In January 2014, I auditioned for the first time in my life for “The Voice” on NBC at one of their open auditions in Chicago.  While I didn’t get passed to the the second round, I did gain some good experience that may be helpful to those looking for some insight.

***UPDATE –  February 2015:  I’m headed to Chicago for the open call on Saturday, February 21, 2015.  Are you auditioning?  Follow me on twitter: @jaygoodman72 and I’ll return the follow. ***

If you’re interested, here is a detailed recap of my experience here.  

Tip 1: If you want to audition, plan to go no matter what. Don’t base it on whether someone will go with you (unless you’re a minor, obviously).  Remember, you’re going to end up meeting like-minded people regardless.

Tip 2: If you’re 100% that you’re going to audition – go ahead and tell the world!  Facebook it, Instagram it, tweet it…. Tell all your friends…. You’re chasing a dream!  Having tons of people encouraging you feels great and you vibe off that!  Everyone knows it’s a long shot!  Carpe that diem, fool!  Feed off of it and let others join in on the fun.

Tip 3: When choosing a song, it doesn’t matter what song it is.  Don’t screw around with what you think they want to hear.  Settle on a song early and focus on that song.  Have a secondary tune – but focus on that main song.  Whatever you pick, just make sure you know it inside and out and when it’s your time – f*cking kill it! 

Tip 4: Leave yourself 1-2 hours of extra travel time.  Especially if you’re coming from long distances.  You never know what kind of traffic you’re gonna hit.  They will start with or without you.

Tip 5: Get to the audition 1 hour before.  I’m not a “sleep over night in the line” kind of guy.  An hour to 45 mins before your time is reasonable and adequate.

Tip 6: Don’t overpack!  You will not be bored.   They move you along very methodically.  I arrived around 1:15pm and finished up around 3:45pm.  Its a good idea to bring a little snack and something to drink, but lugging my whole backpack was a bit of a drag.  Best bet would have been to check my jacket (I didn’t) and have a light backpack… not my work backpack.  It wasn’t a big deal (FYI – they do check all  bags for bad stuff – i.e. guns, sharps, gasoline, etc.)  So leave your AR-15’s and razor blades at home.

Tip 7: Make sure you bring all your paperwork!! Or they will not let you audition.

Tip 8: Don’t let nerves get the best you!  Easier said then done, you say?  I say mind over matter!  If you walk into a audition totally prepared, breathe and focus on giving a great performance, nothing will stand in your way.  Keep reinforcing the piece all the way up to the last second.  Then rip it!!

Tip 9: Don’t cheapen the experience!  First, don’t make it all about getting to the show.  Second,  focus on getting out of the first round.  People will ask you which celebrity judge you’re going to pick and what you’ll do when you get famous.  Just reply with, “got to get through step 1 first!”  Don’t ever forget:  You’re doing something that a very small population could or would do.  Instead of being a bystander, you’re making it happen.  No matter the outcome, enjoy every minute of the process.  It makes it so much better.

Tip 10: Do not doubt yourself.  If you’re a good – you know it.  You don’t have to tell anyone.  They’ll tell you.  If the preceding sentence describes you, you’re exactly where you’re suppose to be.  Do what you’ve always done and you’ll be golden.