The virtual audition is upon us this season. The number one audition concern I’ve heard from students this season is “What if I don’t do as well on camera as I would in person?”
Here are 5 tips to help you overcome those fears.
1.Be more than prepared with your audition material. Have your songs and monologues performance ready, NOT JUST BARELY memorized. All pieces should be ready to perform if asked.
2.Have your music cued up and your bluetooth speaker ready
3.Have your Zoom Room/audition space clean ready for your auditions. If you’re using a backdrop, it should be ironed or steamed. If you are in your room, be sure it is CLEAN and not cluttered. Try to limit noise. I realize it is challenging but any additional noise may be distracting.
4.Headphones will help. I recommend investing in wireless headphones like airpods, game changer!
5.Do your research on the schools for which you’re auditioning and the people for whom you’re auditioning before you meet them! Super important. It will make you feel more comfortable and also give you information on who they are and what they do!
Breathe and be yourself. Sounds simple but so true. Be yourself.
Let’s talk about the colleges to which you or your student is applying…
Do you want to major in Musical Theatre or Acting? Are you applying to the “big programs”, the well- known musical theatre programs across the country?
Awesome. Where else are you applying?
Most students applying to musical theatre programs should apply to at least 15-20 programs, especially when many of these programs are highly competitive programs in the REACH category.
You may have heard the terms REACH, MATCH and SAFETY when it comes to schools. I highly encourage all students applying for musical theatre and acting programs to choose schools and programs from each category. Audition Well students follow this format.
Why? We cast a wide net so we’re not left without ANY options in April. Does mean that the programs in the MATCH and SAFETY categories are "bad programs" and you won’t get quality training? Absolutely not. This means there are more opportunities at these programs for a number of reasons. Perhaps they accept more majors or a school is in-state for you or one of the programs will be well suited for you based on grades or finances.
According to Backstage.com the University of Michigan accepts “20-22 out of over 1400 applicants” into their Musical Theatre Department and from that they will choose 600-650 from prescreens. With all auditions being virtual this year, more students will be applying to these programs than ever because they don’t have to travel, which will make the prescreen cuts even more steep.
So if you’re ONLY applying to a select number of programs that have over 1400 applicants and take 20 students, the odds of acceptance into the program are very slim.
This is not meant to crush dreams by any means. Do I think you should apply to your dreams schools, absolutely! I also think you should apply to other programs around the country that are amazing and will give you wonderful opportunities!
If you’re unsure of those programs, Audition Well can help. Audition Well students have the opportunity to participate in exclusive consortium auditions with over 30 programs from across the United States. Don't fear college auditions this year. Email me for details.
If you're preparing for college auditions, you know that most auditions will also be virtual.
The more you get into your semester, the busier you'll get with homework, projects, and ZOOM rehearsals .
Here are a few tips to stay on top of your college audition prep.
1. Carve out time each week to work on your audition material. It is VERY easy to let that take a backseat when you're so busy with everything else.
2. Break it down into "chunks". Don't feel like you have to do everything at once. Give yourself an hour 2-3 days a week. Then break that hour down...spend 30 minutes on monologue work and 30 minutes working on an application. You know yourself and know where you are in the process, if you need more time then allow it but be sure to schedule it.
3. Write down important deadlines. They will sneak up on you and your prescreens will be due before you know it.
This process is time consuming but you can do it. Please let me know how I can help you. I want to make this process as easy for parents and students as possible!
As an actor, your headshot is really important. It's how the casting director or college director will remember you. For college auditions, you want to get new headshots taken the summer before your senior year. So, if you're a rising senior, now is the time to start researching photographers. Here are a few tips to get a great headshot.
1. You don't have to spend TONS of money on a headshot, however it does need to be a quality photo that represents YOU right now. Don't take a selfie in your car or crop out a friend from a photo (even if you look amazing :) ) you need a photographer to take your headshots.
1. Choose clothing and colors that compliment your skin tone, hair and complexion. If you always receive compliments when you wear certain colors, gravitate to those colors. Layers are great too.
2. Decide on your "look" for the audition season. You want to look like your headshot. Make any changes to hair style or color before you take your photos and then stick with it until after the audition season. College auditors will be looking at your photo and if you look different, it won't help you!
3. Bring several outfit options to your headshot session, your photographer can help you decide and plus you may shoot several different looks. Some photographers will do hair and makeup for a fee, be sure that your makeup is natural. You don't want to look super made up or have your hair done in a way that you would never wear it. You want to be comfortable...research the photographer first and be sure they do headshots for actors. :)
4. Have your traditional head and shoulders headshot, without your hands touching your face. If you're using a headshot photographer, they will know this. We want to focus on YOU, your face, not the background. It's also a good idea to have a 3/4 shot aka body shot taken.
5. Have fun and relax! Let your personality come through in your photo. That's what makes a great headshot, seeing your individuality!
For headshot inspiration, check out my Pinterest board www.pinterest.com/auditionwell/boards/
Comment below with questions about headshots or auditions!
This year is unlike any other college audition season. Universities across the nation are already preparing for the school year on campus and bringing MORE students on campus isn't looking like it's a safe option.
If you are auditioning for BFA musical theatre and acting programs, you're already prepared to film your prescreens, but now you need to be prepared to do all of your auditions at home. What can you do to maximize your audition? Stand out? I hear students say all the time...."I'm better once I get in the room". Well now "the room where it happens" will be your home.
