Own the audition, plain and simple! But how do you do that?

March 1, 2009

In my career I’ve auditioned for a huge variety of jobs, from Broadway to TV/film to commercials to the Rockettes to even stunt work. Over the years, I can think of several stories of audition experiences that were amazing and some that were complete disasters. Out of all of those stories, one experience sticks out more than the rest. CHICAGO, the movie, had auditions and I was dying to go. I knew the auditions were coming up from the gossip around town, so I called my agent to ask her more information about it. She told me it was going to be a very “private, invitation only” audition and that she didn’t think she would be able to get me in. She told me that only people that had previously worked with Rob Marshall (the director) would be invited. I was crushed and couldn’t believe it! I was so devastated I didn’t know what to do. The audition wasn’t for a couple days and I remember going through several emotions of giving up then fighting back. Well, the morning of the audition, I decided that “NO” was not an option. I was going to take charge and make it happen no matter what I had to do. I called my agent and asked her where the audition was. I told her that I was going anyway and I would figure out a way to get into the audition. So I got ready in 10 minutes, frantically throwing crap all over my apartment, and ran out the door.

As I walked into the audition, I looked around at all of the familiar faces I had seen over the years. Very popular Broadway people that had several shows on their resumes, to famous TV/film stars. I took a deep breath and walked over to the casting guy. Still to this day I have no idea what I said to him or how I got him to put my name on the list! Sometimes when you believe in yourself so much and have true confidence in what you are saying and what you can do, people believe you and take a chance on you.


So, I watch him put MY NAME on the list. I am exhilarated! I am Woman, Hear Me Roar! Long story short, I ended up booking the job! That job was one of the best experiences of my life. I often think about that decision to make it happen for myself, and am so thankful that I did.

Here are some points to help you in your next audition:

  1. Know as much information as you can about the job you are auditioning for and dress the part. Looking like a ballerina when you are going to a hip hop audition probably isn’t going to help you get the job.
  2. Be present and focused in the room. Try not to get distracted by your nerves. Stand where you can be seen. Listen to corrections carefully. So many times, getting the job is as simple as following direction.
  3. Network yourself as a dancer. Take class from as many teachers and choreographers as you can. Don’t get stuck taking class from the same people. I have gotten several jobs by walking into the audition and realizing that I know the choreographer because I had taken class from him/her.
  4. Have fun and be yourself! Have confidence and go for it! You have nothing to lose.

Happy Auditioning!


Sisters and former Rockettes,
Joey Dowling and Jacki Ford
are popular performers, choreographers, convention faculty and owners of the new dancewear line, Jo+Jax