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Audition Tips for Musicals

Strengthen your theatre auditions with tips included here from director Joe Mantello and others, helpful books, and more.

Books on How to Audition | Audition Tips for Musicals - Interviews with Experts | FAQs and more Tips | Song Selection tips| Workshops | Musical Audition Sheet Music


Auditioning for Musicals

Audition tips book Rock the AuditionRock the Audition - How to Prepare for and Get Cast in Rock Musicals

Comes with a DVD!

This book published in 2011 focuses on auditioning for "rock" musicals, such as Rent, Godspell, Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar, and so many others. The author, herself a performer, helps you figure out how to plan your audition.

She gives tips on practical things like parts to use or cut, find the best arrangement, and communicating with your pianist.

But beyond that she also advises on your performance as it communicates the feeling and message of the song or musical. Do you know how you will create a dramatic arc with the song or act it? Found out how in this 224 page book by Sheri Sanders.


Audition tips get the callbackGet the Callback: The Art of Auditioning for Musical Theatre

This audition tips book, published in 2009, is current and practical. The author provides detailed suggestions on a range of topics from building a repertoire book to putting together a resume. He also walks the readers through an audition, and covers call backs. Appendixes include a sample repertoire list and genre lists for song selection. By Jonathan Flom, 162 pages.

Book Cover: "The Complete Professional Audition: A Commonsense Guide To Auditioning For Plays And Musicals"The Complete Professional Audition: A Commonsense Guide To Auditioning For Plays And Musicals 11.53. Published in June 2005.

By Michael Perilstein with Darren Cohen. Practical advice for auditions, including: choosing material, rehearsing, warming up, staying calm, standing out in a crowd, understanding casting, avoiding pitfalls, following up, getting the right headshot and resume, and accepting an offer. Includes appendices of recommended songs and monologues for auditions.

"Auditioning for the Musical Theatre" book cover.Auditioning for the Musical Theatre by Fred Silver. "One of the country's leading musical audition coaches prepares you to get the parts you want." Includes an 18-page compendium of audition songs suggestions at the end with notes about why the songs work. Talks about how to act a song (don't just stand there), what to sing and how to sing it, stage fright, working with pianist, etc, etc. Great value at $10.36

"How to Audition for the Musical Theatre" book coverHow to Audition for the Musical Theatre: A Step-By-Step Guide to Effective Preparation (Career Development Book)

Auditioning for any role

The classic book of audition advice: Michael Shurtleff's Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to...


Start with advice from the Monologue detective Prudence Wright Holmes. Monologue Mastery: How to Find and Perform the Perfect Monologue (Book)

Audition Tips for Musical Theatre Performers - Special to this site

Audition tips from Director Joe Mantello - Joe Mantello gives tips about relaxing and being your unique self, and suggestions for preparing. He says, "Too often I see actors trying to second guess what the team or the writer or the director are looking for." To read his advice follow the link above.

Musical Audition Tips from Stephen Schwartz - Composer and lyricist for Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, and other shows offers his perspective on do's and don'ts for auditioning for musicals.

Musical Audition tips from Music Director Noel Katz - Noel Katz talks about what music directors for musical theatre like to hear, what songs to choose, and more. For example, he says: "Remember that a musical audition is like a job interview, in which the job is going to involve 4 - 6 weeks, whatever the rehearsal process is, of a really intense collaboration. Because directors are casting people that they want to work with, they want to cast people who appeal to them as human beings. And that's what you really have to emphasize at an audition, is your appeal as a person, as a potential employee."

Musical Audition tips from singer/actor/dancer Joy Dewing - Joy Dewing explains how to select songs for auditions, organize your audition book, etc. As a professional who auditions frequently, she knows how to be prepared with a collection of songs that she brings and a list in the front of the book. If a musical director for an audition wants to hear more, you can be ready. "If they say 'Do you have a ballad, something belty?' I can just go down the list and I don't have to really process the information. I have it categorized by voice type (belt, mix, legit), genre (rock, pop, theatre, comedy), and song type (ballad, uptempo), and it's all in my book alphabetically. This minimizes mistakes and prevents me from looking like an idiot rummaging through all my papers. It just looks more professional."

Musical Audition Tips for Kids (or parents to read regarding their kids) - Meridee Stein discusses her expectations as a director who works with professional and aspiring young actors. For children who want to perform in musicals, being prepared for auditions is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions and more Tips

Should I sing a song from the show I'm auditioning for?

Coach Robert Marks says: "It's generally considered a good idea not to sing a song from the show you're auditioning for unless specifically requested. The people you're singing for generally have their own ideas of how the song should go, and if your version doesn't match it, you might find yourself out of the running. Also, singing the song of one particular character in the show might preclude you from being considered for a different role."

2. What are common audition mistakes?

Audition comments from vocal coach Elizabeth Prescott

3. I get into some shows from my auditions but not others. How can I improve my auditions?

Answer: google groups posts

Song Selection for Musical Auditions

(SEE ALSO VOCAL -RANGES PAGE for lists of songs by vocal range)

General advice:

1. If you are aiming for a particular part in the show, unless instructed otherwise, avoid singing songs from the show itself. Instead choose material from shows of a similar style and caliber that reflect your capabilities. Always choose song(s) you know well that display your vocal range and versatility.

2. You may be asked to sing a song in the style of (but not from) the show you're auditioning for. By picking a song that is reminiscent of the character and vocal range, you may show that you are right to play that part.

E.g. for the role of Emile in South Pacific, some singers have used "If I Loved You," from a different Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which will reveal that they could sing "Some Enchanted Evening."

That all seems obvious - but there's subtlies to be aware of, as noted in some of the points below. Find a song that

* Suits you (voice, age, gender, style)
* Is appropriate to the show and character you’re auditioning for
* Is not overdone
* Is playable by a pianist at sight ...


See also agents and casting notices

Audition Workshops for Theatre Singers

Los Angeles-based Teacher Bob Garrett can help you in many ways. He's a voice coach and teaches classes in aduitioning and more. www.bobgarrett.net/

Audition Workshop for Theatre Singers - In Los Angeles

Monologue coaching


Actor Prudence Holmes serves as “The Monologue Detective.” She has been finding little-known monologues for actors for over 25 years, and coaching them on their use. Her clients have appeared in feature films, on and off Broadway, in primetime TV shows, soap operas, regional theatres and TV commercials.

UK stage

TO ORDER AUDITION BOOKS FROM EUROPE, VISIT OUR UK SITE http://www.wickedwestend.co.uk London cast section


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