Saturday, July 31, 2010

What to wear for that Music Theatre Audition?

Yesterday's blog was full of  ideas that I hope you can incorporate!

Music Theatre auditions are different than opera/classical.

Yes, you are at a job interview.

However, they can be less "formal" and should show your body and your type.

They can "evoke" a character without becoming a costume.

Music Theatre auditions are NOT pageant tryouts.

When you are auditioning for a specific show/genre,  then evoke that.  They want to SEE that when you walk in, but they want to RECOGNIZE your type by how you present yourself.

Some basics...

Make sure the clothes fit. Seriously.

Make sure they are clean and pressed.  Seriously.  Or at least don't look like you slept in them.

Look like you want to be there because trust me - there are MANY in the hall after you who would KILL you gladly to have a chance.

Find a "classic YOU"  and claim it and give yourself some variables into it - this will give you a starting off point in order to create type as well.

Know your body.  CLAIM IT.  What are the parts of you that you love?  And what are the features of you that are wonderful?  WORK IT!

Some of the same things apply from the last blog - makeup please girls.  Some guys use a little, do it if you want!  Bring out the best features.  This is "interview" makeup though - not stage makeup.  Know the difference!

SHOES - no flip flops, or socks and birkenstocks (!),  or torn up shoes.  please.  Footwear is sooooo important.  Heels are important ladies - even if it is a kitten heel.  Flats make many CDs mad and frankly make your legs look flat and dumpy.

If you wear heels, learn how to walk in them.  You have to get into that room, to the table, to the piano, sing and get out of that room.  Know how to do it.

As many of you know,  I am a footwear person (!! understatement huh??!!)  and often,  you have great fun with footwear.  Find shoes, boots and the like that really spice up your look,  add to your type and create interest.  If a CD makes a comment about your great shoes, trust me, they will remember you!!

Hair - brush it! DO it.  Get it out of your face.  It's an audition, not a prom.  Make sure it represents YOU without it being evening hair!

Music Theatre auditions don't have to be as "formal".  Often a type is edgier, so jeans can be appropriate - or even leggings are okay.  Make sure it suits your body type and your character type.  And it also helps that you know what show you are auditioning for!

If it's Oklahoma,  Crazy for You and Carousel,  the guys could wear great jeans and boots.  The girls, not so much.

If it's Rent,  Wild Party, and Hair and girls you show up in a sundress - it might not read as edgy, yknow?

So,  PLAN YOUR OUTFIT!   Just like you plan your 16 bar cut know the package you will present it in!  Use a little flair to an outfit to give that "type" a dash of YOU.

A pulled-together actor shows he/she is ready to take something on.  It shows he/she takes his/her work seriously and knows HOW to work.

So here are a few "types" and variations that might give you ideas...

The "classic ingenue" - more contemporary:

Ingenue - more classic:

Ingenue with a bit more edge:

Got the idea?  These are dresses, and you could certainly go with leggings, or jeans even if the fabrics and cuts evoke ingenue - and the footwear and hair and makeup do the same!

If you want an edgier look - or more dressed "down" look maybe something contemporary like these suits you more:

these looks evoke a different type don't they?  More contemporary,  a little more edge...

Leading ladies - younger or more sophisticated can bring in another look and evoke something else...

the femme fatale can get sexier and a dress, leggings, jeans, even a suit...fabric and cut make all the difference - AND the shoes!

And on and on....

MANY types and ideas within each type...

depending on the show, the season, your body, your comfort zone, your best features!

ENJOY it, don't dread it!  You are in the theatre after all - your character type should be fun to express and something you put time and thought into to allow that type to emerge through you!


  1. Wow, Susan, these are great - I think competitions and music schools should put these on a resource list. It must be hard for young performers to figure out what to wear to auditions, and this really goes into helpful detail. I think you should do one for men!

  2. thanks Deborah - means alot from you!
    The Men's blog is coming soon!

  3. So. Good. Specific instructions for body shape and for the type of role you're looking towards playing? Awesome.

    I think often what happens is people don't want to think about their body's "flaws", and in doing so, they also ignore what is great about their body. I was reading an article in InStyle about Cat Deeley. In it, she was talking about how her mother taught her how to bring out her assets, and she would ask Cat to explain WHY she chose something. She is her own stylist and attributes her know-how to having to think through her choices. She talked about knowing what are her strengths (hello LEGS) and what are the areas she needs to be more careful with (wide shoulders, like WIDE). Hence the short dresses and clever sleeves/necklines.

    I was browsing (drooling over) the Nordstrom online catalogue and they even make it easier for people- you can enter your body shape/type and they narrow it down FOR you. A good place to start!

  4. I was just about to write:
    Great!! Love these...what about us MEN?

    Can't wait to see!

  5. the MEN blog is a-coming - I promise!!!!

  6. I love it! I will be wearing a black knit skirt and pretty white shimmery top with black heels tomorow! thanks for the advice! wish me luck!!

  7. Hi, what should I wear for my Rizzo audition? I'm only 18 and I want to be taken seriously. Want to look edgy and sexy.

  8. I cannot tell you definitively what to wear since I do not know you. It should suit your body type, should evoke the character you wish to be seen as.

  9. Oh sorry, of course. Well I'm a petite girl. Is it true that brighter colours are remembered better? Like red?

  10. well if you are petite, you want to create long lines - don't chop your body up! Wear colours that enhance you - the colour shouldn't take away from you!

  11. Hey Susan!
    Does the same rule of solids over prints apply for MT auditions too?

  12. What do you recommend to wear gor a head shot if you are only 5 foot tall and weigh about 150 lbs and auditioning for musical theatre ?

  13. remember it is a head shot - wear a color that looks great with your skin tone! Make it a solid - no patterns!

  14. what should i wear if im portraying a woman whos heart broken, but just came from a formal evening event?

  15. If it's an audition, you want to reveal YOU. The context of the monologue doesn't matter. You aren't playing the character, but rather evoking a character. Decide what you want to reveal in the room about yourself, and dress accordingly.

  16. Well im auditioning for into the woods for little red ridinghood can you give me some advice ss what to wear maybe even a example picture?

    1. congrats on your audition! First you have to wear what looks good and feels good on you!