Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ladies, Do I Need to Talk About SHOES?!

Yes, yes I do...

Whether it is an audition,  a masterclass and certainly a performance - if you are performing and presenting as YOU and not a character who is in costume - YOU HAVE TO EXPLORE THE HEEL!

Quit whining you who only wear a ballet flat!!

There MIGHT (and I say a very qualified "might") but certain "types" in Music Theatre, that can get away with a flat - child role for example - for an audition, but I have actually heard Casting Directors say if they see one more ballet flat they are going to scream!

Opera?  Classical?  NO WAY!

The heel is the acceptable shoe of choice.

And guess what?  There are TONS of choices!!!!  Type of shoe,  heel height,  fabric,  colour - all those things that can enhance your body, your outfit and your performance!

Some of us were born to wear heels comfortably - but guess what? We still practice walking in them,  working in them and finding the correct heel for the outfit and the occasion.

You need to discover what works for you.  If you've never worn heels and you wobble out in 4 inch stilettos,  that's ridiculous too.

Flats make you look like you have stove pipes for legs and generally make you stand like a duck.  If I'm noticing this, I'm not listening to you, am I?

We SEE YOU FIRST.  Learn how to pull it together,  and work it!!! Quit making excuses and whining!  YOU ARE IN THEATRE FOR GODSSAKE!

DO NOT WEAR CHARACTER SHOES for performance or audition;

The KITTEN HEEL was made popular by Audrey Hepburn and it still is a wonderful option if you aren't a high-heeled girl!!    It still gives you lift and curve without making it impossible to walk!  The heel can be a low as 3 centimeters with a narrow "stiletto". Are you kidding?! Get some!!!

STILETTO HEELS come in EVERY height - they are really more about the dimension of the heel.  They were named after the Stiletto Dagger of the 1930s.  They can be 1" in height up to whatever you can wear!!!
A REAL Stiletto heel has steel or alloy - thus the beeping at airport security!

Stay away from the heels that are clear (!)  or too much club wear...(!)

Here are some "stilettos" at EVERY height:

STACKED HEELS are also appropriate for daytime, with a suit and the like - again they come in every height.  They are more casual, sometimes a thicker heel, and give the illusion of a wood heel.

THE WEDGE heel is also an option - again, a little more casual depending on the occasion!
This was my FIRST high heel - and if you have trouble in heels, you might want to try a wedge.
It was created by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1936 in Italy and made its way to North American in the 40s.

They are better with wide legged pants or longer skirts...

THE MARY JANE can be found in numerous heel heights and types of heel as well:

As you can see - there is more than enough to choose from - these are just a start!

Your occasion, your fabrics, your colours will all play into your choice of shoe - not just the HEEL - height and make!

THE PLATFORM is not for the faint of heart - and really gives height, but is easier to walk in than you think - work your way up to this!!!

SO explore what works for you!

Even those of us who love our high heels, have heels of every height, dimension and description!

Just DISCOVER those heels - of ANY height, and walk and sing and work in them.


Edited to add:  STRETCHING is so important when you wear heels! Calves, hip flexors and plantar metatarsal stretches.

Also, those of us over 40 begin to lose the fat in the metatarsal - ball of the foot - (could just shift some fat from other places, but I digress) so if you need to - wear a silicone metatarsal pad!

I highly recommend Yoga Toes - to stretch the foot and keep the bones aligned et al.


  1. I wish I had all of those shoes in my closet!!

  2. I'm 5'10", so I rarely, if ever, wear heels in real life. But I always wear them for auditions. I go with the shortest heels I can find. :) The other day, I saw someone at an audition wearing a flat sandal with an ankle strap. I almost fell over.

  3. Great post! Good reminder to practice walking in heels! When I was a tween, My mom taught me to walk in heels, Motown style (pointing your toes as you step). I've since adapted it, but it was a great building block! I see too many ladies looking like a donkey trying to walk in heels!

  4. Oh, dear...I often have worn character shoes at auditions - why are they a no go?
    Nearly all shoes with heels seriously hurt my feet and ankles, even with inserts because they are simply not made with enough support and are too thin...even the last pair of high heeled boots I bought that had a fairly thick soil allowed me to walk in them for max 25 min before I was in so much pain I had to stop...any suggestions?

  5. Alisha,

    Character shoes are DANCE shoes NOT voice audition shoes.
    You don't have to wear your audition shoes on the street - throw them in your bag and put them on before you walk in the room, and take them off when you leave. You'll only have them on for 5 minutes! Just practice in them. IT IS A NECESSITY!!!!

    CDs see character shoes they see "amateur". Present yourself professionally if you want a chance to be seen professionally!