singing/acting auditions how to prepare like a pro even if you aren’t one yet

Click here to load reader

Post on 17-Dec-2015

219 views

Category:

Documents

1 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • Slide 1
  • Singing/Acting Auditions How to prepare like a pro even if you arent one yet
  • Slide 2
  • Types of singing auditions 16 to 32 bars 1 complete song 2 contrasting songs (1 ballad/1 up tempo
  • Slide 3
  • Finding and Choosing the perfect Audition Song for you Like the song - this is important. Choose a song that showcases your vocal talent to the fullest - the strongest and most secure parts of your range that you can comfortably sing while nervous. Make sure it is age appropriate for the age you project. Choose a song that is positive in nature.
  • Slide 4
  • Finding/Choosing a song (continued) If you only have 16 bars stay away from narrative or story songs (Sondheim and Schwartz are 2 of the biggest). Avoid songs with repetitious melody lines. Think twice about signature songs (those tied to a specific star performer). Pick a song of a similar style to the one you are auditioning for.
  • Slide 5
  • The Pianist/Accompanist This person can make you look good or bad. So common courtsey Dont choose an overly complicated arrangement (Sondheim, Bernstein, Weill, Shire, and Brown). Make sure all the print is clear and easy to read nothing handwritten. Stay away from nightclub or revue arrangements with too many embellishments.
  • Slide 6
  • Parallel Songs Choose a song that has a similar feel (musically, rhythmically, and emotionally) to the show and/or part you would like to obtain. Some examples of types might be: a want song (My Own Little Corner and Somewhere thats Green) a hopeful romantic song (Someday My Prince Will Come and Someone to Watch Over Me) a show song (Me and Pirate King) a ingnue song (Happy to Keep his Dinner Warm and People Will Say Were in Love a Character/Villain song (Little Girls and When Youre Good to Mama
  • Slide 7
  • Parallel Songs (cont.) Styles Country/Western (Big River, Oklahoma) Tragedy/Historical (Cabaret, 1776) Fantasy/Fable (Pippin, Wicked) Sci-Fi (Carrie, Little Shop of Horrors) Horror (Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sweeny Todd) Gay/Drag (Avenue Q, Hairspray)
  • Slide 8
  • Parallel Songs (cont.) Teens/Children (Grease, Zombie Prom) Ethnic (Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell) Circus (Barnum, Carousel) Asian (Flower Drum Song, Hot Mikado) African American (Dreamgirls, Once on this Island) Spanish/Latino (Evita, West Side Story) Story (The Last 5 Years, Ordinary Days) Pop/Rock (Aida, Rent)
  • Slide 9
  • Parallel Marriage/Relationships (Baby, Company) Show Biz (A Chorus Line, Gypsy) European (Light in the Piazza, Gigi) British (Oliver!, The Secret Garden) Underdogs (Assassins, Hairspray)
  • Slide 10
  • Styles by decade sound 1960s Hair, Promises, Promises 1970s Applause, Pippin 1980s Chess, Les Miserables 1990s Jekyll and Hyde, Tommy 2000s The Lion King, Legally Blonde
  • Slide 11
  • Non-theatre Songs Unless you are instructed to select a song from a musical choose a song of a similar style of that musical but not from a musical (example: Audition for Big River with a country song) Piano based pop/rock artists are great sources (Billy Joel, Elton John)
  • Slide 12
  • Overused Songs Popular from Wicked My Philosophy from Charlie Brown Out Here on my Own from Fame Someone Like You from Jekyll and Hyde Take Me as I am from Rent On my Own from Les Miserables Memory from Cats
  • Slide 13
  • Some other things to consider Watch songs that are really obscure or unusual. Research composers/lyricists you enjoy. Research a performer you feel you are close to in type. Be open to lots of musical styles
  • Slide 14
  • Other song choice considerations Avoid choosing Songs where the dance is featured Production numbers Signature Songs Vogue numbers Fictional Character songs
  • Slide 15
  • Acting the Song
  • Slide 16
  • The Moment Before Why is your character compelled to say these words right now? What does the character want or expect to get by saying these lyrics? Do not wait for the musical introduction to finish before you start establishing character choices. (cue the pianist)
  • Slide 17
  • Do something Acting means doing living in the moment. Action (verbing) propells the words you say. You should play active verbs (begging, seducing, celebrating, etc). Playing verbs like remembering, thinking, telling are more difficult to translate into active choices. Dont confuse adjectives with verbs. Feelings are not actions.
  • Slide 18
  • Find Interesting Actions A great exercise for finding actions is to change the situation of your song in an improvisation. Try different approaches you may be surprised at what you find works playing around.
  • Slide 19