How to prepare for this season:
1. Find your audition filming space in your house. You may have to get creative and clear a space but definitely designate a space for audition filming.
-You can purchase backdrops if you need to brighten up your space.
-A ring light if you need more lighting
-I also recommend a tripod
Try to choose a space that has decent lighting and if it doesn't then create lighting with a ring light.
2. Set up time to film, when it's quiet
3. Know that everyone is doing this
4. You don't have to hire someone to film
5. Always do a test shot
Know that we're all going through this together and it will all be okay so breathe! :)
seven things you can do when you're a theatre kid and you're quarantined
Summer is here and I know many of you are itching to be back in theatre so here are some ideas...
Summer Theatre Camps
There are theatre camps/workshops or intensives all over larger cities and most are still accepting students. Check out arts or community centers sometimes the YMCA will have camps if your'e in a smaller town, or even check in with community/professional theatre companies in the area.
I know many of the companies in St. Louis have already held auditions for summer shows, however, there are still community theatre groups out there producing shows. Audition for a show to do over the summer. Side note: be sure to check dates/conflicts on all vacation plans before auditioning ;) Doing a show in community theatre is a great way to build connections and make new friends!
Reach out to local theatre companies, professional and community and see if there are opportunities for short term internships or apprenticeships! There is always work to be done in the theatre and you can learn a lot through the process.
Work on Audition Material
While your student may not know the audition requirements for their schools upcoming show season, it's always a good idea to be working on audition material to be ready! Building your audition book is important so when auditions DO arise, you're not scrambling to find new material and you're actually prepared!
This summer, I'm starting an online audition prep course for 8th-10th graders that runs June 1-30. It includes access to a Facebook group where I'll be doing weekly live Q & A sessions, posting audition tips and videos, helping students select audition material to work on during this course and each student will receive a 30 minute online coaching session with me. It will be an online community of theatre students who want to learn and grow together....just think of it like a virtual cast! The best part of doing this online is you can catch up whenever, so it won't interfere with vacation plans! It's only $20 for this session and space is limited! Here's the link to join!
Let me know if you have any questions about things to do this summer or about the online course!
Don't wait to enroll, spots are limited! :)
Hi Audition Well Friends!
Knowing your type for theatre is really important and can help you book jobs, land the part and secure your place in a college program.
Type casting (casting based on a person’s look) isn’t something new, it’s an easy way for directors to eliminate people in massive cattle call auditions when they’re looking for a specific “type” for a role. Typing has tricked down to college auditions over the past 5-10 years as well.
Keep reading...I'll give you the tools to figure out your type.
THE TRUTH ABOUT TYPE
Why is it important to know your type now in high school?
It can save you years of frustration in the audition room and not getting cast!
Can my type change? Your type will change as you get older, you will be able to play older roles (probably be able to play some of the roles you were playing as a high schooler). Just as we grow as humans, we have to adapt in the theatrical world too.
How do I figure out my type?
You want to choose age appropriate material, always. The more specific you can be, the better. Just because YOU connect with the role doesn’t mean you are right for it in the director’s eyes. There are other factors involved when casting:
Do you have some of the same personality traits as the character?
Physical appearance/characteristic as they relate to the character?
Self Assessment: You’re going to have to have an honest conversation with yourself, which can be challenging sometimes but it’s necessary.
P.S. The more you can figure out your type and find audition material, the more successful you’ll be!
You can go to audition after audition and wonder why you’re not getting the roles OR you can take 30-minutes and let’s have a chat!
This month on social media I've been focusing on loving your audition material! Whether you're getting ready to embark on the college audition process next year and need to gather new material, you're a working professional or you're in high school and need to prepare for an audition, it's important to love what you perform.
Why? The auditors can always tell what you most love to perform. If you love performing a particular song (or monologue) it's always going to show in your performance. Sometimes, yes, you do need pieces that meet certain requirements, however, I've found, when you do your homework.....reading the play, libretto or listening to the musical, you will grow to love those characters because you know them. In turn, when you audition with those pieces, it becomes fun because you actually know the story you're telling and what are you as an actor? A storyteller!
Okay, so what do I do if I need some new audition material? Well, this month I've partnered with Contemporary Musical Theatre, the largest online database of contemporary musical theatre songs and writers. All the songs on the site are searchable by voice and song type. Subscribers can listen to full clips of the song, then purchase and download watermarked scores up to 3 times. Plus they are the only site that gives writers 100% of their song sales! They have some really cool up and coming writers. If you want some new material that isn't overdone, I recommend checking out.
www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com/subscribeYou can use code AUDWELL20 for $20 off a year subscription. This is code is valid through February 28.
Additionally, if you need help finding audition material, message me for a complimentary consultation!
Loving the process,
One of the single most important things every performer needs is an audition book. That book should showcase your best work, look professional and be easy to navigate. Here are some tips on how to prepare your audition book:
If you’d like help choosing songs for your audition book, or preparing those songs, check out my services. Audition Well provides a free consultation to get to know you and your goals! Professional help in preparing for an audition is a great way to ensure that you showcase your best work the next time you step into an audition room. Email me to work with Audition Well!
Here are are few products I like to use when putting audition books together:
Binder: This one has a plastic pocket on the front, where you can put your headshot.
Binder: Here’s another option without a pocket on the front. This is a multi pack.
Non Glare Page Protectors: Super important to get NON glare.
Highlighters: Great for marking notations in music
Sharpies: Great for marking your music. Mark your cuts in red.