Choosing the correct audition material is very important to successfully booking the job. There are a number of things to consider when you are selecting a song:

1. Do you sing it well?

There are lots of songs that we love, but we need to be real about if the song is something that shows you off. Remember in an audition you want to show of you best skills, not what notes or styles you can't sing.

2. Is the song going to get them to think of you in the role you want?

Choose something that is similar in style to the character you want to play in the show. A good place to start is looking at material by professional actors who have played the role on Broadway; other roles they have been cast in might have material that will work for you. Also make sure that you are being honest with yourself about what role you would like to play: do you have the needed skills, are you the right type, do you have the correct energy and most importantly does your audition song show off these qualities? 

3. Is the song over done?

You MUST stay away from material that is going to make you blend in. Theatre is about standing out in a positive way. You want to come across as clever and original. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from any shows currently on Broadway, have been made into a film or are highly popular. Another common mistake is sharing your material with friends. This is not a time to share; if you have done the work to find an great song don't give it out. 

4. Do you connect to the song?

You want to choose something that has personalization for you. The more you genuinely connect to the material, the less you need to try to "act." We want you to be truthful, honest and spontaneous in your audition. 

Sheet Music

First make sure that the music you are bringing is designed to be used to sing to. Your music should say Vocal Selections, Vocal Score or Piano-Conductor's Score on it. In case you are unaware, there you can not use a vocal book from a show, piano solo music, big note learning music, or music for any other in instrument. There are typically three lines of music in each staff; one for the vocal and two for each hand of the piano player. As in the example below:

Tips for a Successful Audition:

  • READ THE PLAY!! Know the style of the play and select appropriate audition material. Choose material that is similar to the role which you feel you fit best.
  • Be prepared! Know your song and know what the play you are auditioning for is about
  • Be positive. Don't beat yourself up if you make a mistake. We may not have noticed. Wait til l you get home to pass judgment on how your audition went
  • Stand in the middle of the room; far enough back that we can see your whole body.
  • If you plan to use the chair in the room, SET IT UP BEFORE YOU BEGIN!! You waste valuable seconds during your audition slot by taking time to move the chair to where you want it. It’s stronger if you act without using a chair.
  • Slate before your begin: use the following format to introduce your audition:

(Greeting) I am (your full name stated very clearly) and today I will be performing a song from the musical (show title) entitled (song name) Music by (composers name) and Lyrics by (Lyricists name)
Good afternoon I am Jill Smith and today I will be performing a song from the musical “Oliver!” entitled “As Long As He
Needs Me ”Music and Lyrics by Lionel Bart.

  • Please do not look at the production team during the song or monologue. It makes it difficult to enjoy your performance and take notes.
  • Make strong, creative choices. We are looking for performers who are able to bring something fun to the show and strong to the show.
  • Make sure that you are acting, this should not be a recital. You should know who you are, where you are, what you want and how you are going to get it. Just singing well will not get you a principal role, we are looking for story tellers
  • Make sure you are really selling yourself, show us through your preparation that we must work with you.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELY!! Present yourself in the best possible manner. Directors will make judgment about you the minute you walk into the room. Don’t let that judgment be negative. This includes shoes—don’t wear flip flops or shoes you can’t walk in when you audition. And, make sure your hair is combed and out of your face!! Don’t walk in looking like you just crawled out of bed!!
  • Behave in a professional manner. Be polite to everyone you meet and encounter. You never know who will be making casting decisions.
  • Breathe! Remember - we WANT you to succeed!! It makes casting decisions easier when you “bring it” and deliver what we need for our shows. AND ...part of your assessment in the department is based on your audition skills...Being prepared and auditioning well ensures your inclusion in future projects as well.

In terms of the bar requirement, bars are the measured out sections of the music. In the above example they are numbered out 12, 13, 14. In that section there are 3 bars. The 32 bar requirement is an approximation, make sure that your cutting of the song makes sense with the story in the words, and also sounds finished. If you have specific questions feel free to stop by, but do not wait. If you are asking questions the day of or the day before your audition it will be very difficult for you to make changes and have an effective audition. 

Choosing Material