Traci Kern
Helping singers find their real, natural voice.

Archive for the ‘Audition Tips’ Category


Audition Tips Part 3: Choosing a Song

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The song you take to an audition must be a perfect fit from the moment you begin to the moment you finish the last word.

** Choose a song that is age appropriate. Enough said.
** Just because you “love” a song, that does not mean you should sing it.
** Choose a song that is in the style of the show and characters in the show.
** Do not pick a song that has a very difficult accompaniment. If the accompanist cannot play it, they will not look dumb, you will for bringing such a hard piece in. Again, pick something that shows you off in a good light, not something that you “love to sing”. (Do NOT take Jason Robert Brown in to any audition that isn’t for a JRB show and the same goes for Sondheim)
** Practice the song with an accompanist. I cannot tell you the number of singers I know to have thrown off by singing a song in an audition that they have never worked with just the piano. If you are used to singing the song with the soundtrack and wait to hear the violin part to help you with the rough spot…guess what…there is no violin playing in your audition. Find a piano player, pay them for a half hour of their time and record your accompaniment. You will be glad you did.
** Never sing from the show. The director may have a different take on the character that you don’t know about, and singing a song from the show may appear as if you’re “set in your ways” … or at the very least, set in singing it like the singer on the cast album. The last thing you want is to seem inflexible or un-directable.
**When they say 16-32 bars, they mean just that. Don’t try to push it. It is obvious when a singer goes over. And avoid those 16 bar cut books. Just because the editor of a songbook choose those 16 bars for a cut doesn’t mean those are the “right” 16 bars for you.
** Skip any recitative or multiple verses. You want to leave them wanting more from you. Dazzle them with your range and versatility, then wow them with your money note. Keep it short, simple and get to the point. Don’t waste time. It would suck to be cut off before you get to your wow moment because you wasted time with lots of blah blah blah.

More to come….


Audition Tips for Today-Dressing for an Audition Part 1

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Audition Tips for Today—Dressing for an Audition Part 1:
(These have been compiled from my years in school and the numerous audition workshops I have taken. Hope this helps…)

Dress like you are going to a casual business interview, because you are, for all intents and purposes, interviewing for a job.

Theatre people don’t hire people who look like theatre people. You know that look; people who look like they’re in costumes. COSTUMES SHOULD BE IN A SHOW, NOT AN AUDITION!

Ladies: Dress to sell your product.
If you want to sell your professional ability to perform, then dress like a professional (quick tip–if the stage floor is at eye level with the audience, women should avoid short dresses).

Casting directors are uncomfortable when they see “too much of you.” When they are uncomfortable, they look away, which is not what you want to happen in an audition.

Which would you prefer: the people at the table worrying about whether or not you are going to “fall out,” or thinking about hiring you. Save the cleavage for your hot dates.

Also, there are only 2-3 shows where it might be appropriate to wear jeans at the audition. Jeans, though considered more dressy now than they have been before, are very casual. Always remember that you are at a job interview.

Above all: Look professional. Let the directors see your abilities, not be distracted by what you are wearing.

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Audition Tips

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After going through my own auditions and callbacks this week, and observing others, I thought I would spend the next few days posting several audition tips. These have been compiled from my years in school and the numerous audition workshops I have taken. Hope this helps…

Audition Tips for Today:

—Prepare and warm up for your audition outside the room before you enter.
—Master your introduction! Walk in, wait until you get onto the stage, plant your feet, take a breath, then introduce yourself (first and last name) and your monologue/song. The intro is an opportunity to show who you are, your confidence and professionalism. Then take another breath and start your audition.
—You do not need to look at or nod to the accompanist to signal you are ready to begin. Simply put your head down, take a breath, think thru your song. Bring your head up with confidence which will signal to the accompanist you are ready.
—Do not set up or explain the piece, show them. Simply speak the name of the piece and the composer/playwright (hint no need to mention the playwright if it’s Shakespeare).
—Perform your audition like you’re performing in front of an audience and not a panel of directors.
—It’s recommended you don’t do accents.
—Remember this is theater not film.
—Remember to breathe.
—Do not use directors as your acting partner. Place the person you are “speaking to” behind the directors so that they can see your face clearly without you speaking to them directly. Look over them.
—Don’t use props.
—Do NOT choreograph your song.
—End your audition with “Thank you”