PREPARING A MUSICAL THEATRE AUDITION By: Yasaman Nouri FIND AN AUDITION So let’s say you’re auditioning for the show Cinderella and you would like to audition for the role of Cinderella. How do you do it?! MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED An audition binder (containing sheet music for vocals & piano and monologues) A monologue book A song book Audition clothing Internet connection Water & honey Resume & Headshot CHOOSE YOUR SONG First, you must find out what musical you are auditioning for (this step is crucial). Next, you must research the names of the composers. For example, let’s use the show Cinderella. The composers are Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein's. They are commonly referred to as the babes of musical theatre composition. Use your internet connection to look up a list of musicals written by these composers. FUN FACT Julie Andrews and Lea Salonga have both played the role of Cinderella in Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hmCnOPYxVQ CHOOSE YOUR SONG List of Musicals Allegro Carousel Cinderella Flower Drum Song The King and I Me and Juliet Oklahoma! Pipe Dream The Sound of Music South Pacific State Fair Research music from several of the musicals and find one that is appropriate for your voice type. An investment in song books such as “Musical Theatre For Classical Singers Soprano” would come in handy. CHOOSE YOUR SONG Check your audition book and see if any of the songs you looked up are in there. If you do not have an audition book, you should start one. An audition book is a book that has sheet music for vocals and piano that you have previously practiced or have prepared with a vocal teacher. Audition books are essential for last minute auditions because you can choose and practice a song that you have already prepared beforehand. Every serious actor should have an audition book. Choosing a song written by composers that also composed the musical that you are auditioning for shows the judges that you can sing in the same style of music. NEVERS OF SONG CHOOSING NEVER sing a song from the musical that you are auditioning for unless specified by the director. If they say ‘you may if you choose to’, then don’t. DO NOT sing a song from the same musical. It is unprofessional. NEVER choose a song that makes you sound like crap. You will sound like crap and not get the role. NEVER choose a song you don’t have both sheet music for AND accompaniment. You don’t know if there will be a pianist or if they will require you to have an accompaniment. POP QUIZ! WHICH SONG IS BETTER? My New Philosophy – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Mister Snow - Carousel Glitter and Be Gay - Candide ANALYSIS TIME Once you choose the song, analyze the crap out of it. Step one: Write in your own words what every line of the song means and its subtext. Step two: Answer the following questions; Who am I? Where am I? When is it? What do I want? How will I get it? What do I need to overcome? (Stanislavski) MONOLOGUE Next, choose a monologue. Invest in a monologue book. This is equally as important as investing in a song book. Once you have chosen your monologue, begin a dissection of the piece. You can use the same questions are you did for the song analysis but it needs to be in excruciating detail for the monologue. Break it down further into beats and tactics. Know your character inside and out. Know your moment before and moment after. Know your play inside and out. Directors may ask you questions about your piece and if you don’t know, then you look like a fool and won’t get the part. AUDITION TIPS If suitable, try to act as the character you are auditioning for when singing your song. For example if you’re singing How Lovely To Be A Woman, sing it more as Cinderella, than as Kim. Remember to act when you are singing. Singing a song means nothing if you do not act and you will look like crap and not get the part. AUDITION TIPS Have a second monologue and song prepared just in case. Try to have them be contrasting pieces from your original monologue and song. Surround yourself with constant motivators. Visual motivators are the best. AUDITION CLOTHING Don’t go to an audition dressed like this girl because you’ll look like crap and won’t get the role. DRESS LIKE THEM DRESS LIKE THEM DANCE There will be a dance audition. Try to focus on learning the routine as fast as you can. If you mess up, sell it. If you look like you messed up but recover from it, that is important to them and they will be looking for that. Be sure to stretch prior to your audition. Stretching for the dance audition is just as important as warming up for your vocal audition. WEEK BEFORE THE AUDITION Avoid eating fried foods, soy foods, and dairy products. Practice your scales as well your songs and monologues, don’t neglect technique. Preview your audition to family and friends who you believe will give you beneficial criticism and advice to improve. AUDITION DAY TOMORROW! Don’t worry. You know your stuff. If at this point you don’t feel ready or don’t think you have prepared enough, don’t go to the audition because you will look like crap and then not get the part. AUDITION DAY! •Warm up vocally and physically. •If you feel it will help you, go through your pieces. •Drink plenty of water. •Consume a lot of honey. •Don’t be nervous because you know that you know your stuff. Enjoy it because you might as well! AUDITION DAY! •Do not forget your accompaniment (for the pianist and track if need be) •Do not forget your resume and headshot •Do not forget your water and honey •Do not forget your shoes for the dance audition. Break a leg and remember that hard work always pays off!