Auditions for Musical Theatre – Your Song
As a stage manager, producer, director or director of community theatre productions, I have seen hundreds of musical theatre auditions. For amateur performers, there is a clear delineation between those who have received competent instruction and those who have not. This holds true for acting, singing, and dancing in musical theatre auditions.
Lessons are a great way to learn, especially for singers. They offer this valuable service, and bring their wider knowledge to help their clients. Vocal teachers will be able find you a piece that you are proficient in and will assist you with mastering it before you audition.
These are three tips to help you improve your audition.
Select musical theatre pieces. Although it sounds easy, too often I am forced to watch an audition for a part that is not worth my time because the actor chose a popular song. I’d rather hear a great rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” than “Hey Jude”. The Beatles are my favorite band, but the song without backing vocals or instrumentation isn’t very entertaining.
Be safe. Auditions are not the right place to attempt to reach that high ‘C’, unless you can do it consistently every day. While you want to demonstrate your talent, if you don’t know every note of a song, you should choose another instrument that you can hit every single time.
It’s time to bring it to life. Your song should be viewed as a musical monologue. You can add a character to it. You want to prove to the director that you are able sell a song.
Remember, the purpose of auditions is to showcase your best skills. Prepare, prepare, and prepare. Before you go to audition, get help from your friends and teachers.
Anne Marie Mortensen, a director, coach and theatre producer in Kingston Ontario. Bottle Tree Productions is her business partnership.