Friday, June 17, 2005
Report from the Audition Trenches
"We start callbacks today - so far, from the general auditions, to my surprise there are no "interesting" stories to tell. Some VERY good auditions, I would say a higher percentage of good auditions this time, which is great - and also, a lot of people who are on the money for roles in the two shows (RED HOT & LIBERTY) that we are casting.
The one thing I noted - and this is a constant, we've talked about this before - is the number of people who really did not have a lot of audition material prepared. We ask for a ballad and a character/comedy song (as opposed to ballad and uptempo) and we ask that it be "Golden Age" Broadway, but we specify that that can include Kander and Ebb, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, Ragtime, Titanic - just not Lloyd Webber, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, that kind of thing.
Now, that would seem to be to be pretty wide parameters. Still, there are a lot of people who came in with just two ballads (not even the standard uptempo!) - and that was IT, I mean, they didn't have anything else they could do. Crazy - as I've said before, the best thing that can happen to you at an audition is that they like you and want to see more - why would you not be prepared to give them as much as possible?
One very smart young lady had just graduated from the Boston Conservatory. It was a requirement there that they prepare a binder that had around 20 different songs in it, in all sorts of categories - ballad, uptempo, comedy, contemporary, dramatic - I think she had 7 or 8 different categories, and four or five songs in each (some songs fit two or three categories, of course). And she was prepared to sing any of them! (We asked her for three I think). Now THAT'S someone who is prepared!"
This story reminded me of my days in NY. As I told Greg I still have all my binders still from back then. I had a standard Broadway binder (actually two) with songs alphabetized. Then I had my more contemporary styled songs in a different binder, alphabetized.
I also, get this, had an index card box. Every theatre/group I auditioned for I would record the date, what I wore, who saw me, what I performed and the result. If they liked what I did, I tried to wear similar clothing the next time, In fact often if I was called back I tried to wear the same clothes! I mean most of these were people seeing hundreds of auditioners a day, so anything to remind them you were that girl they liked.
I guess today it would be easier to track on a computer :)