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READ ME before you ask for audition help 
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Broadway Legend
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Post READ ME before you ask for audition help
I know I enjoy helping other people with audition stuff when I'm able to, but it seems as if the same questions get posted again and again. So I'm posting just some general audition and preparation rules that you MUST follow.

This information is from the website: If you have other questions about acting in general, go to this website!


Get the book. Either buy the book or get it from your local library. If your library does not have this book, then ask the librarian for assistance in getting it through an inter-library program.

You should be completely informed before attending an audition. If you have any questions about audition procedures, contact the auditors, or producer or whoever is listed as a contact.

Research the show(s) for which you plan to audition. Choose the roles that are appropriate for your type and your singing abilities. Not everyone is suited to be the lead. Many actors earn excellent livings filling supporting roles.

If the show already exists and has been recorded for the mass market on video, CD, film, get a recording and listen to the songs. Note which characters best fit your type and singing ability.

When you have a good idea of which character or characters you might be suited to cast, seek out songs from similar musicals that have characters with similar traits as those you think suit you in the show being cast. The songs from those similar musicals will be the material you prepare for your audition.

At the initial audition, it is generally not a good idea to sing a song from the show being cast. If you do sing a song from the show being cast, you run the risk that the character you choose to audition for might not fit the vision the auditor has for that character, and you could be eliminated for that role. The auditor might not envision you in a different role either, so you will be out of the running for other roles as well.

Choose selections from the songs that showcase your range and vocal abilities. Choose songs that can be "acted," not just "sung." In musical theatre, the songs are part of the story. The songs might be used to reveal plot, develop character, reveal subtext, create conflict, or any number of theatrical intentions. The songs are like dialog set to music. Get sheet music in your key. This is provided to the accompanist.

The exception to this is if the auditors require that performers sing a song from the show. For instance, they might only be auditioning for one role in the show. Perhaps they are seeking a replacement for a lead or a supporting role. In that case, the auditors are looking for just the right person to sing the songs that one, specific character will sing. So they are apt to require performers to sing only a song for that specific character.

If you receive a callback, you will likely be asked to perform a song from the actual show being cast. If possible, it is also a good idea to become familiar with the music for the show being cast. You should do the same "acting" work on the show song as well.

When you enter for your audition, greet the accompanist. Give your music to the accompanist, in the correct order, beginning with the selection you will sing first.

Introduce yourself to the auditors. State your name and the title of the selection or selections you will perform. Do not give any background info about yourself or your selections. The auditors will likely already be familiar with the songs and the shows they come from. They will already have your résumé (of course you brought several copies and several photos to the audition,) so they do not need background info about you.

The accompanist will likely give you a starting pitch before each selection. Focus on the pitch then begin singing. The accompanist will follow your lead.

Avoid most hand gestures unless absolutely necessary. Use your eyes, face and voice to express your characters intentions and subtext.

Professional auditors will be able to size up your abilities within the first few measures. Give a strong start and a straightforward, honest performance.

When done with your audition, thank the accompanist and exit.

If called back, be prepared to sing a song from the show being cast. Callback is usually a day or so after the initial audition date. To make it easier for the auditors to remember you, wear the same clothes, hairstyle, and make-up you wore at the initial audition.

Always be prompt, patient and pleasant.

I think these are good general rules, yet there are quite a few more that I'll add later.

*Edit Aimee* There is also this thread too. Cheers: ... ht=#676302

Last edited by MaryMag on Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:04 pm
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MaryMag had mentioned the book "How to Audition for Musical Theatre" and I was a big dork and posted:

^The book you mentioned is excellent...It's by Fred Silver.

I just realized last night when I was going through my books that it was actually by a person with the last name of Oliver...but Fred Silver's book, "Auditioning for the Musical Theatre" is also excellent!

The other books I recommended were DEFINITELY "Audition" by Michael is the BIBLE of musical theatre auditioning!

I also mentioned a book by Darren Cohen called "The Complete Professional Audition", which is also excellent!

Last edited by jazzygirlsings on Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:43 am
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jazzygirlsings wrote:
But the BIBLE of all musical theatre audition books that should be read and re-read is "Audition" by Michael Shurtleff...If you own no other book on auditioning, you should own this one!!!!

