Audition Tips For Musicals (MOTOWN and More!)

Motown the Musical has announced auditions in New York and Chicago for its tour cast (which will playing the Oriental Theatre from April 22 to July 13.) This could be a wonderful opportunity for many performers who fit the criteria of the call. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer, auditioning can be a nerve-wracking experience. But it doesn’t have to be! With just two weeks before the audition, we’ve gathered some helpful tips from two of Broadway’s finest professionals (Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz and Kinky Boots producer Ken Davenport) to help prep all prospective auditioners to be their best:

1. Be the 3 Cs. “Be comfortable, charismatic and confident.  Actors have to command attention.  They have to be the most interesting people in a 1000 seat theater.  Be someone that we want to get to know.  If you can do that as yourself, I know you’ll also be able to do that in a character.” (Davenport)

2.Know something, if you can, about the role or roles for which you are auditioning, and pick appropriate material to show. “For instance, if you’re auditioning for CAROUSEL, don’t sing a rock song from RENT, and vice-versa. The same holds true for what you wear to the audition — you don’t want to come in a costume, obviously, but you want the auditioners to be able to envision you in the show. Thus, you wouldn’t wear a punk ‘streety’ outfit to an audition for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, nor look like a cheerleader if you go in for HAIR. I know these things seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider them.” (Schwartz)

3.  Your accompanist is your friend or your enemy.  You choose. “If there’s one person you really need on your side at a musical audition, it’s the guy or doll playing the piano.  Be nice, be thankful, be complimentary, and have music in the right key, in the right order, and in a book that is easy to read and easy to flip the pages.” (Davenport)

4.  Don’t try to sing beyond your range or riffing ability. “You would be surprised how many good singers decrease the effectiveness of their auditions by adding a higher note than they can hit comfortably or a riff that they are not good at, when they don’t need to do either. Know what you’re good at, and stay within it.” (Schwartz)

5.  Don’t make excuses. I don’t want to hear that you have a cold, or that you have bed-head, or that your printer is broken.  Do your best. (Davenport)

These are just some of our favorite tips for a successful audition. What are some of yours?

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