I need an audition song!

I need an audition song!

We’ve all had that thought come in our head, right? An audition comes up and our standard “go-to” songs aren’t going to work, or they’re asking for something specific that you just don’t have. Time to freak out and cancel your audition...just kidding.

Hopefully this blog will help. As I’m thinking about auditioning for a few things and trying to figure out audition material, I thought I would jot down some of my thoughts.  These are things I’ve learned over the years through success and more importantly, failure in picking songs. Hope it helps!

A piece of general advice: make sure you’re prepared First step in that is to make sure you've practiced it with an accompanist/voice teacher etc. You need to know if it’s really difficult to play, if what you have in your mind as the intro actually matches what’s on the page, how to explain the tempo to the accompanist so you sound like you know what you’re talking about. If you don’t know, ask someone who accompanies auditions, and ask them if anything needs to be written on the page that would be helpful for a sight reader. Preparation is the key to doing well and not sweating the small details.

Read More

Tips to Help Your Audition at Unifieds

Tips to Help Your Audition at Unifieds

Unifieds. For those who have endured through these audition sessions, I tip my hat to you. It’s a stressful and hectic process which proves to be more fruitless than successful. But there are those times when the stars align that a unified audition goes so well, an offer of admission is made.

These are rare but I’ve seen them happen. More often, a student will come in, give a strong audition and that will at the very least, put them on our radar as a strong candidate for admission later on. Then there’s the flip side, when we see a student give a lackluster audition that disqualifies them from consideration. It doesn’t happen in the majority, but it does happen.

While there isn’t a sure-fire blueprint for success to get into every school you audition for, there are definitely things you can do to help your chances in that room.

Read More

Sometimes Your Accompanist Sucks (and what to do if that happens)

Sometimes Your Accompanist Sucks (and what to do if that happens)

Recently, I attended a college audition session where there was constant issues with the accompanist. While they were certainly trying their best, they just weren’t skilled enough to be able to play an audition session at this level. And because of this, it had a negative impact on the students auditioning that day. Each person after the next had some issues; whether it was rhythms, key signature, every student seemed to be off when singing their selections.

Over the course of your performing career, this is going to happen to you. While the majority of accompanists are fantastic, talented and helpful, there will be some who can torpedo your audition with their lack of skill.

Read More

BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

BFA Auditions: Do You Have Another Monologue? You'd Better

Whenever someone asks me for audition advice, there are two things I mention first:

  1. Know the character and context of your audition material.

  2. Have multiple pieces ready to go.

The first is pretty obvious. It doesn’t matter what monologue or song you’re auditioning with. Know exactly who that character is and what is going on in that moment of the text.

But the second is something you might be surprised more auditionees, especially college bound students, don’t know about.

Read More

5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table

I have been involved with theater fairly consistently since I was 10. In those resulting 16.5 years, I have appeared in musicals and plays as an actor, played drums in the pit, worked front of house, ran the sound board and done vocal coaching. But in January of 2016 I got the chance to assistant direct a production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which I also liberally co-adapted from the original G&S libretto. It was a wonderful experience, a chance to pull back the curtain and see the process of putting on a show from a totally different angle.

From giving notes to running some rehearsals, I was able to be involved in nearly every moment in our show. Being an assistant director (or working on the creative team of a musical) will make me a better performer the next time I step on stage and having been a performer absolutely made me a better assistant director. But the place my insights will be the most helpful happened while watching and judging auditions for the first time.

Read More

Lying On Your Resume Never Works, So Why Are People Still Doing It?

Lying On Your Resume Never Works, So Why Are People Still Doing It?

Lying on your theatrical resume may have worked before the internet and social media, but it amazes me that today, people still do it. For such a small item, it's something that could get you cut from an audition more than your talent, because if you're dishonest about your experience, what else are you being dishonest about? How trustworthy are you if you were cast? Directors don't have time or patience to deal with these questions, so they'll cut you and move on. Even worse,  it's something that can ruin your reputation, which will never be repaired. 

Read More

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Last year I sat in on an audition for an upcoming community theatre production of Oklahoma. I was friends with the director and he wanted some feedback on how they run their auditions and organize their talent pools. 

As auditions began, something stood out to me. Depending on the role they were auditioning for, every man sang either "Kansas City" or "People Will Say We're in Love". Every woman who auditioned sang either "Out of My Dreams" or "The Farmer and the Cowman". There were even a couple of "I Can't Say No" and "Lonely Room" auditions thrown in as well. 

Read More

10 Songs I Never Mind Hearing At Auditions

10 Songs I Never Mind Hearing At Auditions

There are so many lists warning you what songs you shouldn't audition with, I thought I'd switch things up and list a few that I'm always glad to hear. Songs not to avoid. But this is just to get your mind going. The best audition song highlights the things you do best, better than others. That's going to be different for every person.

Read More

"You suck... She's prettier... You suck... You're not talented": The Destructive Inner Dialogue of an Actor

"You suck... She's prettier... You suck... You're not talented": The Destructive Inner Dialogue of an Actor

Over the last year, I've auditioned for at least ten projects. Out of all those auditions, I booked half, an unusually good ratio for me, but then again, I'm not in a super competitive area like NYC. No matter what city you're in though, auditions where you don't get the part start to take a toll on your self-esteem. Your thoughts begin to turn for the worst, and sound something like this: "You were terrible. Of course they didn't give you a callback (part, auditions, etc.)! You'll never make it in this field. Dad was right... I should take advantage of my English degree." And it goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. You're killing your chances with your negative BS, and I'm here to tell you why you probably didn't get the part:

Read More