Musical audition tips can help out anyone, from professional performers to high school students! Trying out for a musical production requires different skills than a standard play or opera. If you want a leg up on your competition, read further for some insider tips for auditioning musicians.
1. Song Choice
Always choose a song that showcases your individual strengths as a singer. If you have a terrific vocal range, choose a song with a large range. If you can hold notes for long periods of time, make a choice that showcases that talent. Since your voice is auditioning for the part, make sure any song you choose has little to no instrumental introduction. You want to sing for as long as you can in front of the judges and sometimes they have time restrictions.
Sometimes audition tips for musicals don’t have to include a section about song choice because the directors require a list of certain songs. Others, however, let the performer pick their own songs. Never choose a song from the auditioning musical. Instead, choose a song from a musical similar in style.
2. Audition Appearance
Keep your clothing nice, but simple. Some of the most important audition tips for musicals include details about appearance. Women should probably wear a nice skirt that allows for easy dancing. Men can wear casual dress pants. Keep your hair off of your face and wear minimal jewelry.
Although you might be tempted to put on a lot of make-up because that’s what you do during a real performance, auditioners should keep make-up minimal as well. Also, make sure to wear the exact same outfit if you make the call-back. This will help the casting directors remember you from your first performance.
3. Prepare An Extra Song!
When you prepare for an audition you should already usually be preparing a range of repertoire to sing/dance/play along with. If on the day of the casting they ask you to bring specific songs from the ones you’ve learned just bring the whole set of music. The auditioners may change their mind or may ask you to perform more music if they are having trouble deciding.
The judges may also not want to hear your first choice, so don’t only really practice one piece! Make sure you are comfortable with at least one extra piece when going in for the audition if only to make you feel more confident. I heavily suggest being comfortable with all of the music in the audition book, because if you bring the book it’s generally assumed you know all the music.
4. Turn Off Your Phone and Take A Deep Breathe
Frantically texting, and/or receiving a phone call mid-audition is an absolute red flag to auditioners. How are you going to be a responsible, on-time, and organized member of the cast if you aren’t prepared for your audition? I know you are responsible, on-time, and organized most of the time, but first impressions matter a lot, so don’t let your phone mess it up!
I know discussing the latest episode of Ru Paul’s drag race may be important, but so is making the cut. Shut down your phone before going on stage, trust me!
5. Audition Comfort Items
Some musical auditions take hours to hear each performer. Wear comfortable clothing if you know for sure you have a few hours to wait. Then, about an hour before your audition, change into your performance clothing and warm-up. Also, make sure to bring your own water to prevent nervous dehydration and dry vocal cords.
Simply exuding confidence, dressing appropriately, and choosing the right song that you know well helps people succeed in auditions. Remember, however, musicals have a lot of competition, so even if you do your best, you might not get any part until a director sees something in you that he or she sees in no one else.
6. Go With Flow
No matter how well you study for your musical audition, you must be prepared for the unexpected and not be caught off guard. Although the casting announcement should provide all essential information, auditioners will occasionally throw you a surprise. Special abilities are sometimes necessary. Casting directors may like to see a glimpse of your comic skill if it’s a musical comedy, for example. They could invite you to make a joke or laugh your heart out. The goal is to carry out any advice without being phased by it.
It’s also crucial to keep your attitude high. Although auditions are serious, it does not mean they have to be bad. Never believe you haven’t made an impact simply because you didn’t get the job the first time you auditioned. Casting directors have great memories! They will remember your assets. You’ll very certainly run across that casting director again at future auditions, and he or she will recall whether or not you’re appropriate for future roles! So keep your head high and set a good reputation.
7. Remain Confident
If you miss a note, your voice cracks, the accompaniest is killing your vibe: relax. It’s just an audition. In the end, the results do not and will not matter. I want you to go into the audition knowing you will kill it. And if you don’t kill it, you’ll get the next one.
The auditioners and everyone around you will be able to pick up on your general mood, so if you believe in yourself, it gives the people around you a better reason to also believe you will be a good fit. Maybe you don’t think you’re a confident person… you are now. Think that enough times and you’ll end up believing it.
If all else fails, at least you learned something. Go home and reflect on the experience I think you’ll find this helpful.
8. Bonus Tip: Watch Everyone
This bonus tip isn’t something to prepare for the audition, but more something to take away from it so you can learn for next time.
The best method to learn how to audition is to watch others. During the audition process, look for opportunities to observe other artists. You’ll find yourself picking up on things you might’ve never thought of, that’s how we got most of the ideas for this list! It’s also good to attend a mock audition class. When you’re not under the stress, a classroom atmosphere allows you to pay closer and fuller attention. Classes also give the chance to get feedback, which is uncommon in working settings. Finally, you never view yourself as others do. And you will take up a lot of ideas not just from the teacher but also from everyone else in the class.
Volunteering is another great way to get immersed in auditions. Many off-Broadway plays require a variety of behind-the-scenes assistance, including assistance with the musical theatre audition process. Offer to help the director or casting director with auditions if you’re volunteering for a musical. See what it’s like to be on the other side of the table!
Conclusion on our Musical Audition Tips
Some people will tell you to follow the casting director’s directions to the T. Unfortunately, things aren’t often so simple in the world of musical theatre. It’s what the casting directors don’t tell you that will always throw you off. The above-unwritten rules apply to circumstances that aren’t covered in an audition notification.
Don’t let anything ruin your dreams, put in the effort and you’ll eventually see results. Success in a musical theatre audition, like anything else in life, comes when chance meets preparation. These eight-pointers will assist you in better preparing for that time! Use them wisely!