Preparing your audition for entry to a musical theatre course can often be a frightening experience. Many people feel quite isolated during the preparation. Let me give you a few tips:
1. Preparation is everything. People who arrive without the correct material or who haven’t memorised their songs and monologue send a poor message to the panel. After all, how much do you want this? Prepared people send a clear message that they are serious. Those are the students we want.
2. Prepare TWO contrasting songs from the music theatre repertoire, one up-tempo and one ballad. Pop songs are not acceptable. The Arts Academy has a black list – that is, musicals to avoid. Be sure to check before you make your selections.
You may be asked to sing one song at the audition and a part of the second. Just go with whatever is asked of you.
3. Find songs that are appropriate for your age and type of voice. Select a song that shows us what you can do rather than one that only serves to highlight what you can’t yet do. Pieces that are out of your range or not for your voice type will not show you at your best. Here are a few tips:
- The difficulty of the piece is irrelevant. We want to hear the quality of your voice and know that you are musical. We want to see that you understand the importance of text and that you can hold us with the story of your piece. Technique is what we will teach you. Show us that you are a performer.
- Ensure that you have a copy of your music for the accompanist. If you are using a book or a folder, make sure it will lay flat and the pages remain still. Remember, these things may seem trivial, but it is important to remove any potential obstacles or problems.
- Ensure your sheet music is in the key that you want to sing it in.
- Work with an accompanist who isn’t your regular person. It will help you determine if you need to be clearer with your instructions etc.
- We will not allow you to use CD accompaniment. We will have a real, live, professional accompanist for you. When you enter the room, you will have some time to establish the tempo of your piece and highlight any issues for the accompanist to watch.
- Try to know your range. You may be asked. If you say you can sing a top C, your panel will likely ask to hear it. Don’t lie!
4. Prepare ONE monologue from either the Contemporary or Classical lists provided on our website. It doesn’t matter if you have limited experience doing this, just select something that you like and be sure to learn it thoroughly. Read the whole play that the monologue comes from.
5. Finally, we may ask you some questions to get to know you. Remember, we are looking for fun, interesting, intelligent people. Don’t make excuses for your health, preparation or anything. Just do your best.
6. If you get through to the callback it means you are one step closer. The callback is a chance for us to compare candidates and for you to experience some work in movement, voice and acting. On the day wear movement gear or comfortable clothing so we can see your body at work. You will get to see our wonderful facilities, meet other lecturers and current students.
Remember, all our graduates now working around the world were once where you are now. Believe in yourself, prepare and give it a go.
The Arts Academy is a wonderful place. We would love to see you here!
George Torbay – Lecturer, Singing