Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 3:47 pm
Location: New York!
I'll post some rules here now, and maybe the mods can make this a sticky.
1. Wear something comfortable that flatters you. Don't wear something tight because it may constrict your breathing. Also, buy several of the same outfit that looks and feels good on you in different colors. That way, if you get a callback, it is easier to remember you.
2. DO NOT sing something from Wicked, Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie or Les Miserables. They are majorly overdone and if you sing something from those musicals, the judges will hate you. Also, don't sing anything by controversial composers (ie. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Frank Wildhorn...) Also, don't sing really complicated Sondheim stuff. If the accompanist can't play it, you won't look too good.
3. Don't wear heels, no matter how comfortable you are walking in them. They're too formal and if you trip, you'll look like an idiot.
4. If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. If you're late, don't bother going.
5. Don't dress like a slob. You want the judges to remember you, but for a good reason.
6. Sing something in your range. I've heard WAY too many people attempt to sing Think of Me or Defying Gravity and they can't sing it. Here are the ranges:
Bass- E one octave below middle C to middle C.
Baritone-G one octave below middle C to middle E.
Tenor-B one octave below middle C to middle G.
(Contr)Alto-F below middle C to D one octave above middle C.
Mezzo-A below middle C to F one octave above middle C.
Soprano-Middle C to A one octave above middle C.
This is not the limit of the ranges. You can be a soprano and go from F below middle C to G two octaves above middle C. I *think* that your range is where your voice fits best. If you can reach the A an octave above middle C but suck at it, then don't count it in your range!
7. If you mess up, keep going, make up words that work if you can (if something supposed to rhyme, and you mess up the first part, its pretty impressive if you can make the next line rhyme), but DO NOT show you messed up. In fact, just in general don't act like you think you did badly, even if you think it's humble. After you finish singing down hang your head, act as if you did what you could and have that be it. The director will not have a higher opinion of you simply because you act like what you did wasn't your best.
8. Don't sing a song from the show unless the notice or director says to. To choose a song, find a song that is similar to the type of character you're auditioning for or by the same composer. (ie. If I am auditioning for Titanic, I may use something from Nine.)
9. This is from the "Audition No-No" Thread:
Applicants who audition for admission in 2005 should not perform songs from the following musicals:
Rent, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, The Mystery of Edwin Drood or any of the mature theatre songs of Stephen Sondheim.
In his excellent book Acting Professionally, Robert Cohen suggests that an actor needs a strong personality. For him, the most undesirable quality for an actor is to be bland — a "good little boy or girl"— nice, dull and unmarketable.
Musical theatre is a frankly presentational form of theatre — generally, we do not burst into song or dance at moments of crisis. This raises the stakes for the musical theatre performer and emphasizes the need for a magnetic stage presence, a confident air and a unique personality.
These qualities should be evident in a musical theatre audition. They can transform a routine audition into a memorable one and make us eager to enroll you as a student.
The personality you project is the basis for your audition. It includes the clothes you wear, the way you introduce your material and your ability to answer questions. Even the materials you choose to perform can be revealing. But remember, please, personality is not an alien persona affected for the occasion — it is just the simple use of the characteristics that make you distinctive as a performer and a human being.
o assist you in selecting suitable songs or monologues for your audition, you may want to consider some simple guidelines. We call them the "DOs and the DON'Ts" of Musical Theatre auditions.
DO avoid overly familiar material, songs that are performed continuously. There is a wealth of material from which to choose without resorting to "Much More," "I Can't Say No," "All That Jazz," "If I Were a Bell" or "Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine." [And please be sure to check the list of songs we do not wish to hear in the coming year on the Program Auditions page.]
DO avoid songs associated primarily with particular artists. "New York, New York" is Liza's song, "Don't Rain on My Parade" is Barbra's and "Over the Rainbow" is Judy's. Comparisons are inevitable.
DO avoid the current hit from the current Broadway smash or revival. These songs are simply performed too often at auditions to work to your advantage and include numbers from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Jekyll and Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Beauty and the Beast and Aida, among others.