  • Pace your Actions Dont start your song at the highest emotional intensity youll have nowhere to go. Otherwise your characters journey will end with your opening lyric and they have no real reason to sing the rest of the song.
  • Slide 20
  • Objectives To help find out what your characters objective is, figure out what the authors purpose to writing it and placing it in the musical at that moment in the show is/was. Questions to ask yourself: What does this song accomplish for the story? What does it help the audience understand? Does the song work outside the context of the show? Why are these ideas in song instead of dialogue? Do you personally relate to the given situations?
  • Slide 21
  • Take a Journey Is there any transformation or change in your character from the beginning of your song to the end? (hopefully the answer is yes) Discovery, Incident, response question songs all need to pace the journey so it ends when the song does. Dont play the ending at the beginning of your piece dont play the results.
  • Slide 22
  • Physicality Whether you move or not is determined by the song you have selected. Ballads should not have a lot of movement up-tempo songs should have at least some. Plan this out in advance. This should not necessarily be performance movement tone it down so you still can sing.
  • Slide 23
  • Key Points Rehearse often enough that you dont have to think about what you are doing. Remind yourself of the objective. Define the moment before you start. Remind yourself of the journey/arc before you being. Allow yourself to live in the moment and take the journey for the first time.
  • Slide 24
  • Cutting your Song
  • Slide 25
  • Defining 16 bars More difficult with modern musicals AABA structure is not always used. Remember you are finding a section that is the best one for both range and lyric that has a journey/dramatic interest. This is usually not the beginning of a song but rather the climax to the end.
  • Slide 26
  • Defining 16 bars (cont.) For 70% of auditors: 30 seconds of ballads 35 seconds of up-tempo Your cut should have no extra music on the page just the measures you want played (no arrows or other road signs). This means you will have to provide/type the following info: Title- Composers Name Title of show- Musical style (jazz, ect) Tempo Markings- Key signature Musical Intro (clearly marked)
  • Slide 27
  • What will 16 bars give the auditors? Your sense of musicality Your physical appearance The power of your voice Your personality Understanding of lyrics (acting) Intonation/pitch problems Your performance presence
  • Slide 28
  • Musical Introductions Purpose to help you find your first note as well as establish your emotional beginning. Should be short dont waste precious time (or bars) on this. Types Bell Tone using 1 st pitch as your intro (Ballads) Arpeggio a rolled chord (Ballads) Open Vamp repeating phrase until you are ready (Up-Tempo) Set number of bars same phrase to always find note (Up-Tempo)
  • Slide 29
  • Ending Needs to be just as strong as beginning this is the lasting impression youll leave with your auditors. Types Extend the musical rideout Add a little music so you can hold the last note. Shorten the musical rideout If the note is too long for you to hold comfortably cut some music. Create an ending that matches your physical button lets them know you are done both musically as well as physically.
  • Slide 30
  • A Strong Button The final moment both musically and physically. Time these out so they happen at the same time. One approach figure out what the last word or phrase for the song might be that was left out and then physicalize it (eg: So there! or Whew)
  • Slide 31
  • Key Points Approaching a 16 bar audition should be the same as approaching a full song. Make sure you research and learn the full song. Have a strong beginning and ending.
  • Slide 32
  • Your Music Working with your Accompanist
  • Slide 33
  • No Loose Pages Put your music in either a 3 ring binder or mounted on cardstock/cardboard. If your music is in plastic sheets make sure they are non-glare. Many tape sheets together not the best method (older pianos dont have backboards)
  • Slide 34
  • Markings Do not have any extraneous markings (breath marks, chord symbols, ritards, etc.) you are not using in the audition. Vice versa highlight any markings you DO want the accompanist to follow.
  • Slide 35
  • Key/Tempo/Style Make sure your music is in the right key for you a pianist should never have to transpose on site. Pay to have it transcribed and printed out FOR you that way you reduce the possibilities of mistakes from the player. Do not suppose that the book you are using for your sheet music is in the same key as the cast recording you have listened to. Humming the tempo or taping the pulse with your hand before you begin is fine but telling them what style the music is to be played in is even better (jazz, gospel, waltz, soft-shoe, ect). This language is more specific for a musician.
  • Slide 36
