Putting together your summer reading list? I’d like to extend an invitation to you to join our MusicalSingers Broadway Book Club.
While I’ll be posting reviews of various books in my library, I thought it might be fun to collaborate with you! This summer, we’ll be reading through a few highly recommended books addressing musical auditions, vocal freedom, characterization, time management, personal success, and dream casting. We’ll be taking approximately two weeks per book and discussing/commenting in our book forums.
Our first book will be Get The Callback by Jonathan Flom.
(Click to purchase)
All great auditions require preparation and practice, but what’s the secret to securing a callback? What are the best ways to prepare for that pivotal moment? Once you’re in front of the casting director, what does it take to make the most out of your moment in the spotlight?
In this second edition of Get the Callback: The Art of Auditioning for Musical Theatre, Jonathan Flom provides practical advice on the many facets of preparation, including selection of songs and monologues to suit your voice and the audition, organizing and arranging your music, working with the accompanist, and presenting yourself to the casting team. The book gives a detailed description of the actual audition performance and even offers advice on how non-dancers can survive a dance audition. (more…)
Having been in multiple musical training programs and classes, I can tell you that the most common bit of advice I have heard from college professors, musical directors, casting directors, and fellow performers is this: GET A VOCAL COACH.
Prior to the first day of an audition prep class at Collin College, my fellow students and I were asked to bring a prepared audition song to present at our first meeting. I quickly looked through my book and decided on “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl. I wanted a song that could show off my belt, along with my personality, and needed something I could sing in my sleep. Since I knew the song forward and backward, I anticipated wowing my classmates and volunteered relatively quickly to take my turn. (more…)
For one week before and one week after the launch of the new MusicalSingers.com, we conducted a survey to learn more about you, the rockin’ singers of the musical world. Part of the purpose of this site is to build community. To find encouragement in knowing you’re not alone in this journey to accomplish your dreams! So here’s a cross section of you, our readers, where you’re from, what your struggles are, and who you’d like to hear from most.
If we boiled the results down into a “reader profile,” it would look like this: Our average reader is a either in college or holding an advanced degree and working in regional theatre across the United States.
As far as challenges facing musical singers, here’s how you weighed in with the topics presented:
Finding audition music, auditions, and marketing yourself were at the top of the list. For audition topics, be sure to check frequently the “auditions” tab in our category list above. To find audition music, there are great sites such as MusicNotes.com, SheetMusicPlus.com, and PianoTrax.com. If you need help picking a song that fits your range, the show, and the character you’re auditioning for, or just have general auditions questions, post a question in our Auditions Forums here and our MusicalSingers tribe will rally to help you out!
Another hot topic (more…)
Sick before the show? Too tired for the audition? Got the winter blues? Broadway pros provide an expert guide that everyone can use to stay in top vocal and physical health.
The first and most important rule is to try to stay as well rested as you can. Getting fewer than eight hours of sleep a night makes you and your immune system far more vulnerable to any bugs that come along. Try to fit in those extra zzzs, especially before a big performance or audition. Keep in mind, too, that there is no such thing as paying off a sleep debt; one night of twelve hours of sleep after three nights of four will only serve to disorient your body. Keep it as consistent as you can, nap when you can, and keep those cords happy. ~Liz Caplan
Read the full article on Playbill.com by Michael Gioia
Welcome to the new MusicalSingers.com.
Created to equip and encourage all vocalists—from those preparing for their first audition to the seasoned Broadway professional. Here you’ll find resources supporting all aspects of singing, including audition techniques, tips, music sources and opportunities, vocal coaching and instruction, interviews with legends in the field, proven plans to build your personal brand and market your unique talent, and practical suggestions for your overall wellness.
Use the buttons above to browse articles in their respective categories, or use our search function to find articles specific to your needs. Can’t find what your looking for or need specific advice? Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, suggestions or new resources to better equip the musical theatre performer.
We hope you enjoy the site, and check back often as we’ll be adding new content weekly!
Want to be a guest contributor or advertiser? Contact us here.
Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers Recommended on Amazon.com – talks about breath management, posture, laryngeal functions, resonance, nasals and consonants, vibrato, registration, healthy singing, pedagogy issues, and performance concerns.
The Contemporary Singer: Elements of Vocal Technique (Berklee Guide) – If you’re singing in contemporary musicals with pop/rock score, this book could help.
