ultimately to get a call back because you made a positive impression and they want to see more - and you want to book that job!
How you look, how you behave, what you DO while you are in the room - vocally, dramatically, and personally - all matter.
Being personable and pliable and accessible is KEY. Being a suck-up or a phony isn't.
Behaving with respect and professionalism shows how you respect the PROCESS. You are not there to be buddies with everybody in that room - you are there to present yourself in a professional process. Accessibility and friendly is NOT smoozing!
Often, nerves can come across as stand-offish-ness (is that a word?!?!) so knowing HOW you come across is very important.
A singer SHOULD be hired because he/she is the right singer for the job. Being hired because you are "nice" doesn't make sense. However, what DOES make sense is that the accessibility you present in the room, should show how you could work with the project. If you are accessible, personable and talented - what a concept!!
Thus, practicing the audition is key. Don't assume you can just do it if you haven't worked on it! Audition classes, mock auditions, renewal classes, and JUST PRACTICING will help immensely.
Find out what your energy evokes. Sometimes we are not aware of how we come across and we need to know this if we are going to try to get a job!
If you are booking work - congratulations! It doesn't mean you rest and not continue to discover what you can continue to finesse.
If you aren't booking work, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate what is happening.
Here are some questions I would ask and then implore you to find the answers to:
1. How is your voice? Seriously? Is your technical ability sound? Are you truly able to sing well and comfortably? Can you rely on your voice in an audition situation?
2. Do you know what your voice is capable of? Are you staying true to its ability?
3. Are you singing repertoire that shows what you do well? Or are your choices suspect?
4. Are you presenting repertoire for type and infusing it with authenticity?
5. Are you engaged in the process or do you distance yourself from it?
6. How are you being SEEN? Approachable? Phony? Distant?
7. What are your strengths? Are you engaging those and presenting them without apology?
8. What are your weaknesses? Are you aware of them? Are you clear about not bringing that into the room?
9. Do you have a clear focus and presence when you walk into an audition space? Or are you zoned out?
10. Is the "package" of you clearly visible? Headshot/resume, energy, personality, voice, type, repertoire?
11. Are you being HONEST and do you have people around you who can be honest with you in order to find your fullest potential?
These are just a few questions to begin asking yourself...You don't have control over what "they" are hiring, but if it's YOU, please be PREPARED for that!!! THAT you CAN control! Your craft is in your hands. This is key and this is ultimately the most important.
If your craft is suspect, if your presentation is beige, if your energy is "off", it will only be okay. Okay doesn't get a callback. You have to create an atmosphere of "I can do this" with authenticity. THAT you can develop and lead with.
Be real. Be authentic. Keep asking questions, keep discovering, keep developing YOU.
Remember over 80% (!!!) of our communication is NON VERBAL!!!! As artists and craftsmen if seek out knowledge by DOING and seek out those who DO and HAVE DONE to give us a sense of what we need, what we need to development, what we need to disregard and dispose of. DOING requires effort, and response.