Chris Hocking, Director of Musical Theatre, Arts Educational School
If you've been inspired to perform in musical theatre by going to see brilliant shows on stage, or watching the contestants battle it out to become a West End star on the hit TV programmes, "Superstar", "Over The Rainbow" and "I'd Do Anything", then this page is for you.
Here are Richard's top tips for success at musical theatre auditions...
ü Make sure your voice and body are thoroughly warmed up before you arrive, so you're ready to go and can do what's required.
ü Wear something memorable, and functional, that you don't mind getting dirty.
ü Always carry sheet music for a selection of songs, ensuring that all your music is in the correct key for your voice.
ü Try to be as original as you can when choosing songs and don't repeat a number that someone else has already sung (the book includes a long list of composers that are often overlooked when choosing audition material).
ü Only ever take music that you have heard played and sung with before, as the pianist will play the notes as they are written on the page, which may be very different from the arrangement you have learned or heard.
ü Present your music to the pianist either in a folder or taped together, so it will stand up easily on the piano. Be prepared to demonstrate the tempo you'd like and point out any quirks or changes in the music.
ü Be prepared to introduce your song and talk about it, knowing which show it's from and who composed it, if the panel asks you.
ü Carry a bottle of water with you to rehydrate.
ü Ensure you learn and bring everything that is requested, especially if you are given or sent music to learn - and if they ask for tap or ballet shoes to be brought, they don't mean trainers!
ü Be prepared to wait around in case they are running late or you are asked to come back later in the day.
ü Keep going and don't ever give up, even if you feel totally out of your depth - you never know what they are looking for.
ü If you mess up, do it in style and laugh it off, learning from your mistakes.
ü Most of all, smile and enjoy what you're doing.
If you found these tips useful, Richard's book, Auditions: A Practical Guide, has extensive chapters on auditioning for musical theatre productions and training colleges. Click here to get your copy, which will be delivered FREE in the UK and Europe.
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