Auditions. We’ve all been there. Trying to channel your nervous energy into a productive adrenaline. Hoping to put your best foot forward. Wanting to make a great first impression. Anxiously waiting until your number is called. Finally, taking the stage for a minute or two, and giving it your best shot. Maybe you get another chance to read. Maybe even a callback. And then waiting … and waiting … and hoping and praying. Hopefully, you got the part, but more often than not, you didn’t. So, what went wrong? What, if anything, can you learn from this experience?Read More
As Casting Chair of my local community theater, I think a lot about the process of casting our shows. While the goal is always to find the ideal fit between auditioners and available roles, the reality is that we often have to compromise. Unlike Broadway, we usually don’t have the luxury of picking people who perfectly look the part, fit the age range, and have the exact vocal range suggested by the script or score. So, we make do with what we have. In a sense, casting is like fishing. We cast our line into the water by posting a carefully crafted audition notice. First, we get some “nibbles”; expressions of interest on Facebook. Then we see who we catch on audition day. Many are not “keepers,” and often we have to throw them back (gently) into the pond. But if we keep an open mind, we’ll often be pleasantly surprised by the talent we land.Read More
A number of years ago, I decided to try my hand at directing. I had been involved in community theater for several years as an actor and felt I wanted to experience the dramatic arts from another angle. I expected there to be learning curve (which there was). What I didn’t expect was how directing changed my perspective as an actor, especially when it came to auditioning.Read More
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
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
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
Whenever someone asks me for audition advice, there are two things I mention first:
Know the character and context of your audition material.
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
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 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