So, to pick up where we were on the last post....the first part of the mental game I referred to was:
A. The preparation of the audition - (those aspects outside of technique, languages, memorization, etc.) - in other words, getting yourself to the best state of mind for your audition or auditions.
I am sure that you can point out things that you do to prepare yourself for auditions, competitions, etc. and I would love to hear from you what some of those might be. In the meantime, here are some of mine:
1. Think of the audition as a performance, an end result in itself, not the means to an end. Too often, we treat auditions like sporting events, as though we're being judged in a diving competition. While to some extent this is true, the reality is that most of us do much better performing than auditioning (I know I did!) Therefore, get yourself to a frame of mind that equates to performance, and as an adjunct, think about preparing to please yourself, first and foremost.
2. Make a mental checklist of things that you want to accomplish in the upcoming audition. Often, all we think about in an audition is "am going to win/am I going to get hired? While, of course, this is true on one level, it is also true that you should have a list of things you want to do better each time you audition. Sing a particular phrase more expressively, have better breath control on a certain aria, use your body better to express character, etc. If you can leave an audition having checked some of those things off, you will feel successful, and feel mentally prepared for the next challenge.
3. Think like a baseball player. OK, I know this one sounds strange, but I always found it useful. A baseball player is considered highly successful if he bats .300. There are a number of players who have nicely successful careers who bat .250. What this means is that for every time ten times they go to home plate to bat they are only successful between 2 and 3 times. Imagine if it was defined the other way around - that they were defined by the 7 times they weren't successful. Yet, this is what we as singers do - feel like failures every time we don't succeed! Try this as you look at your next group of upcoming auditions - the average success rate for opera auditions is probably closer to 1 or 2 per 10 auditions. Think of your auditions in groups and realize that there will be some misses, but the successes will come, and that a .200 average is pretty darn good!