For a long list of books: SHOP at Amazon.com: Helpful Books on Voice, Singing, etc
Head voice, chest voice
Vocal coach Yvonne DeBandi includes details and diagrams in her advice posted online. “….When addressed with the question, ‘Should I sing this in my chest voice or head voice?’ my answer is always the same: sing the note. My coaching goals include teaching the student to balance all of the vocal components to achieve the best sound….” See her whole article at Should I Sing This with a Head Voice or Chest Voice? article from vocalists.org.uk
From another article on Using Your Full Range: When there’s a song you’re working on, decide what you want your voice to express. Is it tender and intimate? Is it aggressive? The lower end of your chest voice has more warmth and more bass tones-it tends to sound sexier, more vulnerable or personal. . . .As you work up toward the higher end of chest, the sound becomes more urgent, more intense.
Tone and Emotion
Breathing for singers
Performance: Staying Present in the Moment
The Inner Game of Music Excerpt: “When you pay more attention to how you feel as you are doing something, it heightens your sensitivity to the feedback you are receiving. This increased sensitivity helps you to learn more rapidly and allows you to adjust your performance to help you achieve your goal…” p. 27
A Practical Handbook for the Actor Inside Flap Copy: 6 working actors describe their methods and philosophies of the theater. All have worked with playwright David Mamet at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.
Casting Directors have the option to release Breakdowns to actors and receive submissions directly from them. Actors Access is where actors can view those Breakdowns and submit to them.
Actors Access is also an important tool for maintaining actors profiles by uploading and maintaining headshots, updating their resume, adding new skills and attributes, managing performance videos, and more, all online.
Our goal is to encourage and equip you to become the best musical performer you can be by providing a comprehensive set of resources to assist you in your personal endeavors and professional career.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- “I have an audition coming up but have no idea what to sing.”
- “I’d love to be in a long-running musical someday, but my voice isn’t strong enough to sustain multiple nights worth of shows.”
- “I’ve done some community theatre but am ready to take my career to the next level.”
- “Living life in the theatre scene is so draining. Sometimes I feel like I’m all alone in the rat race.”
- “My resume is strong and I have great skill, but I’m having trouble marketing myself to new casting directors.”
- “I’d love for someone to make some recommendations on what kinds of music I should be singing for my voice type and character.”
- “I’ve got a college audition coming up. Any tips?”
- “It’s been a while since I’ve been actively singing. What can I do to make myself competitive again?”
- “Can someone help me find a good vocal coach for my location and my budget?”
If these have crossed your mind, then you are in the right place!
Hi, I’m Holly, curator and contributor to MusicalSingers.com. As a lifelong vocalist and musical theatre performer, believe me—I’ve had moments when I’ve asked many of those same questions. The resources to assist us through these issues are endless—but not always readily available and accessible. Here at MusicalSingers.com, we’re putting the best answers at your fingertips: vocal training, audition tips, coaches and instructors, sheet music, audition opportunities, wellness guides, and more along with pertinent interviews from top industry professionals. And if you have questions that aren’t answered on-site, give us a shout. We’ll find it!
Thanks for visiting us today. For tips and strategies on how to best prepare for the work you love or to build and sustain a performance career, enter your email address below and click “sign me up.”
MusicalSingers.com was created to equip and encourage all vocalists—from those preparing for their first audition to the seasoned Broadway professional. Here you’ll find resources supporting all aspects of singing, including audition techniques, tips, music sources and opportunities, vocal coaching and instruction, interviews with legends in the field, proven plans to build your personal brand and market your unique talent, and practical suggestions for your overall wellness. Feel free to look around and contact us with any questions, comments, suggestions or new resources to better equip the musical theatre performer.
Joe Mantello spoke about auditions with Carol de Giere during a backstage interview at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City. The award-winning director helmed the hit Broadway musical Wicked, the Assassins revival, and many other shows.
Carol de Giere: What’s the biggest mistake people make during auditions?
Joe Mantello: I think the biggest mistake people make in the room is not being relaxed. What I’ve learned being a director, which I didn’t know as an actor, is generally a person walks into the room, and they’re in the zone of what we’re looking for or not. And quite often the best person doesn’t get the part.
I always tell every young actor that I know, try to be a reader. Come in and watch auditions, because when you’re on the other side of it, you see fantastic actors come in and not get the part because they’re two years too old, or they’re too tall, or any number of reasons. I always encourage people to come in with the attitude of: This is what I would do if I played the role. This is what I bring to the table. I hope you like it. If you don’t, see you next time.
Too often I see actors trying to second guess what the team or the writer or the director are looking for, and so they are not really in their skin, they are projecting something else. They need to walk in and go, “Hello, how are you?” And win confidence sort of saying this is my take on the role at this point, do you have any adjustments? And sometimes if I see a person is great and they’re going off in another direction, I’ll give them an adjustment and see if they take it. (more…)