Audition Advice From DS Models Michaela Sprague and Meredith Miles

The February issue of DS is all about auditions: how to nail them, tips for keeping your makeup in place and what to wear to stand out in a crowd. Michaela Sprague, a 21-year-old hip-hop and commercial dancer and Meredith Miles, 20-year-old ballet and musical theater dancer, are two of the models showing off audition fashions in the issue (p. 32). Currently, Michaela dances with Siren Assassins and Meredith is in the new Twyla Tharp Broadway musical, "Come Fly Michaela DSAway." But between jobs, these busy ladies each audition several times a week. DS caught up with them to get their audition advice--they're experts after all!
Dance Spirit: How do you prepare for an audition?
Michaela Sprague: I read about the project and what they're looking for so I know what type of outfit to bring. I give myself enough time so that I'm not stressed out, and have copies of my headshot and resumé printed. And if the audition notice says that I have to freestyle, I want to be mentally ready to do that.

Meredith DSMeredith Miles: I make sure I have enough time to sit before I go in to pull my thoughts together and do some last-minute mental coaching. I cannot feel rushed at all.

DS: How do you get your body ready?
MS: I always have a good breakfast and bring a snack with me, like a protein bar. And I try to make sure that I go to bed at a reasonable time the night before. I have a cup of coffee and listen to something high energy on my iPod on the way there.
MM: I definitely try to get in a ballet class, at least barre, before I go. The more calm I can make myself in the morning with the ballet class, the more confident I feel going into the room.

DS: What do you bring to the audition?
MS: If it's a hip-hop audition I bring sneakers and a pair of heels. I want to make sure I have extra shoes in case there's something I didn't know about. You never want to be the one girl with sneakers when it was a heels call.

MM: You never know what you'll do in the room. So the more you bring in terms of shoes and outfit choices, the more you can offer and the better your chances of booking the job.

DS: When you're in the audition room, what are you thinking about?
MS: Getting the style. If there's a choreographer showing the combination, I make sure I'm picking it up the way they're doing it. Also, having presence so that people will want to watch you. I try to have some personality and be polite and friendly.

MM: I'm very calm when I go into the audition room. I go in with the attitude that I'm going to do my absolute best and be totally confident about what I give. After the choreography leaves my body, it's out of my hands. It's up to the choreographer to say, 'Yes, this girl fits.'"

DS: What do you do after an audition?
MS: I try not to go over it in my head too much because you can think about it 50 times and still not know if you got the job or not. I move on to the next thing.

MM: I try to hit up another dance class. The more I'm in the classroom, the more I can discover about myself.

DS: Do you have any other audition advice?
MS: The best preparation for an audition is taking class because it keeps your brain working and helps you pick up choreography more quickly.

Work on your technique, your character and your acting skills. You don't know what door is going to open, but if you prepare yourself you'll be ready for it when it does.
Michaela (top) and Meredith (bottom) model audition looks.

Photos by Erin Baiano

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