The most outrageous thing I was asked to do at my Cirque du Soleil audition was to learn four different combinations in four different styles, and then improvise to three different songs—all in just a few hours. It was difficult to completely change my train of thought and motion so many times in a single audition. —Allison Ulrich, cast member in Cirque du Soleil's Viva ELVIS
Lesson learned: Stay focused on what is given to you at a specific moment and don’t get distracted by what has already happened.
A few summers ago I flew to NYC for New York City Dance Alliance Nationals. About an hour after I landed I got a call for an audition for West Side Story. I didn’t have time to run back to my hotel and get my headshots, sheet music or heels—I only had dance clothes, so I was just going to go without everything else in order to make it on time. When my agent called, I was told there would be no singing that day, just dancing (which is good because I’m not the best singer!). I got through all the dance cuts that day and when I thought it was over they asked me and two other girls to stay and sing. So I decided to channel my alter ego: a pop star. My former teacher Denise Wall told me if I didn’t have a song prepared, I should sing in a different voice because it would be better than my serious one. I sang “All That Jazz” like Britney Spears. The folks running the audition had no idea what to do with me. I ended up getting another callback though! —Jamie Goodwin, "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 3
Lesson learned: Become a triple threat! Take acting and voice lessons and add to your skill set by taking classes in other disciplines.
From top to bottom photos by Julie Aucoin; Courtesy Jamie Goodwin