WOW what an amazing few months it has been! We had another VERY successful musical theater camp season, enjoying the opportunity to work with a very talented and enthusiastic cast for our LEGALLY BLONDE JR. production! As the school year came to a close and in working with my private students who range from age 9 to professional adults, here are some insights I would like to share.
#1 AUDITION PREPARATION:
*Choice of song-There were some cast members who did NOT show what they could really do at the audition. They chose a song that did not show off what they could do vocally at all. I could tell they were songs that were “hip” and popular, but showed us (the production team) NOTHING! Their songs had a range of about 3 pitches, they sang it with terrible “stylization”, with no volume, clarity, or focus. Some were very nasal, which we later found out was not their real voice at all.
*Not prepared with accompaniment. We were in a setting where the internet was “iffy” at best. When you are going to an audition, BRING YOUR OWN CD, sound file, and small speaker just in case. We had a few people who did this, and the CD had not been checked, and did not work on our Cd player. Most of those auditioning wanted to use youtube, brought a phone that was dead, etc. It was very frustrating. I DEMAND to hear auditioners sing WITH accompaniment because I want to make sure they can match pitches with the accompaniment. I will NOT cast a lead who cannot show me that they can sing on pitch with the accompaniment, in the KEY it is written for. It is complicated enough to put on a show without having to change the key of a song because I have a lead who does not have the range for the part. I will just cast someone else.
*Not prepared for dance audition. I actually had a couple of people wear FLIP FLOPS to their audition! I realize this is Florida and we are near the beach, but you cannot safely dance in flip flops! Not only that, dress comfortably and look your best! After all, in an audition, you are selling the entire package, and that includes YOU! We are looking for people who really WANT to be in the show, your appearance tells us that.
*LATE!! Be on time for an audition and be prepared to stay for a while, if you want a lead role, anyway. Usually the guidelines are set out in the audition information. But sometimes, as in our case, a LOT more people show up than planned, so we went later than planed. We also had the lack of music preparation problem stated above which added at least 1 hour to the audition time, fiddling around with the internet. We had a lot of people show up late, and several who “could not” stay for line reading.
#2 AFTER CASTING MISTAKES:
*TAKE WHATEVER ROLE YOUR GET WITH A GREAT ATTITUDE!!
Story of auditioner “Ellen”. I am changing her name, but we lucked out. We only had one “casualty”. Actually I don’t think it was the cast member, but probably was this person’s parent who caused her to be dropped from the cast list. I received an email within 1 hour of posting the cast list, where this cast member who had danced well, had an average voice (good enough for ensemble), so received an ensemble role with a small speaking part. Keep in mind this was a “Junior” show which is shorter than regular show, has mostly music numbers and less lines than a full sized production. Anyway, the parent wrote that her child had “better things” to do and that it would be easy to recast her “1 line” to someone else. Guess, what? It WAS! I immediately dropped this cast member from the show, no explanation, no questions asked. I feel badly for the potential first-time cast member because this person really missed out! Our ensemble members were EXTREMELY busy the entire show, and played at least 5 different characters throughout the show. She would have had many featured dances, probably even more lines added, etc.
Do you think this person will be cast in other shows? Not mine, and if she doesn’t learn from this, not any others either. Directors usually do not cast leads unless they know the auditioner, his/her teacher or voice coach, or have had good experiences with him/her in the past. You work your way to the “top”.
#3 YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR:
What is my advice to anyone who wants to get into a QUALITY production? GET TRAINING from a QUALIFIED teacher/coach! Often they will not be the “best deal in town”, but you get what you pay for. Look at their background and follow the success of their past students. Are their students versatile and are they out there performing, getting scholarships to colleges, leads in plays and musicals, winning singing contests, etc?
I conduct an AUDITION WORKSHOPS, my last one was Aug. 12, just before the American Idol Auditions which are coming up in Orlando that same week. The beginning of the school year is a good time to brush up on your skills, since school and the theater season brings many occasions for auditions. You need to be PREPARED! I also have a voice book/DVD series available for purchase as well. See links below
Article In The Newspaper About Our Show Legally Blonde, Jr.
Summer Camp Website
Contact me if interested in a workshop near you Click Here To e Mail Ann
Ann’s Online Singing Course