SOAR Regional Arts Audition Tips
One of the most important steps when mounting a musical is the audition round. To the dismay of some casting directors, it is quite common to hear the same song numerous times over the course of the auditions. Whole blogs and websites are inundated with “overdone” and “do-not-sing” lists. We at SOAR get asked numerous times what song would be best to sing. As stated earlier, there are numerous songs to choose from. You need to choose one that fits you the best and will show off the most ability. Additionally, Hal Leonard (music publishing company) prints an entire collection of 16 measure audition songs. With the music measures already cut down to 16 measures for you, there is no need to worry about the best place to find 16 measures of music for your audition. It is already done for you in the book. However, below is an auction expectation list and a list of songs that have been proven to be great audition songs. Good luck and please contact us if you need any help.
When you go online to schedule your audition time, make sure you have nothing else planned for that day. Ask where, when, the exact time, how long is the audition time and what you need to bring to the audition. Find out whether you’ll just be singing or if you need to prepare a monologue, if you will be reading dialogue and if you will be dancing. Generally auditions are two to three minutes long. Make sure you have a monologue that shows your strengths and is a minute in length. Your music piece should be sixteen bars of a piece that shows your range. Dance auditions are usually held separately and later after the individual auditions. If you are required to dance, bring appropriate clothes and shoes.
Acquaint yourself with the musical you’ll be auditioning for – either read the script, watch a movie or video, check the Internet, YouTube or attend the show. If you’re auditioning for summer teen intensive or summer camps, do some research as to what they’re planning for their summer schedule. Be informed. Your audition will be better if you know what part you want. You will be confident and have a better audition.
Make sure your resume is up to date and have a professional head shot (opt). Your resume should be one page and your head shot should be attached and look professional. That is the first thing a producer/director sees. Make a good impression. If you’re not sure your resume or head shots are correct – do your homework and research it. Prepare your music. Remember your song should be only 16 measures. Photo copy the piece, tape it together accordion style and make sure it is easy to read for your pianist.
Prepare a musical piece that is in your range and that you feel comfortable with. Do not prepare a piece from the show you are auditioning for unless you are asked to do so. Find something that might be similar.
DAY OF AUDITION:
BE ON TIME!!! DON’T BE LATE!!! We can’t emphasize that enough. Arrive at LEAST 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time especially if it’s an open audition. Check in, know where you are auditioning, ask where the restrooms are and where, if any, is a warm up area/green room.
Dress appropriately. Ladies – don’t dress like you are going to the club. Dress in good taste. Be comfortable in your attire so that your audition exudes confidence. Gentlemen – baggie pants, old tee shirts with brand names spilled across them and baseball hats are NOT what you should wear even if YOU feel they might be part of the “costume” you will wear for the show! Jeans are acceptable unless they are so TORN you look like you ran through a leaf shredder! Use common sense when dressing for an audition.
Come warmed up. Rise early, sip warm (not hot) water with lemon and honey, stretch, vocalize and breathe. Our bodies are stiff in the morning. Early auditions are a beast but you can conquer them with a good attitude. Avoid caffeine, dairy, energy drinks, soda and heavy foods. Tell yourself you will be great! Positive thoughts. Avoid worry! Arrive EARLY! Find a place you can warm up. Run scales, mouth exercises and other warm up techniques taught by your instructors.
PROFESSIONAL HELP FOR A GREAT AUDITION:
Look and act confident as you walk into the audition. Watch your posture. Slouching and shuffling indicates lack of self confidence. Keep your shoulders back, walk tall, head held high and step confidently into your spot. As you take your position center room, smile, address the staff with “Good Morning (Afternoon)” or “Hello” and announce your name, your musical piece you’ll audition with and/or monologue piece. Indicate to the pianist you’re ready. Take a deep breath just before you sing your first note. Begin! Don’t tap out the beat or snap your fingers for the pianist as you begin to sing. You should’ve gone over your music in the brief moments you had before your audition. Doing that in the audition is unprofessional. If for some reason the pianist doesn’t play your music exactly as you indicated or you forget your words, just breeze over it, keep going – finish with a smile and a thank you and leave with confidence. Don’t say “Stop”, berate the pianist or make excuses. Do not have gum or a throat lozenge in your mouth. Sing with expression. Don’t overdo hand or arm motions or try to dance. Don’t grab your clothes or play with your fingers or hands. Just SING. Use your technique that you have learned and do the best you can. With the monologue, keep the stage movements simple and unencumbered. Don’t try to stage the entire monologue. The producers/directors want to hear your voice, projection and interpretation of the monologue. Make sure your have TIMED your audition to the required time given. Nothing worse than going OVER the timed limit. It shows unpreparedness and can annoy the auditioners. There are others waiting.
After your audition, smile, nod head in a bow of thanks and/or say “thank you”. Indicate the pianist in a gesture of thanks then walk confidently out of the room. Quietly thank the pianist, gather your music and return to the green room to wait for call backs. Present a good attitude. Accept any part you are offered as an opportunity to grow and learn.
Study with a professional voice coach, take acting lessons and “be a sponge” – absorb the world around you and learn from each experience. Have a great audition – we hope you get the part!
Audition songs for sopranos should be reasonably challenging, in order to show off your abilities, and should also exemplify personality. This could mean singing something to which you feel you can relate. Ideally, you should be able to create a tone similar to the original but, above all, you must enjoy the song.
Audition Songs for Sopranos
1. "Better" from Legally Blonde
2. "Gimme Gimme" from Throughly Modern Millie
3. "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera
4. "Till There Was You" from The Music Man
5. "It's a Fine, Fine Line" from Avenue Q
6. "Somewhere" from West Side Story
When looking for talent, directors don’t want to hear another rendition of something they have heard many times before; you need to make sure you stand out! Alto musicians have a unique ability in music to hit high vocal ranges. Here is a listing to some audition songs for alto to perform that will help capture their musical talent.
Audition Songs for Altos:
1. "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease
2. "I Can Hear the Bells" from Hairspray
3. "Mama Who Bore Me" from Spring Awakening
4. "A Change in Me" from Beauty and the Beast
5. "Beautiful" from Carole King's Beautiful
6. "Pulled" from The Addams Family
It is important that you choose a song which not only shows off your singing voice but demonstrates your acting ability, a musical director will need to know you can sing but what is possibly most important when auditioning for a role rather than as a company member is that you can act. Choose a song which moves you, which connects with you. Look at the character who sings the song, could you play that role, does it speak to you? It is vital you research the character, where the song comes in the show, and what it is there for, why is the song sung? Below is just a sample list of songs to choose from.
Audition Songs for Tenors
1. "Maria" from West Side Story
2. "Sante Fe" from Newsies
3. "Passeggiata" from The Light in the Piazza
4. "When the Sun Goes Down" from In the Heights
5. "Oh, Is There Not One Maiden Breast" from Pirates of Penzance
6. "Why, God, Why?" from Miss Saigon
6. "I Believe" from The Book of Mormon
Long before tenors dominated the contemporary musical theatre scene, rich bass voices were widely acclaimed. Nowadays, if on some enchanted evening you need an audition song, SOAR has you covered! Here are a few overlooked audition songs for basses to consider.
Audition Songs for Basses
1. "I Wanna be a Producer" from Producers
2. "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago
3. "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Spamalot
4. "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music
5. "Pilates Dream" from Jesus Christ Superstar
6. "Coffee Shop Nights" from Curtains
Music Suggestions By Part