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Tony Winner
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true about the yelling monologues. A lot of time people do not realize that angry does not automatiocally mean yell


Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:59 pm
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^So right!

Honestly, I'm much more interested when the anger is suppressed...there's something much more interesting about that choice. To yell is too easy.

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:34 pm
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jazzygirlsings wrote:
^So right!

Honestly, I'm much more interested when the anger is suppressed...there's something much more interesting about that choice. To yell is too easy.


Which is true of good acting in general - don't make the easy or obvious choice. It's much more interesting when you do the what seems to be the opposite of what the script calls for. :D


Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:43 pm
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The casting process at my high school is so unfair! What can I do?

Thank you to Francois for phrasing this so succintly and politely!
Francois wrote:
Unfortunately, this is just "the way it is" in high school. Casting is usually done with a criteria of age (grade) first, talent second. That's not TOTALLY true, of course, but basically you need to be about 2-3x as talented as someone one year older then you.

As unfair as it seems when you're a Freshman, you'll understnad more when you're a Senior and you try to imagine a "whippersnapper" Freshman coming in and knocking you out of your dream role, for your last show you do there. Often for high schools, what show they even PICK for the coming year is largely based on who will be around to perform it, specifically what Seniors and Juniors.

It's called "paying your dues", and although blatantly giving a mediocre Junior preference over a superbly talented Freshman is going too far, it DOES mean that you can pretty much count on getting bigger and bigger roles every show you do, and THAT is a very nice feeling (you just have to hope that one you REALLY want to do doesn't come along too early! :) )


There are indeed several other factors involved in this process that tend to cause older students to get better roles, (such as the older students having demonstrated a good work ethic/willingness to learn/other good attributes, older students very likely having a few more years of training under their belts, etc) but Francois has phrased it pretty nicely.

Further, this is something you need to get comfortable with very quickly, because it is never going to get better! In college, community theater, and professional theater, instead of older students getting better roles, it will be the "alumni" or the people who've done lots of work with that particular company. And for many of the same reasons.

What should we learn from this?
1 - Work with and make connections with as many different schools and companies as you can.
2 - Treat every rehearsal like an audition. Because very often it is - for future shows!


Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:49 pm
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you need ot let the piece guide your emotions..not put your emotions onto the piece.

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:51 pm
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Salome wrote:
you need ot let the piece guide your emotions..not put your emotions onto the piece.


AMEN! But so many times, people just yell with no real intention behind it...

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Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:56 pm
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jazzygirlsings wrote:
Salome wrote:
you need ot let the piece guide your emotions..not put your emotions onto the piece.


AMEN! But so many times, people just yell with no real intention behind it...


And so often people yell at people they wouldn't actually yell at in real life!

If I had a nickel for every time I've seen an actor flip out inappropriately in a scene with someone who (in actual circumstances) they would deal with much more gingerly or politely...


Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:05 pm
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What song should I sing for my audition?

This is probably the most often asked question in the audition forum, I think! I am not perfect and do not believe that I can tell you EXACTLY how to pick the perfect audition song, but I can tell you a few things you need to do in order to pick a good song.

1) KNOW THE SHOW. Listen to the music and look at the music. Get an ear for what it is and what it isn't. Is it a rock musical? Jazzy? Operetta/more legit? Look at the sheet music too - you'll find there's a lot you're missing by just listening to the CD. I know I was totally surprised to see how challenging Into the Woods was after just singing along to the CD for years. The score will show you specifically what things are going on musically - whether it is things as complex as time changes or frequent accidentals, or something as simple as the vocal range of the character you're auditioning for. Recordings can be deceptive here - some singers sound like they're singing higher than they are and vice versa.
2) KNOW THE CHARACTERS. You can find their ranges by looking at the score or visiting stageagent.com, mtishows.com, or musicaltheatreaudition.com. You can also find the descriptions of them at these websites or in many other places - but you should already know what they're like from listening to the CD and reading the script.

The goal of your audition song is this: to make it as easy for the casting directors as possible to imagine you playing the role.

Therefore do not pick songs that make it HARD for the casting directors to imagine you playing the role!

You've done your research - you know the musical style of the show, the range of the character, and the personality of the character. Now you are going to find a song that is as similar to those things as possible. You're going to find a song that uses the same musical style, range, and is sung by a character with a similar personality/in a similar predicament.

To find a similar musical style: very often you can look at other musicals the same composer wrote. If you're looking for a Rodgers and Hammerstein sounding show, why not audition with something from another Rodgers and Hammerstein show? You can also look at musicals from the same time period. Eg: if you're auditioning for Crazy for You, you can be pretty sure that Hair (a musical from several decades later) is not going to be a similar musical style. To some extent, you can research the actor who played the role you want and see what other roles he/she has done - very often their roles will center around a certain vocal style. Eg: Linda Eder doesn't have Gilbert and Sullivan on her resume for a reason - it's not really her vocal style.

To find a similar range: look at sheet music. Beware of looking at "vocal selections from..." books. They're not always in their original keys. Where do you find sheet music? Your local city or universtiy library. (MaryMag has been known to go to college libraries she does not actually attend to photocopy hard to find music.) If the library doesn't have it, talk to your friendly librarians about an inter-library loan (this takes a few weeks, usually, so have extra time.) Or you can try to purchase sheet music online through www.sheetmusicplus.com or www.musicnotes.com or many other places.