DO NOT present a choreographed routine. Dance skills are evaluated at the dance audition. DO, however, approach the material with a free body and move whenever appropriate. Body movement should be relaxed (not casual) and should not "illustrate" the lyrics (pointing at your head then at your watch on the words "I know now.")
DO select material suitable for youthful performers. Many students hide behind phony elderly voices and mannerisms, the characterizations that won them acclaim in the high-school play. Remember, we want to see who you are.
DO NOT attempt songs obviously created for mature characters ("I'm Still Here," "Send in the Clowns," "Fifty Percent," "Rose's Turn" and almost any Sondheim song.)
DO beware of choices that are difficult to perform under stressful conditions. Many of the patter songs ("If," "Another Hundred People," "Funny," "Giants in the Sky") are notoriously difficult and require careful coordination between pianist and singer. These songs are hard to perform without adequate rehearsal and under the naturally competitive circumstances of an audition..
DO avoid excessively emotional pieces. It is difficult to build a sentiment quickly and convincingly. In her concert appearances, the legendary Lena Horne sings the song "Stormy Weather" twice because, as she says, she has to "build up to it." And consider that selections like the transformation scene from Jekyll and Hyde without the benefit of costume, make-up and lighting are often unintentionally hilarious in the unforgiving light of an audition room.
DO NOT imitate your favorite performers. Don't moonwalk like Michael, pout like Bernadette or clutch the air like Mandy. And please don't wear a white half-mask or a lion's head.
DO NOT outstay your welcome, argue if you are cut off in mid-note, or be evasive about your head voice, chest voice, legit experience, range or dance expertise. Answer questions in a straightforward manner that expresses your individuality. "Well, I can move!" ranks as the most often heard evasion in answer to a question about previous dance training.
DO bring sheet music in the correct key and with all cuts or repetitions clearly marked. DO place your music in a binder or tape the sheets together for the benefit of the accompanist. DO speak clearly to the pianist and articulate the tempi by singing a few phrases. This is preferable to snapping your fingers or yelling "Faster," "Too fast," or "Slow Down" in the middle of "Ol' Man River" or "Corner of the Sky." And please note that if we do not feel your songs adequately represent your vocal range, we may ask you to perform some simple vocal exercises at the keyboard or present another song.
In Cincinnati only, an accompanist will be provided. Auditionees should bring sheet music in the correct key with all cuts or repetitions clearly marked. Music should be placed in a binder for the benefit of the accompanist. Taped accompaniment is not acceptable in Cincinnati.
At auditions in other cities (Atlanta, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles) auditionees should provide accompaniment on tape or CD. Sound equipment will be provided, though auditionees may elect to use their own.
In selecting a monologue, DO pick material that reflects your strengths as a performer, suits your age and demonstrates the image you wish to create. Differentiate between monologues that have literary value (good pieces of writing) and those that are dramatic (they play well). Opt for the latter.
DO select a piece that allows you to make strong acting choices. Most importantly avoid those hackneyed pieces that elicit groans from the adjudicators ("Tuna fish" from Laughing Wild, "I brushed my hair" from The Fantasticks, "Peter Pan" from 'Dentity Crisis, "Sunbonnet Sue" from Quilters and pieces from the often-performed Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, The Odd Couple, Night Luster, Nuts and Boys Life.) Avoid monologues from anthologies, and, of course, read the entire play before attempting to perform the speech. [And please be sure to check the list of monologues we do not wish to hear in the coming year on the Program Auditions page.]
DO NOT select pieces that attempt to shock with their use of bad language or obscene physical action. Auditors are never shocked but often bored! Present the material naturally, and remember that you are using the words of others in order to sell yourself. Through your choice of material and your performance behavior, show yourself to be a person of taste, confidence, sincerity and sensitivity.
DO NOT perform material written for a character significantly younger or older than you are and avoid pieces written in dialect. We want to hear your voice expressing emotion or making us laugh. Yes, you may use a chair, but no props or costumes — and if you must do "Glass Marbles" from Talking With, please DO NOT drop them on the floor!
In the following paragraphs we offer some general advice about the process of auditioning, at CCM or elsewhere. The advice may be "common-sensical," but it will help you present yourself in a mature and professional way.
