Tailoring Your Singing Audition for the Musical Theatre - dummies

Tailoring Your Singing Audition for the Musical Theatre

By Pamelia S. Phillips

In musical theater, you need to switch your style of singing with ease. Right after you sing your lovely head voice selection, such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, you may be asked for your belt song (an example of a belt song is “Tomorrow” from Annie) or pop-rock song (such as “Take me or Leave Me” from Rent).

Bouncing back and forth between the styles is expected, and you have to practice all three until they’re comfy. You may find some musical theater performers who aren’t belters, but you’re better off knowing how to do all three.

At the musical theater audition, you’re expected to use great acting skills to portray the story and take the listener on a journey in a variety of songs ranging from standards to pop-rock songs. The journey may last only 16 bars, but you have to take the audience for a ride, no matter how short the trip.

You also want to dance well, or at least move really well. Sometimes auditions are held for nondancers, but most of the time you have to dance or move well to get into the musical.

Research performers who have previously played the role you’re auditioning for to see whether your look is similar. After you make it through the doors, you may be typed. Typing at a musical theater audition doesn’t mean that your fingertips fly across a keyboard.

Typing refers to whether you’re the right type for the role. The casting panel (usually made up of the casting director, director, musical director, and choreographer) look at you to determine whether you’re physically right for the role. If you physically fit what they’re looking for, you get to stay at the audition and sing and dance.