My nerves have been a mess since auditioning for a Nutcracker my teacher recommended me for. I freaked out because I was afraid to disappoint her. I didn't get hired, although my audition material is being kept on file by the artistic director. I feel like a complete failure.

—Loser, Hoboken, NJ


I seriously doubt the director would have said your audition materials were on file if you had "failed." More likely, you made a good impression but were not what he needed for this particular show. He could be considering you for other productions.

Meanwhile, you can calm your nerves for future auditions by shifting your attention: Don't worry about meeting your teacher's (or anyone else's) expectations. Focus on warming up, being in the moment and having fun—period! You have no control over whether you get the job, so your goal should be doing your best at the audition. Afterwards, thank the director and whoever recommended you, and then go on to the next event. As we all know, there are always other opportunities.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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