DO pay attention to your personal appearance. Look your best. Dress casually but neatly in clothes that allow freedom of movement and are flattering to your physique. We suggest two "outfits"—one for the dance audition and one for the song and monologue.
Make sure your clothes are appropriate both for your personality and for the institution to which you are applying. It may be hard, but take a long, objective look at yourself in a mirror and assess what you see. Decide on your best physical presentation. If you need to lose weight or gain muscle, begin as soon as possible — but please do it safely. Visit the dentist, invest in a new hairstyle, pamper your complexion, learn the fundamentals of make-up, get in shape, start working out or jogging. Exercise your mind. Take a dance class or a yoga class or just get some sleep! Eat well and pass on the double whoppers with cheese. Present yourself as a prospective student who will be fun to teach and highly employable after graduation.
For the dance audition, invest in some basic dance wear -- an ensemble that will show your figure or physique in action. Women may wear character shoes, jazz shoes or ballet slippers, leotards, tights, dance skirts or non-bulky warm-up wear. Men may wear jazz or ballet shoes, tights, t-shirts or shorts. No-one should wear oversized sweat pants or shirts (in fact, you will be asked to remove them!) Sneakers are not recommended -- how can you do a double pirouette when your Nikes keep you nailed to the floor?
DO consider your deportment. That means the way you behave (and are seen to behave) from the moment you arrive at the audition to the moment you leave. Show that you are well prepared and have done your research about the school and the program. Ask intelligent questions, exude confidence as you enter the room, say your name with authority, answer questions in a provocative way, look your best, thank the faculty for their attention and leave with the air of a job well done. And if you are really interested in pursuing the program, write a note to the faculty on your return home. You may do a brilliant audition and ruin your chances by appearing obnoxious. If you seem to have "attitude," are a "diva" or possess an ego the size of Manhattan, you are unlikely to be accepted into a first rate program. On the other hand, you may be a good performer but slink in and out of the room, appear as confident as a Jello on the San Andreas fault and miss your chance. Find a happy medium!
For auditions in Cincinnati, please DO NOT bring taped accompaniment or sing acapella. We will not hear you without piano accompaniment. And DO NOT expect the pianist to transpose your music on sight. And, please, DO NOT ask us to watch you "lip-synch" to a pre-recorded tape of Jennifer Holliday or Barbra Streisand. Yes, both have happened in the past! For auditions in other cities, please DO bring your accompaniment on tape or CD. We will provide the sound equipment, though, of course, you are welcome to use your own.
DO be confident. Like yourself. Be proud of who you are. In short, make the faculty want to teach you. Arouse their interest through the sheer force of your personality. Dare to be different -- in other words, true to yourself.
DO ask questions about the school or the program if you wish. Remember you are auditioning the faculty, too. But how shall we say this -- keep the questions logical and to the point. Take the opportunity to talk to our current musical theatre majors— they'll be happy to give you the dirt of the school, the faculty, the classes and the productions. Just remember, the often give us feedback on the behavior of prospective students, too.
o-one can succeed in the musical theatre without skills in its three component areas. These are the areas we assess during your audition. We try to gauge your level of accomplishment in each and in all three as a whole.
But we are also looking for more than mere accomplishment. Your skills must be complemented by drive, commitment, confidence and like-ability. Your performance can be greatly enhanced by the way you present yourself -- in fact the "packaging" can transform a pleasant audition into a striking one. Your aim is simple: to convince the auditors that you are the student we most need for the success of our program.
With careful planning you can do just that. If you can audition successfully for a college program by applying these simple guidelines, you will have acquired a skill that will stand you in good stead throughout your career in musical theatre.
If you have something to contribute, please do. I'm going to post a bunch of songs that *may* be good for auditions.