  • Lyrics If you are moving lyrics (say from an earlier part of the song to the end part of the music) make sure you have whited out the unused lyrics and written in (clearly) the ones you ARE using.
  • Slide 37
  • Digital If you are bringing the music digitally make sure your music has no vocal tracks (backing or lead). Bring the electronic device you KNOW itll play through. The smartest performers will bring sheet music just in case singing acapella should never happen in an audition.
  • Slide 38
  • Extra Copies Regardless of whether you have sheet music or digital music you should always bring extra copies with you just in case.
  • Slide 39
  • Pianist Should you bring your own? For a 16 bar audition the expense isnt worth it. If your 16 bars are that difficult to sight read then you need to pick a different song. For a full song and an important audition it might be worth it. Dont worry that this will offend the audition pianist theyll probably welcome the break.
  • Slide 40
  • The Audition
  • Slide 41
  • Top 10 pitfalls of Singing/Acting Auditions Not wearing something to suggest the milieu of the show auditioning for Not getting enough sleep the week of the audition Not making choices in advance of the audition Not eating (breakfast or lunch) the day of the audition. Not being polite and/or communicating needs with the accompanist
  • Slide 42
  • Pitfalls (continued) Not bringing water (and perhaps a light snack in case you are kept waiting for a long time) Not knowing where the audition is being held Not bringing extra headshots or music Not warming up in advance Not turning off your cell phone
  • Slide 43
  • Attire Really think about your clothing. They should be comfortable and appropriate for your age and suggest the time period (for example if the show is being set in the 1940s women should wear heels and pull their hair up. Auditioning for Rent might mean nice jeans and sneakers).
  • Slide 44
  • Attire (continued) Nice pants/skirt/jeans (if appropriate) Nice shirt and tie/blouse/sweater/dress Nice shoes/heels/sneakers (if appropriate) Conservative make-up (women only) Flatter your figure be able to move Do not wear all black Keep accessories to a minimum anything you might play with nervously is not setting you up to succeed
  • Slide 45
  • Audition specific Follow the lead of the stage manager Do not approach the auditors table unless instructed Set your personal belonging right by the door or piano (out of the way) Give the accompanist your music as soon as possible and give them about 10 seconds of instruction
  • Slide 46
  • Audition specific Dont waste your time using a chair or assume you are going to have a chair in the audition room When you have finished explaining your music and telling them the cue you will use to begin playing to the accompanist walk to the center of the room with plenty of space between you and the auditors that they can see your whole body.
  • Slide 47
  • Audition specific State your name the song title is not important (unless they ask) Wait for the direction that they are ready to hear you (although dont expect them to make eye contact throughout your performance) If you are singing a ballad (especially a love song) do not sing it to the auditors directly. If you are singing an uptempo song you may include the auditors from time to time, but not exclusively
  • Slide 48
  • Audition specific Locate your imaginary scene partner either 1 head space above the auditor or the space between 2 auditors If the accompanist plays the wrong tempo or feel within the first 2-3 bars stop and explain politely I believe I gave the pianist the wrong tempo. (even if you gave them the right instructions the first time). Dont restart more than once however if its wrong a second time you have to try to make it work. Chances are the auditors will know (from previous auditionees) that the pianist is at fault. Never blame the pianist (verbal or non-verbal). Chances are they have a voice in the casting process.
  • Slide 49
  • Audition specific If you are given a direction and you dont understand ask for clarification. If you cant do it then be honest. If possible ask if you can make adjustments to show them what they want to see. When you have finished singing wait quietly for further instructions. They may talk quietly a moment. They may ask for another song. They may say Thank you for coming today. DO NOT ask the auditors when they will be making their casting decisions or any other questions you might be able to find the information from outside sources. Once you have been dismissed simply say Thank you and leave. Nothing else is appropriate for you to say/offer.
  • Slide 50
  • The Acting Audition
  • Slide 51
  • Cold Readings and Sides If the director has given you sides (prepared material from the actual script) then make sure you prepare them in advance. Memorization is not required or in fact preferred. Make choices similar to the song preparation process.