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Introducing... "My WORST College Moment!"

You’ve been preparing for your college audition for months, maybe even years, and today is the day that you walk into the room, and hopefully, kick some serious butt! All auditions can be stressful, but the “college audition” is the first audition in your life that can feel more than just important – it determines where you spend the next 4 years of your life! And as much as you practice and polish those amazing songs, monologues, and dance steps, sometimes, life happens.

Everything from falling down the stairs after you rocked that high note (true story - happened to me at Baldwin Wallace!) to walking into the audition room with your brother’s math binder can happen in an instant. It’s how you deal with these unexpected moments that makes the magic happen, and so in that spirit, Polish Your Passion sat down with some of Broadway’s most talented performers and asked them…

“What was your WORST college audition moment?”

"I decided to audition for Juilliard. What the heck, right?

Now, let me be clear: I would have loved to go to Juilliard... but I never, ever, ever thought I stood a chance of actually getting in. Nonetheless, I saw it as a right of passage and dragged myself there.

Most of my other conservatory auditions only required 2 monologues, so I had prepared 3, to be safe. (At the time, Juilliard suggested having 3 or more prepared). I never thought I'd make it past the first cut to do a monologue, anyway. Imagine my shock when I'd made the first, second, and third cuts.

By the end of the day, it was just me and two other actors (both much older). After filling out medical forms (yes, they used to ask for your medical history!), I went in to do my stuff...

They had me do all 3 monologues. Then, they excitedly asked for another. I froze. Beet-red, I sheepishly told them that I hadn't actually prepared any others. Michael Kahn, the head of the Drama program at the time, leaned forward very disappointedly and said, "My dear boy, why would you prepare only the bare minimum for the biggest audition of your life?"

I had no response except to shrug and apologize, deflated. He looked down, shook his head, sat back, glanced to the lady on his right and mouthed, "He's not ready". He was right.

I suppose the "actor" moral of this story would be something along the lines of "Always be prepared!", but actually it went much deeper than that: I didn't realize my own potential.

Don't be your own worst enemy. Don't limit yourself. Push yourself the very edge of your abilities. Test your artistic boundaries. Work your butt off. Dream BIG. Because the only thing standing between you and your ultimate potential... is yourself.

Don't worry, though; the story has a happy ending! I prepared several more monologues for my next audition: Carnegie Mellon University.

I got in. "

Zachary Prince, Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas (Alex, Jack u/s), On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Davy u/s), Baby It's You. Off-Broadway: The Last Five Years (Jamie u/s) at Second Stage (dir. Jason Robert Brown). National Tour: Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli). Regional credits include: Parade (Leo Frank) at Theatre Raleigh, Into The Woods (Baker) at Kansas City Rep (dir. Moisés Kaufman), and Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik) at Portland Center Stage. Zachary has headlined with many symphony and pops orchestras, including: The Cincinnati Pops, Carolina Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra,

BFA Drama, Carnegie Mellon University.

Have an awesome "Worst College Audition" story and want to be featured? Let us know!

Caroline Selia is a NYC-based singing coach, co-founder of Polish Your Passion, and a professional singer/actor. She holds a B.F.A. in Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.M. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and has been teaching for the past 14 years, advising and coaching students through the college audition process and beyond. She loves sparkles, Audra McDonald, & emojis ;-)


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