For Music Theatre singers, my question is what are you singing in that audition?
We see songs go in and out of vogue in the audition room, but why? What makes EVERY singer think it's a good idea to sing it?
Simply: it's not.
The decision what to sing in an audition is to show something in particular about YOU and your voice. Just cause you like a song, doesn't make that a good idea!
Just because a song is written and published, doesn't mean it's well written either! Not all composers are "voice friendly" and it may not be a healthy choice, nor a positive choice for you.
How do you know what to sing?
STUDY! KNOW YOUR VOICE!!! What does your voice do well? How will you be typed? Dress that voice in something that enhances it, not something that detracts from it!
Find the material that best shows off what YOU do well. You are not another singer!!! Don't sing it by imitating! SING LIKE YOU and show what YOU do best.
Stay away from the "in vogue" ideas - unless you are going to do something VERY different with it! Make it yours, don't make it like everybody else!
Learn how to analyze a song's ability to be "singer friendly". Can you actually do it well?
As singers, you need to really get real about what you are capable of, and what you are not!! Show what you do WELL with a song choice that is a vehicle for that!
There is SO MUCH repertoire out there!!!! It takes a time commitment to just begin pouring through roles and shows and possibilities in order to find ideas that will be best suited to your strengths.
Remember not only do you have to sing it, but a pianist has to play it! Don't get so obscure that it can't be sight read by someone who has never seen it before!
I don't mind hearing a song for the one millionth time if it is done WELL. If it is UNIQUE in presentation and if it is sung with authenticity and an instrument that knows what it can do and wants to show.
I dislike hearing a song that is not singer friendly - and demands a technical prowess that is unattainable by most of the singers that try it. Don't show me what you can't do!!! Don't try to show me what you WISH you could do...
I love hearing new repertoire, especially if it shows off the singer in a unique manner.
I love hearing classic repertoire done with a unique and personal touch and a real voice that is healthy and knows what it can do!
The competition in the audition room shouldn't be between you and the song!!! If the song kicks your ass, you shouldn't be singing it! Your repertoire should be so sung in, you could do it half asleep, sick with a cold!! You shouldn't be worried about if you can sing the high note, or what your voice is going to do on that phrase, or if you have the words memorized! If you are worried or concerned about that, then another song might be more appropriate.
There are those "performers" of course, who are in self-denial and aren't worried at all - and probably should be...another blog!
Those of you who are trying to discover self and be aware of what you are capable of, what you are working toward, what you can do NOW need to discover what fits you now.
In an audition, you need to show what you DO, without reservation or apology, through the medium of a song that looks good on you!!
Trust me - those sitting at the table will begin to go into survival mode when hearing poor repertoire choices, poor singing, the same "in vogue" song done the same way each time...
Isn't the point of the audition to STAND OUT in a POSITIVE way and get a job? Why would you want to be seen like one of many and blend into the crowd? If you want to be SEEN, then SHOW WHAT YOU DO uniquely!! If you aren't seen, you won't be remembered; if you aren't remembered, you have no chance of a callback or to be hired.
The audition needs to INTRIGUE the people at the table enough to call you back!!! Give them a taste of what you can do - don't smother them!!! Let them call you back and then give them more!!
Show what you need to and want to through the repertoire you choose.
Ultimately, the choice of that repertoire is going to enhance you, or finish you.
And YOU chose it. It's up to you.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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