We've all been there. (If you haven't, you will be soon.) That fateful moment when you decide to try a new hair style, a new salon, or maybe just a box dye that was on sale at Target.
Five minutes after following through with this decision, you look in the mirror. You're instantly reminded of that scene in Harry Potter when Hermione tries to rectify her buck teeth and everything goes terribly wrong. (You don't remember that scene? Well, it resonated with me.) You tell yourself that it's not that bad, it just needs getting used to. Then you go home, and your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/doorman/neighbor/friend/crazy lady on the front stoop isn't particularly supportive. And then you remember that you have a headshot appointment in two days. Or you're meeting a casting director at a seminar on Thursday. Or your agent calls to tell you you got a callback. And you think, "What have I DONE?"
The moral: never change your hair before an important life event. This rule applies to non-theatrical situations too: weddings, start of a new job, first day of school, etc.
In this industry, that means you're free to try something new in January or August, the only predictably slow months. And do not tempt fate because you have "nothing on the horizon." Spielberg will call you personally for a screen test, you mark my words. God has a wicked sense of humor.
In that same vein, never, ever change your audition song while waiting to go into the audition room. I have made this mistake numerous times, and it has never once worked out. Consider me the guinea pig in this experiment. Or, if you're Christian, I'm Jesus Christ. I have sacrificed so you don't have to. You're welcome.
When I get an audition these days, I jot down all the pertinent information and make a note of what to sing and what to wear. I choose the first appropriate song and outfit that comes to mind as quickly as possible. I've learned to trust my instincts and not to over-think.
Over-thinking is exactly what you're going to be doing outside the audition room. You'll be sizing up the other talent, thinking "What have I got that they haven't got?" Your confidence is dripping away, and soon you will begin to second guess yourself. Inwardly or outwardly, you will start to panic.
Giving in to that panic and self doubt is like an alcoholic taking that first drink. Don't go down that road! You're fierce. You will not win if you try to compete with everybody else-- if you try to belt higher than her, do more turns than him, whatever. The only way you move forward is to do great work and bring the best of your abilities into the room. So stick with what you knew was solid when you were safe and secure at home. Operate from that place. Go into that room and be the best YOU that you can be.