Make sure you choose a song within the directors’ guidelines that suits your vocal range, gender, and age.
If asked to sing two contrasting songs, make sure you choose strong contrasts (vocal styles, emotions, tempo, time periods)
If in doubt, choose something less challenging that you can sing well. The most memorable auditions are the ones that speak to the directors, not the ones that are most technically perfect. Only you can bring your own personality and experiences to the song you sing.
Step 2: Prepare your song
Treat the song like a monologue: read the lyrics, look up the story, and discover as much as you can about the character and that character's reason for singing the song.
Practice with an accompanist if possible. If you must use a cast recording or karaoke background, make sure the sheet music you have is the same.
Practice, practice, practice! Find someone to sing for so you can try it out in front of an audience.
Step 3: Audition
Warm up before the audition.
Make sure your sheet music is in a binder, preferably double sided, with start point, end point, and cuts clearly marked if necessary.
Generally, you will need to fill out an audition form so come at least 15 minutes before your call time. Be prepared to write down your scheduling conflicts during the production period, and any relevant skills and experience.
Nerves are a good thing! Trust that they will give you the energy for a great performance, and focus on your character.
Walk into the room with energy and a confident smile and check your ego at the door. Know that the directors want you to do well - they are on your side.
Talk to the accompanist as they may or may not be familiar with your song. Feel free to point out any special markings, alterations, or cuts on your music, or unexpected tempo or key changes (this is where practicing with an accompanist ahead of time can be helpful; they can let you know what to look out for).
Go ahead and take a moment to breathe before you begin.
Avoid making eye contact with directors during your song as it can make them uncomfortable. Instead, focus just slightly above their heads.
The directors are looking for vocal quality, acting while you sing, body language during the song, entertainment quality, and various technical details. They want someone who can take direction well, has stage presence, and who best fits the character as a whole and in relation to the other actors.
Mistakes are expected. Just keep going and do your best. (Avoid apologizing, or telling us how badly you think you did). The directors are looking for what you did right, rather than what you did wrong, and catching yourself after a slip is impressive and shows you can react quickly and keep going! Focus on showing off what you are capable of.
Feel free to ask questions if you do not understand a request.
There may be a possibility of a ‘cold read’ or prepared piece of dialogue that you will perform with a scene partner.
Read through this so you are familiar with the words. You do not need to memorize the passage but you do not want to trip over the words.
Make a solid choice as to how you are going to read it and think of a strong intention for your character.
Listen to the other actor while they are reading. React.
Listen carefully to the direction the directors give you and try to implement it. The director is looking for someone who takes direction and responds to change well, and who can play off of another actor and make a connection.
Depending on the production, the directors may ask you a series of questions to gauge your general comfort with the production process, such as if you are willing to alter your appearance for the show? Honesty is essential.
Not everyone who will be cast is called back.
If you do get called back there are many possible activities to expect: learning a song with the vocal director, preparing a song and singing it for the director, learning dance steps, reading more dialogues, etc. Expect a longer call time and a hectic environment.
Step 4: Accepting/Rejecting a role
The Directors will let you know at auditions/callbacks when to expect notice of casting.
Initial contact can be made by phone or e-mail. An offer of a role is made and once you receive this offer, you have 24 hours to contact us with your decision. This is in fairness to those who may have casting offers contingent on your acceptance of a role.
Step 5: Break a Leg!
Secondary Characters Musical Theatre Society is a registered not-for-profit musical theatre company, based in Chilliwack, British Columbia. We present a full scale musical each summer, which combines the talent of performers from across the Fraser Valley, from Hope to Vancouver. The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.