Friday, January 20, 2012

If you don't know what a tour jete' is - get out of the audition line!

Friday Musings...

after a discussion with a singer who dances (or a dancer who sings depending on who you talk to - her or me!) of the annoyances at the audition...(and am talking MT here)

There are MANY taking up space at the audition that simply should not be there.  People who do not follow the rules, who bitch, who complain, who try to sound and look important and simply SHOULD NOT BE AUDITIONING.

Why not?  Talent aside,  there are certain things that expose you and if so exposed,  you have no business being at an audition.

"They asked for a tour jete' - what's that?"  If you are at a dance call and you do not know the terminology - you probably do not know how to dance.  Certainly not at the level that is required to be a professional and be hired for a job.  You should not be at the audition.  You should be in a CLASS LEARNING HOW TO DANCE.

"What's a bell tone?"  get out of the singer call.  If you do not study singing regularly, semi-regularly and can put down a CURRENT teacher or do not have your voice in working order,  you shouldn't be auditioning. 

Harsh?  Hardly.  Real? Yes indeed.

Those of you who study regularly to build craft know the exhaustion of going to an audition, being 151 on the list and then find out they are only seeing up to 149.  You also know that half of those people just got there early and probably do not study regularly and just want to be at a music theatre audition.  They aren't right for the show,  they haven't done anything to develop craft.  So the casting director is listening/watching to people who simply are wasting their time,  where there might be and most certainly are, those of you cut by number who would have been much better suited to be seen.

So, if you don't understand dance terminology - get thee to MANY classes to learn HOW to say it, WHAT it is, and HOW TO DO IT WELL.  Then and only then have you begun to be ready for a dance call.

Singers - STUDY.  HONESTLY PLEASE!  Don't put teachers' names down on your resume if you don't work with them or didn't work with them regularly enough (or more than once).  The business is small.  I have had casting directors and directors call me asking if I work with so-and-so.  You are found out pretty quickly if you fabricated something.  Casting gets to know what certain singers who study with a certain teacher DO,  and you can't fake that.  Period.

Singers, you need to know what a bell tone is for an audition.  You often need to know your range - which isn't always relevant from a squeak to a grunt - but a range that is easy to SING well.  You should know what tessitura means and what it means for YOU;  you should know what your passaggio is;  You should know your voice TYPE for any given show.  You should know the difference between voice type for choral singing, and voice type for solo singing.  An "alto" is NOT a solo voice type.  If you call yourself that, it tells us a great deal of what you do NOT know.

Many of the terms in singing have translations depending on the voice teacher you study with - but know how to translate them back!  If you don't know, ASK! There are no stupid questions in the studio  - you are there to LEARN.

"Faking your way" in an audition exposes you to bigger issues.  First,  you might only be faking to yourself and everybody sees PRECISELY who you are and what you are about.   People remember - others in the line, the monitor,  the casting director and anybody else at the table. 

Real artists keep building their craft.  Real dancers keep taking dance classes.  Real singers keep studying voice.  Real actors keep themselves in acting classes.  If you SAY you are, DO what you say you are.   Know what you are talking about by doing it.  If you don't know, LEARN. STUDY.

DO it well, or simply step aside so someone who is behind you has a chance to be seen.  If you aren't smart enough to realize it's YOU,  then you might be told to move. 

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