Candi Witzigreuter, 20 University of Indianapolis Glassmen Color Guard, 2008-2009 How did you choose your corps? I chose to try out for the Glassmen because my high school director's son marched with them, and because of that I knew the most about them. I loved my tryout experience and immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the corps. In your experience, what's the best way to prepare for an audition? The best advice I can give is to come to the audition with strong technique. Even if the technique you learn at the tryout is different from your own, it is always good to have solid knowledge of your basics. I wouldn't spend a lot of time practicing any super cool tricks you may have done in the past, because you may not have the chance during the audition weekend to showcase them at all anyway. What can a prospective corps member expect when he/she shows up for an audition weekend? Expect to have a lot thrown at you in a short amount of time, including meeting people, learning technique, learning choreography and sleeping in a different environment than you're used to. This isn't meant to be scary, but if you come in knowing that you will learn and experience a lot, the better chance you have to absorb as much of it as possible and to stay calm throughout the entire audition process. The first time you auditioned, was the process different from what you expected it to be? I definitely expected the staff members to simply judge me based on what I knew coming into the audition and that would be the end of it. However, it's really not like that at all. The staff members will teach you throughout the entire weekend. They'll assess how well you can learn and pick up on new things in addition to your skills. That helps relieve the pressure of feeling like you need to know everything walking in the door. Were you nervous at your audition? I was extremely nervous auditioning the first time, but the way I got past it was talking to people. Realize that everyone is just as nervous as you are whether they show it or not. There is no reason why you can't be nervous together and help each other through it. Also, keep in mind that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so don't give up on yourself if you feel like you aren't the best at everything. What do you think is most important for someone to take away from the audition experience? I think the best thing to do throughout the tryout is to take in as much as possible. The best way to do this is to talk to people. Everyone there will have a love for the drum corps activity and you can learn so much from the people you talk to. Also, try to notice the things that you might be struggling with during the camp. Take note of them and figure out what you can do to improve for next time. That way you'll be able to work on those things later when you get home and de-stress from the entire experience. Any other advice? For those auditioning for color guards, don't be afraid to try all the new things the staff will teach you, even if you don't spin them perfectly the first, second, or third time you try them. Don't be shy, and definitely give it all that you've got. The last thing you want to do is go home and wish you would have done something differently. If you come into a tryout with questions about how the craziness of a drum corps season actually works, find someone who has marched before and ask him or her about it. They'll be more than happy to talk to you. It'll also help you relax and give your mind a mental break considering everything you will have learned that day. Finally, make friends. Any of the people at the audition could easily be with you all summer long, so get to know them. I met my bus seat partner at a tryout camp, of course we didn't know it then, but we are best friends now. The people you spend your summer with will have a huge impact on your marching experience, so don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and meet as many people as possible. Learn more about corps audition dates, locations and additional info.