Just as all the Nutcracker madness comes to an end, summer intensive audition season begins. Whether you're looking to spend your first summer away from home or hoping to get your foot in the door at your dream company, auditioning can be a daunting process. To help you manage this anxious time of year, we've mined the Pointe archives for our best tips on the audition process—everything from researching schools to battling audition day jitters to paying for the program itself.

1. Start by researching schools. Our 2018 Summer Intensive Guide features 100s of programs and is a great place to start. Search for schools by state or country, and find information on tuition, housing and classes all in one place.

2. Develop a strategy. Think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve this year? Doing so can help you figure out which auditions to prioritize.

3. Quell your audition anxiety. If you feel paranoid that the teachers leading the audition will write you off, you're most likely overreacting. Making mistakes, having to ask a question, or not catching the director's eye does not necessarily mean you're going to be rejected. Nevertheless, auditioning is hard. These strategies, such as preparing the night before or treating the audition as a master class, can help you keep your jitters at bay.

4. If you're auditioning with an injury, speak up or look into alternative audition methods, such as a video submission. Better to let the adjudicators know about your limitations up front than to have them question your abilities.

5. You got in. Now what? If you've gotten into one school but are waitlisted for the one you really want to go to, what do you do? Navigating the admission process can be tricky. There's sometimes room to negotiate—read about your options here.

6. You didn't get in. Now what? It's not the end of the world. In fact, a failed audition can be a valuable learning experience (and a “no" this year doesn't mean you won't get in next year). In fact, your second or third choice school could actually be a better fit.

7. Make a plan to pay for it. If you've gotten into your dream program but don't know how to pay for it, consider crowdfunding, scholarships and other creative budget strategies.

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