To find a similar character: look at lyrics. I found (what I humbly think is) a great parallel song for Luisa in the Fantasticks by reading the lyrics from a song from Plain and Fancy. The Plain and Fancy song's lyrics sound exactly like something she'd say - something about rebelling and being bad and going out on the town cuz her love interest is not going to find her at home waiting for him, though it's clear that the girl singing it is not the Rizzo type, but the super super wholesome type who still has wholesome ideas of "rebelling." Also expand your knowledge of musical theater. Attend shows. Watch movies. Remember characters that remind you of other characters, or at least share some basic attributes - like they both get dumped or they both distrust men or they both love their daddies, etc.

Part I of MaryMag's novel on picking a song is over. You can tell I'm not getting much done at work today!


Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:16 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Post Auditions
I'm real new to the auditioning process. Should you look at the casting directors when your singing? Also, what makes for a good headshot (Black and white, color, Closed teeth smile, etc....)
Thanks!


Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Auditions
southernsweetie23 wrote:
I'm real new to the auditioning process. Should you look at the casting directors when your singing? Also, what makes for a good headshot (Black and white, color, Closed teeth smile, etc....)
Thanks!


To look at the casting directors, or to not look at the casting directors... that is the question.

Really. It is a big question. Very hotly debated. No real consensus. Therefore I think the safest route is: look just above their heads, not to the left or right of them. If there's a nice, nonthreatening and appropriate moment in the song, feel free to look at them once (if it makes sense to.)

Good headshot: professionally done. Yeah I've had many a homemade headshot but no matter what they're almost always CLEARLY homemade (usually due to bad lighting and other things.) Anyway, either bwayjuvinile or benjivaudeville (I forget which one) said these things about headshots in another thread in the social club forum:
1) taken from slightly above you, but not obviously (more flattering angle)
2) fairly straight on. No dramatic over the shoulder poses and such. Not too pose-y at all, actually. They shouldn't look like modelling shots. Cuz we're not models.
3) should look like you! CDs hate headshots that don't look like you. Who cares how great you look in it - when they're digging through the headshots to try to find you to call you back and they can't find a picture that looks like you, you'll wish you resembled your headshot more!
4) there was more... and now i've forgotten it.
As for b&w versus color, my personal opinion is that you should use b&w unless you're living in LA or NY, where it's more widely used. If I'm wrong, someone please feel free to correct me! :oops:


Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Auditions
MaryMag wrote:
southernsweetie23 wrote:
I'm real new to the auditioning process. Should you look at the casting directors when your singing? Also, what makes for a good headshot (Black and white, color, Closed teeth smile, etc....)
Thanks!


To look at the casting directors, or to not look at the casting directors... that is the question.

Really. It is a big question. Very hotly debated. No real consensus. Therefore I think the safest route is: look just above their heads, not to the left or right of them. If there's a nice, nonthreatening and appropriate moment in the song, feel free to look at them once (if it makes sense to.)

Good headshot: professionally done. Yeah I've had many a homemade headshot but no matter what they're almost always CLEARLY homemade (usually due to bad lighting and other things.) Anyway, either bwayjuvinile or benjivaudeville (I forget which one) said these things about headshots in another thread in the social club forum:
1) taken from slightly above you, but not obviously (more flattering angle)
2) fairly straight on. No dramatic over the shoulder poses and such. Not too pose-y at all, actually. They shouldn't look like modelling shots. Cuz we're not models.
3) should look like you! CDs hate headshots that don't look like you. Who cares how great you look in it - when they're digging through the headshots to try to find you to call you back and they can't find a picture that looks like you, you'll wish you resembled your headshot more!
4) there was more... and now i've forgotten it.
As for b&w versus color, my personal opinion is that you should use b&w unless you're living in LA or NY, where it's more widely used. If I'm wrong, someone please feel free to correct me! :oops:


I don't think there is any correcting you......you know too much... :-k

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Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:36 pm
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Young Hoofer
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Post Re: Auditions
MaryMag wrote:
southernsweetie23 wrote:
I'm real new to the auditioning process. Should you look at the casting directors when your singing? Also, what makes for a good headshot (Black and white, color, Closed teeth smile, etc....)
Thanks!


To look at the casting directors, or to not look at the casting directors... that is the question.

Really. It is a big question. Very hotly debated. No real consensus. Therefore I think the safest route is: look just above their heads, not to the left or right of them. If there's a nice, nonthreatening and appropriate moment in the song, feel free to look at them once (if it makes sense to.)

Good headshot: professionally done. Yeah I've had many a homemade headshot but no matter what they're almost always CLEARLY homemade (usually due to bad lighting and other things.) Anyway, either bwayjuvinile or benjivaudeville (I forget which one) said these things about headshots in another thread in the social club forum:
1) taken from slightly above you, but not obviously (more flattering angle)
2) fairly straight on. No dramatic over the shoulder poses and such. Not too pose-y at all, actually. They shouldn't look like modelling shots. Cuz we're not models.
3) should look like you! CDs hate headshots that don't look like you. Who cares how great you look in it - when they're digging through the headshots to try to find you to call you back and they can't find a picture that looks like you, you'll wish you resembled your headshot more!
4) there was more... and now i've forgotten it.
As for b&w versus color, my personal opinion is that you should use b&w unless you're living in LA or NY, where it's more widely used. If I'm wrong, someone please feel free to correct me! :oops:


Thank you so much. Very great advice!


Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:18 pm
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