Yes. I actually found that book at my local library. So to all you auditioners, check your local library for books on auditioning! Or, if your library doesn't have this one, I almost always see it or something like it on the Barnes and Noble shelves.

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:35 am
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^You can also find copies on or google the Drama Book Shop in NYC and they can mail it to you.

But, without a doubt, it is a MUST HAVE book on auditioning...A lot of it can actually be applied to community theatre/college auditions as well.

Going back to "The Complete Professional Audition" book, one of the tools I found most helpful were the examples of "parallel" songs. That means, songs that are very similar in style/intent that are sung by characters from shows other than those that you are auditioning for...

A good example (if I can remember this right) was:
Sarah Brown- Guys & Dolls "I'll Know"
Marian Paroo- The Music Man "My White Knight"

I find that a lot of people are asking the question "What Should I Sing?" a lot...Understanding and knowing even basic repertoire and knowing how to spot a parallel song is an extremely valuable skill as an auditioner...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:45 am
Tony Winner
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Just to throw a spanner in the works :P (my job)

If everyone buys this, won't they all be doing the same thing?

Currently: U/S Tony in Billy Elliot, West End and DVD
Previous: U/S Galahad, Bedevere, Lancelot in Spamalot, West End
South Pacific at Barbican and UK Tour
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, West End

Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:17 pm
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^No...because HOPEFULLY they'll be smart enough to be able to use the books as tools and not use the songs/acting material in the books word for word, which is a warning that all of these books make in the first chapter...

It helps the actor to be able to identify for him/herself what a parallel song is by doing a bit of research. None of these books "spoon feed" you the answers, they simply point you in the right direction.

"Audition" is a brilliant book for so many reasons...It helps you to ask yourself more questions about the monologues you are currently doing to help them be more interesting. It is written by someone who has worked extremely closely with the top people in the business and is very insightful. It tells you a lot about the business, how you present yourself in an audition, what the casting directors are looking for, how to handle multiple audition appointments if you are running late, what to wear, songs and monologues that are overdone, what to look for when searching for a monologue, attitudes, etc.

There is a reason it is so respected among people in the business as a good guide to auditioning...

If you are lazy and stupid, then yes, you will be part of the idiots that use the monologues and songs straight from the book...but since most of the industry has read the book, you'll be pretty transparent...

As for the other books mentioned, that goes for them as well...

Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:12 pm
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Thanks so much for the advice. I'm totally getting "Audition" now. Now if only I could get my parents to buy it for me........


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Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:25 pm
Fresh Face
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Whoever sugested Audition, I bout it yesterday and am about half way through it and is the best investment I've ever made. Thanks so much!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:22 pm
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onemusicalmaniac wrote:
Whoever sugested Audition, I bout it yesterday and am about half way through it and is the best investment I've ever made. Thanks so much!

I'm so glad you like it! :)

It is one of those books that you will read and then re-read. You will DEFINITELY get good use out of it!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:41 am
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I'm auditioning for [name of show], is there a part for me in it?
I'm auditioning for [name of character], what is his/her vocal range?
If you need a brief synopsis of a show, including the characters in it, those characters' specific ranges, and their age ranges, this site has it. I took a look at this site's advice concerning musical auditions and monologues, however, and their advice actually was not too good...
On the left side of the screen, it says 'search for' and has an empty box. Put in the name of the show and click go. Doesn?t always have specific vocal ranges, rarely has age ranges.

This site will probably answer your Q's before you even need to ask them.
Here you will find questions and answers on everything from general audition advice, to somewhat specific vocal technique advice, to suggestions for songs to sing for specific musical auditions. I know I found about 1,000 suggestions for songs to sing at an Into the Woods audition.

Last edited by MaryMag on Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:20 am
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I just mentioned another excellent source book for finding monologues/scenes...

It's called "The Ultimate Scene and Monologue Source Book" and you can find it on amazon. It doesn't give you the entire monologue, but points you in the right direction.

It gives you a background about the play, the age of the character, the type of monologue (comedic or dramatic) and the beginning and ending line of the monologue. I've found some great ones because of this book! I highly recommend it!

Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:04 pm
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For your own good, please do not use any of these songs or monologues at your audition.
These are a few of the most overdone songs and monologues. There are many reasons why you shouldn't do frequently done songs/monologues. First and foremost, the casting directors won't listen. They'll be bored and perhaps even irritated. Don't you guys ever get bored and irritated at open auditions when you hear "Popular" or "Think of Me" sung 50 times? Think how these poor director feel. Using an overdone song/monologue may also make you look amateur-ish, like you only know the very well-known pieces and aren't that knowledgeable or aren't willing to do extra work and research.

The most overdone audition songs according to ... songs.html
On My Own from Les Miserables
Adelaide's Lament from Guys and Dolls
Memory from Cats
I Hate Men from Kiss Me Kate
All That Jazz from Chicago
Wash That Man... from South Pacific
Can't Help Lovin'... from Show Boat
Big Spender from Sweet Charity
You Can Always... from City of Angels
Shy from Once Upon a Mattress
Tomorrow from Annie
I Enjoy Being A Girl from Flower Drum Song
Broadway Baby, Hard Hearted Hannah, Hit Me With a Hot Note from Follies
Surrey With The Fringe On Top & I Can't Say No from Oklahoma
They Call the Wind Mariah from Paint Your Wagon
Corner of the Sky from Pippin
Summertime from Porgy & Bess
The Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera
Hero & Let's Hear It For The Boy from Footloose
Seasons of Love from Rent
Big Spender from Sweet Charity
I Get a Kick Out of You
Miss Bird
Embracable You
New York, New York
Any show that the company you are auditioning for has done in the last five years.
Whatever the "Hot New Musical" is... right now it's Wicked
The Sound of Music
A Chorus Line
My Fair Lady
Jekyll & Hyde
Little Shop of Horrors
The Fantastiks
Les Miserables
Phantom of the Opera
Almost everything by Andrew Lloyd Webber

The most overdone monologues, according to ... ogues.html
"You Shouldn't Need Someone That Much" from This Boy's Life
The Peter Pan monologue by Christopher Durang
And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little - the squashed puppy speech
Brighton Beach - Eugene's monologue
Butterflies are Free - Jill Tanner's speech
Chapter Two - Jenny's "I'm worth it.." speech
Fantasticks - Luisa's speech into song "Much More"
Durang - Tuna fish monologues
Tea and Sympathy - Tom
Whiskey - "Tiny had been tackled by guys..."
Woolgatherer - death of the whooping cranes
Zoo Story - "Jerry and the dog"
Romantic Comedy - marshmallow through the nose
Say Goodnight, Gracie - chunky turkey soup
SPLIT - Stevie Wonder speech
STAR SPANGLED GIRL - Sophie's "Mr. Cornell" speech
HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES - All Bunny and Banana speeches; Ronnie's tap nce speech
I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER - Gene's final monologue
IT'S CALLED THE SUGAR PLUM - Infamous "Strudel Doe-Strudel Dough"
KENNEDY'S CHILDREN - the sex goddess speech
KNOCK, KNOCK - St. Joan walking on water speech
LAKEBOAT - jock who wanted to dance
LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS - "humping Charlotte Korman"
LONE STAR - the Grand Canyon speech
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS - trying to get out of the wedding
MATCHMAKER - Cornelius' monologue
MASS APPEAL - dead goldfish speech
NOURISH THE BEAST - orphan speech
Glass Menagerie -Tom or Jim monologues, or Amanda's jonquil speech
Girl's Guide to Chaos - dating speech
Wall of Water - last cigarette monologue
Taking With - 15 Minutes
Lone Star - Roy's Edith Ellen monologue
Romantic Comedy - Marshmallow monologue
Quilters - Sunbonnet Sue
Shadow Box - Beverly
King Lear - Edmond
Love Minus - If Actors go to Hell monologue
Laundry and Bourbon
A-My Name is Alice or any of its sequels
Key Exchange
Beyond Therapy
Brighton Beach memoirs
Hold Me
I Hate Hamlet
Little Footsteps
If I Only had a Brain
House of Blue Leaves
Star Spangled Girl
Baby with the Bathwater
Fifth of July
Boys Life
Heidi Chronicles

Last edited by MaryMag on Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:14 am
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