SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Salt Lake singers will get an opportunity to change their lives on Aug. 21 when many residents will audition for American Idol.

Idol hopefuls will be vying for spots on the virtual audition phase of Idol Across America. For many, they may find themselves belting it out for Idol judges having never auditioned before. Local professional vocalist and coach Valura Arnold wants auditioners to realize there are many things you can do to make the audition process much more successful.

“Use every audition as a learning experience. Go into it with the idea that this is not a decisive judgment as to whether you are a competent singer/performer but instead with the concept that this will be a fun EXPERIENCE,” Arnold encourages. “You will meet new people and learn something from them. It will be a moment to remember. The fact that you are stepping into the ring and taking this chance is a “win” already.”

It is important to treat auditions professionally, even if you haven’t performed in a professional setting before. Auditions are like a job interview for a talent, you are showing what you know about that talent and the level of your dedication to learning more.  Arnold offers these tips and tricks to keep in mind when auditioning for Idol or any other opportunity.

Important parts of a vocal audition:

  • Remember you are auditioning from the moment you walk in. How you present yourself and the confidence you exude are key. Your confidence should come from your preparation.
  • Announce yourself and tell your story with energy and clarity.
  • When you sing, imagine that you are in front of an audience and create the emotion that you want them to feel.
  • Have fun – it will change your audition completely. Your pitches, breath, space, and tonality will all be better when you are enjoying the process.

Important things to remember:

  • Be prepared – Practice your song until you can sing it in your sleep.
  • Pick a song that shows your strongest skills.
  • Listen to and learn from performers you emulate.
  • Take lessons or coaching from someone who is qualified to teach. Be teachable – coaches want you to succeed so trust their guidance.

Prepare your environment for best virtual results:

  • Setting up your environment for success is key but you don’t need expensive equipment. The judges want to see and hear you and your talents. DO NOT USE ELECTRONICS TO “FIX” ANYTHING.
  • These days smartphones have comparable cameras and voice recorders to other more expensive recording equipment. 
  • Make sure you are well-lit. Don’t put windows behind you or have shadows hiding your face.
  • Stand in front of a blank wall if possible. You can even just hang a sheet over a wall for the audition. 
  • Ring lights offer great inexpensive lighting options – ask around most likely someone you know has one you could borrow.
  • Make sure that you have a quiet place – no dogs, friends, kids, etc. in the background.
  • Check your recording device and make sure the microphone isn’t covered or otherwise making the result muffled.
  • Be sure to place yourself in the center of the screen and use the three-quarter rule (show yourself from about the hips up) so judges can see your face but also read some of your body language. 
  • Practice the entire process a few times before the actual audition.

Set yourself apart:

  • Be unique but not extreme. Be yourself, What makes you YOU? Extreme appearance doesn’t impress as much as a unique confident personality.
  • Don’t pick the first verse of a song – pick the portion of the song that shows your range, dexterity, ability to express emotion, and the use of head and mix belt voice. Show them as many features as you can.
  • Make it your own – they aren’t looking for cookie-cutter karaoke. Ask yourself “How can I make the awesome Ariana Grande song unique and a little different?”

In addition to all the above remember:

  • Your audition begins as you walk in the door – or in this case they open the virtual audition room.
  • Come prepared – don’t make any excuses.
  • Exude confidence – because you are prepared.
  • If something does go awry don’t get flustered handle it and move on or act like you meant for it to happen. 

The show is holding virtual auditions all across the United States during the Idol Across America campaign. Utahns can sign up for a coveted August 21 spot on the American Idol Audition Page.