*=may be overdone
No One Is Alone-Into the Woods (Sondheim)
Summertime-Porgy and Bess
How Could I Ever Know-The Secret Garden
If I Loved You-Carousel
Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye-Anything Goes
I Got Lost in His Arms-Annie Get Your Gun
This Is All Very New To Me-Plain and Fancy
In My Own Little Corner-Cinderella*
Follow Your Heart-Urinetown
The Sound of Music-The Sound of Music*
Clusters of Crocus/Come to My Garden-The Secret Garden
My White Night-The Music Man
Somewhere That's Green-Little Shop of Horrors
This Place is Mine-Phantom
I Could Have Danced All Night-My Fair Lady
Goodnight My Someone-The Music Man
Till There Was You-The Music Man
I Feel Pretty-West Side Story
Tonight-West Side Story
My Favorite Things-The Sound of Music
Glitter and Be Gay-Candide
On the Steps of the Palace-Into the Woods (Sondheim)
The Girl I Mean to Be-The Secret Garden*
Stop and See Me-Weird Romance
A Home for You-Batboy
Touchatouchatouchatouch Me-Rocky Horror
Two People in Love-Baby
Our Story Goes On-Baby
Suddenly Seymour-Little Shop of Horrors*
Far From the Home I Love-Fiddler on the Roof
Stay With Me-Into the Woods (Sondheim)
Home-Beauty and the Beast*
There's a Fine, Fine Line-Avenue Q*
They Say its Wonderful-Annie Get Your Gun
Notice Me Horton-Seussical
My Funny Valentine-Babes in Arms
It Might As Well Be Spring-State Fair*
My New Philosophy-You're A Good Man Charlie Brown *
Simple Joys of Maidenhood-Camelot
Come to Your Senses-tick...tick...BOOM!
The Lady is a Tramp-Babes in Arms
Nothing-A Chorus Line
What I Did for Love-A Chorus Line*
Johnny One Note-Babes in Arms
I Cain't Say No-Oklahoma*
Adelaide's Lament-Guys and Dolls*
Good Morning Baltimore-Hairspray*
My Strongest Suit-Aida*
I Know the Truth-Aida*
Wouldn't it Be Loverly-My Fair Lady
And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going-Dreamgirls
We Go Together-Grease*
There Are Worse Things I Could Do-Grease*
A Hundred Million Miracles-Flower Drum Song
Little Known Facts-You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
Maybe This Time-Cabaret*
Poor Sweet Baby-Snoopy
Send in the Clowns-A Little Night Music*
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered-Pal Joey
A Call from the Vatican-Nine
My Husband Makes Movies-Nine
All That Jazz-Chicago*
You Can't Get a Man with a Gun-Annie Get Your Gun
Sun In the Morning and Moon at Night-Annie Get Your Gun
I Want to Go to Hollywood-Grand Hotel
Broadway Baby-Follies (Sondheim)
I Enjoy Being a Girl-Flower Drum Song*
Don't Rain on My Parade-Funny Girl*
There's No Business Like Show Business-Annie Get Your Gun*
Hello Dolly-Hello Dolly*
Open a New Window-Mame (not sure of the range)
Dance Ten; Looks Three-A Chorus Line* (a bit inappropriate)
Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile-Annie
Where Did That Little Dog Go-Snoopy
Round Shouldered Man-The Secret Garden
Kite-You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
Suppertime-You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
Snoopy-You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
I Can Do That-A Chorus Line
Grow for Me-Little Shop of Horrors
The Girl that I Marry-Annie Get Your Gun
On the Street Where You Live-My Fair Lady*
Corner of the Sky-Pippin*
I Wanna Be a Producer-The Producers*
I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face-My Fair Lady
No More-Into the Woods (Sondheim)
I Am What I Am-La Cage Aux Folles*
Put on a Happy Face-Bye Bye Birdie*
If I Were a Rich Man-Fiddler on the Roof*
Try to Remember-The Fantasticks*
Lullaby of Broadway-42nd Street*
Man of La Mancha-Man of La Mancha
The Impossible Dream-Man of La Mancha*
Some Enchanted Evening-South Pacific
This Was Nearly Mine-South Pacific
Feed Me-Little Shop of Horrors
Old Man River-Showboat
Add if you can!
All-Star Musical Character >> Peppermint Patty from Snoopy
ALL STAR MUSICAL THEME SONG-Hurry Up Face from Snoopy
Last edited by My_New_Philosophy on Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:54 pm, edited 25 times in total.