It’s knowing that you have something to offer….It’s believing in yourself. –Joe Mantello
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!
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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…)
By Eric Brown
As you may have determined by now, the competition to actually get into a musical is pretty tough, especially if you’re in a major city such as New York. However, there are ways for you to get up in front of an audience and sing songs from musicals (just about to) your heart’s content…
…at “open mic” nights at any number of nightclubs or cabarets, or at most any piano bar. Most piano bars welcome guest singers (especially if the singer has a decent voice, or at least knows what they’re doing), and the backbone of any piano bar player’s repertoire comes from musicals.
I have been a piano bar player for over 30 years. (How did that happen?) I have developed a reputation of being a “singer’s accompanist”: I not only try to “follow” any singer who may be singing with me, but I can usually transpose songs to the singer’s optimum key. You may find a piano player like me but others are only able to offer the arrangement, tempo and key that they know. So it doesn’t hurt to get ahold of standard sheet music, so you know what’s out there. [Find Broadway Sheet Music]
Winning an Audience – Song Choices
Unlike choosing songs for an audition where the off-the-beaten-track number is usually appreciated and can stand out, that is not the case at most piano bars. Sure, every once in a while, if there’s some obscure song that you know that either the piano player also happens to know or else you hand him the music and he (or she) can read it, you might score with the right delivery and a receptive crowd. But for the most part, the crowd at a piano bar is far more appreciative of the tried and true, the familiar. They almost don’t care if it’s done badly, as long as it’s a song they know and love. Of course there are those piano bars, or more properly piano bar players, who pride themselves in knowing the most obscure of songs: songs cut from hit shows; songs cut from shows that never reached Broadway; some song by the likes of Cole Porter that was unearthed in a trunk where he had buried it. But for the most part, people want to hear the songs they know, no matter who sings them. The following is a primer of those songs that seem to get the most mileage with any crowd.
Note that the following are my suggestions. Don’t howl if I leave out your favorite song or some obvious all-time great standard – but perhaps some songs on this list will spark your interest. (more…)