Alyssa Lambert, 20 Arizona State University The Academy Color Guard 2008-2011 What do you think is important in choosing which corps to audition for? There are always the issues of location and affordability to consider, but I think it is extremely important to do further research into the drum corps you're interested in. Knowing the values, goals, and culture of the corps will help you know what to expect during your audition experience. How do you like to prepare for an audition? Before the auditions, I try to work out more often and get in shape. I also try to practice equipment basics a few times a week. What was your experience like the first time you auditioned for a corps? I was a 16-year-old, awkwardly shy kid when I first tried out for the Academy. I went in feeling totally under-qualified to be part of a color guard with so many people that were way more experienced than me. I was terrified. When I actually got to the audition, I realized that everyone there wanted me to be successful. Veteran members (vets) went out of their way to help when we were given time to go over basics and choreography. They didn't judge me like I had anticipated. The staff didn't just throw exercises at us expecting it to be perfect; they made sure that we had enough information to succeed. Even though I was really nervous, I ended up having a great time and learning a lot. What advice would you give to somebody who is nervous or unsure about auditioning? It's natural to be nervous, so don't use it as an excuse to not audition. Marching in a drum corps is way too rewarding to throw away just because you are nervous. No matter the outcome of your audition, you still walk away with skills that can help you as a performer or better prepare you for next year's auditions. Any other tips? Don't be afraid to ask questions. You paid to go to these auditions and devoted an entire weekend to be there, so try to get as much as possible out of your experience. Talk to vets about what it's like to be a member. If you don't understand an exercise or part of the choreography, ask for help. Always ask the staff if there's anything you can work to improve before the next time they see you, then go home and improve it. You might as well start getting to know people at auditions, because these may be the people who you'll be with all summer. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.