The biggest question I get from both parents and students always revolves around two things, how do they find auditions and how do they find audition material. Today I will focus on how to uncover the mystery of finding the perfect audition song and what to avoid in your Broadway musical detective work!
* Stay away from songs from very popular musicals. These songs are going to be overdone and will not show you off well. I am talking – Phantom, Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Mille, 13: The Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde and Wicked.
* Take the time to research older or lesser known musicals. There is a world of songs from Broadway musicals and musical movies that are not produced often and are just fantastic. Check out shows like: Little Me, Anything Goes, Babes in Arms, She Loves Me, Kiss Me Kate, 110 in the Shade, Promises/Promises, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, The Apple Tree, Meet me in St. Louis, Triumph of Love, The Magic Show, Damn Yankees, Snoopy, State Fair, Steel Pier, Funny Girl, Funny Lady,
* Higher is not better, it’s just higher – Sometimes students pick songs that are crazy high because they think that is impressive. In truth you should be singing songs that are in your range and not reaching for notes you don’t have…yet. Simple is better.
* Use YOUTUBE to dig for songs. Check out some of the bigger college programs final showcases on youtube (CCM, Michigan, Point Park, CMU). Check out – Thats Entertainment on youtube for some great old school musical choices.
* NO HAMILTON. Trust me, if you are singing from Hamilton it will NOT show you off well. So just don’t do it. You can work on it in your voice lessons….
* If you love a Broadway singer, they have most likely produced a solo album (Sutton Foster, Sierra Boggess, Judy Kuhn, Liz Callaway, Jarred Spector, Matthew Morrison etc.) take a listen to those solo or cabaret albums to get great ideas of songs that might work for you.
* Use resources like http://newmusicaltheatre.com to find new contemporary musical theatre songs and www.musicnotes.com to download sheet music, but make sure you play it though at least once with your voice teacher or anyone who plays piano because sometimes Music Notes will default to a crazy high or low key.
* Try to avoid singing songs that are too old for you. Everyone wants to sing I Dreamed a Dream but if you are 14, its a little embarrassing for everyone. It’s impossible to connect to that kind of song. I would say you can avoid ballad’s in general if you are under 16. Pick a great fun uptempo. Remember this is a chance to get to know who you are, if you sing a slow sad song, that is what you are leaving in the room!
* Make sure you love your song and you have a reason to sing it. If your song doesn’t mean anything to you or feels hard to connect to, find something else there are a million songs don’t get stuck with something that doesn’t make you excited to sing it for people!
– Marc Tumminelli