Singing/Acting Auditions How to prepare like a pro even if you arenâ€™t one yet
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Transcript of Singing/Acting Auditions How to prepare like a pro even if you arenâ€™t one yet
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- Singing/Acting Auditions How to prepare like a pro even if you arent one yet
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- Types of singing auditions 16 to 32 bars 1 complete song 2 contrasting songs (1 ballad/1 up tempo
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- Finding and Choosing the perfect Audition Song for you Like the song - this is important. Choose a song that showcases your vocal talent to the fullest - the strongest and most secure parts of your range that you can comfortably sing while nervous. Make sure it is age appropriate for the age you project. Choose a song that is positive in nature.
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- Finding/Choosing a song (continued) If you only have 16 bars stay away from narrative or story songs (Sondheim and Schwartz are 2 of the biggest). Avoid songs with repetitious melody lines. Think twice about signature songs (those tied to a specific star performer). Pick a song of a similar style to the one you are auditioning for.
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- The Pianist/Accompanist This person can make you look good or bad. So common courtsey Dont choose an overly complicated arrangement (Sondheim, Bernstein, Weill, Shire, and Brown). Make sure all the print is clear and easy to read nothing handwritten. Stay away from nightclub or revue arrangements with too many embellishments.
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- Parallel Songs Choose a song that has a similar feel (musically, rhythmically, and emotionally) to the show and/or part you would like to obtain. Some examples of types might be: a want song (My Own Little Corner and Somewhere thats Green) a hopeful romantic song (Someday My Prince Will Come and Someone to Watch Over Me) a show song (Me and Pirate King) a ingnue song (Happy to Keep his Dinner Warm and People Will Say Were in Love a Character/Villain song (Little Girls and When Youre Good to Mama
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- Parallel Songs (cont.) Styles Country/Western (Big River, Oklahoma) Tragedy/Historical (Cabaret, 1776) Fantasy/Fable (Pippin, Wicked) Sci-Fi (Carrie, Little Shop of Horrors) Horror (Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sweeny Todd) Gay/Drag (Avenue Q, Hairspray)
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- Parallel Songs (cont.) Teens/Children (Grease, Zombie Prom) Ethnic (Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell) Circus (Barnum, Carousel) Asian (Flower Drum Song, Hot Mikado) African American (Dreamgirls, Once on this Island) Spanish/Latino (Evita, West Side Story) Story (The Last 5 Years, Ordinary Days) Pop/Rock (Aida, Rent)
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- Parallel Marriage/Relationships (Baby, Company) Show Biz (A Chorus Line, Gypsy) European (Light in the Piazza, Gigi) British (Oliver!, The Secret Garden) Underdogs (Assassins, Hairspray)
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- Styles by decade sound 1960s Hair, Promises, Promises 1970s Applause, Pippin 1980s Chess, Les Miserables 1990s Jekyll and Hyde, Tommy 2000s The Lion King, Legally Blonde
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- Non-theatre Songs Unless you are instructed to select a song from a musical choose a song of a similar style of that musical but not from a musical (example: Audition for Big River with a country song) Piano based pop/rock artists are great sources (Billy Joel, Elton John)
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- Overused Songs Popular from Wicked My Philosophy from Charlie Brown Out Here on my Own from Fame Someone Like You from Jekyll and Hyde Take Me as I am from Rent On my Own from Les Miserables Memory from Cats
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- Some other things to consider Watch songs that are really obscure or unusual. Research composers/lyricists you enjoy. Research a performer you feel you are close to in type. Be open to lots of musical styles
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- Other song choice considerations Avoid choosing Songs where the dance is featured Production numbers Signature Songs Vogue numbers Fictional Character songs
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- Acting the Song
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- The Moment Before Why is your character compelled to say these words right now? What does the character want or expect to get by saying these lyrics? Do not wait for the musical introduction to finish before you start establishing character choices. (cue the pianist)
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- Do something Acting means doing living in the moment. Action (verbing) propells the words you say. You should play active verbs (begging, seducing, celebrating, etc). Playing verbs like remembering, thinking, telling are more difficult to translate into active choices. Dont confuse adjectives with verbs. Feelings are not actions.
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- Find Interesting Actions A great exercise for finding actions is to change the situation of your song in an improvisation. Try different approaches you may be surprised at what you find works playing around.
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- Pace your Actions Dont start your song at the highest emotional intensity youll have nowhere to go. Otherwise your characters journey will end with your opening lyric and they have no real reason to sing the rest of the song.
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- Objectives To help find out what your characters objective is, figure out what the authors purpose to writing it and placing it in the musical at that moment in the show is/was. Questions to ask yourself: What does this song accomplish for the story? What does it help the audience understand? Does the song work outside the context of the show? Why are these ideas in song instead of dialogue? Do you personally relate to the given situations?
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- Take a Journey Is there any transformation or change in your character from the beginning of your song to the end? (hopefully the answer is yes) Discovery, Incident, response question songs all need to pace the journey so it ends when the song does. Dont play the ending at the beginning of your piece dont play the results.
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- Physicality Whether you move or not is determined by the song you have selected. Ballads should not have a lot of movement up-tempo songs should have at least some. Plan this out in advance. This should not necessarily be performance movement tone it down so you still can sing.
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- Key Points Rehearse often enough that you dont have to think about what you are doing. Remind yourself of the objective. Define the moment before you start. Remind yourself of the journey/arc before you being. Allow yourself to live in the moment and take the journey for the first time.
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- Cutting your Song
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- Defining 16 bars More difficult with modern musicals AABA structure is not always used. Remember you are finding a section that is the best one for both range and lyric that has a journey/dramatic interest. This is usually not the beginning of a song but rather the climax to the end.
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- Defining 16 bars (cont.) For 70% of auditors: 30 seconds of ballads 35 seconds of up-tempo Your cut should have no extra music on the page just the measures you want played (no arrows or other road signs). This means you will have to provide/type the following info: Title- Composers Name Title of show- Musical style (jazz, ect) Tempo Markings- Key signature Musical Intro (clearly marked)
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- What will 16 bars give the auditors? Your sense of musicality Your physical appearance The power of your voice Your personality Understanding of lyrics (acting) Intonation/pitch problems Your performance presence
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- Musical Introductions Purpose to help you find your first note as well as establish your emotional beginning. Should be short dont waste precious time (or bars) on this. Types Bell Tone using 1 st pitch as your intro (Ballads) Arpeggio a rolled chord (Ballads) Open Vamp repeating phrase until you are ready (Up-Tempo) Set number of bars same phrase to always find note (Up-Tempo)
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- Ending Needs to be just as strong as beginning this is the lasting impression youll leave with your auditors. Types Extend the musical rideout Add a little music so you can hold the last note. Shorten the musical rideout If the note is too long for you to hold comfortably cut some music. Create an ending that matches your physical button lets them know you are done both musically as well as physically.
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- A Strong Button The final moment both musically and physically. Time these out so they happen at the same time. One approach figure out what the last word or phrase for the song might be that was left out and then physicalize it (eg: So there! or Whew)
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- Key Points Approaching a 16 bar audition should be the same as approaching a full song. Make sure you research and learn the full song. Have a strong beginning and ending.
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- Your Music Working with your Accompanist
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- No Loose Pages Put your music in either a 3 ring binder or mounted on cardstock/cardboard. If your music is in plastic sheets make sure they are non-glare. Many tape sheets together not the best method (older pianos dont have backboards)
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- Markings Do not have any extraneous markings (breath marks, chord symbols, ritards, etc.) you are not using in the audition. Vice versa highlight any markings you DO want the accompanist to follow.
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