Hello my loves!
So I did something really exciting last weekend and I auditioned for the National Touring and Broadway casts of both Disney's Aladdin and Disney's The Lion King! Today I wanted to talk about my experience and also some tips I have if you ever want to audition for a casting director of a Broadway show!
Disney was holding an open casting call for adult singers and dancers and their team and casting agents were travelling to different cities around the U.S. The casting call I went to happened to be the last stop in New Orleans, Louisiana. The website said check ins went from 9-11 and audition duration was to be determined based on the amount of people who showed up.
I wanted to get their early to make sure I ended up somewhere around the beginning of the line and so I aimed to get there at 8:30 a.m. When I arrived there was already a line around the building outside so I was very nervous about the amount of people there but even just getting there was a huge accomplishment because I was SO nervous! I have done so many community theater shows and auditions but something about being in front of an agent who casts national touring shows and shows on Broadway was extra nerve wracking!
One thing that helped calm my nerves was talking to the people around me. I didn't go with any friends so that added the extra edge to my nerves but by making friends with the people around me I didn't feel so nervous and I felt better because they were all super nervous too. After standing there for about 10 minutes I heard someone say my name and there were two friends who I have done community theater shows with who were there too and it was such a nice and unexpected surprise! I ended up walking back to them and standing with them and it was so nice to have them there and it really helped to calm my nerves!
We were finally talked to by one of the people running the auditions and were told that because of the turn out our original amount of 16 bars of music was being cut down to 8 bars and that they were starting check in soon. This sparked panic among everyone who was auditioning because then you had to choose on the spot which half of your piece you wanted to choose. Which half was the better one to choose, which half was more impressive, etc. I am so glad I chose a song I have auditioned with before and that is in my repertoire of music I have so it was easy for me to choose.
We finally made our way around and were given numbers and I was number 102. We were then led inside to a holding room for everyone while we waited to be called in groups of 10. I ended up seeing 3 more people I knew when we were in there and it was nice to have people to catch up with while waiting.
Our group waited probably for a little less than 2 hours total before our numbers were called. We luckily had a friend who had auditioned in a group ahead of us so we sort of knew what to expect. We knew that we got to go in and audition one by one which was comforting. I auditioned for The Voice two years ago and in that audition you had to sing in front of everyone in your group and that was SO nerve wracking!!
I was the second one in my group to go in and I was expecting for there to be this huge panel of people but there were only two which eased my nerves. I handed the music to my accompanist and gave him my tempo and then just started. The whole of the audition lasted for maybe 20 seconds and then one of the directors said 'thank you so much Jessica' and that was it!
I knew going in I probably wasn't going to get a call back, not for lack of talent, but because my look probably wasn't the right fit for either Aladdin or The Lion King but even having the experience was so worth it!
Some tips for you for any big or small auditions that I have as a take away from this are:
-Bring your own water. There is no guarantee that there will be a water fountain or water anywhere and in this case there wasn't!
-Make sure you have a music resume and headshot. Even if you don't have much experience having any sort of experience you do have put on a resume is something they will want along with a headshot. I just went to Fed-Ex-Kinkos and got them to print mine on thick glossy card stock and it looks so professional.
-Put your music in a binder and make it easy for your accompanist to follow. Print out your music and hole punch it and mark where you want to begin and end your audition segment so that they clearly know where you want to start and end.
-Be comfortable with what you are performing. I chose a song I was very comfortable with so that when my nerves kicked in I wouldn't accidentally forget the words or melody.
- Bring something to keep your mind off of everything while you wait. Have a book or a favorite game you like to play on your phone. We all played Heads Up and it really helped get our minds off of everything.
-Be confident. Even if you are nervous out of your mind go into that audition room confident in your abilities. Remind yourself that it is less than a minute of your entire life and if performing is something you want to do the more auditions you go to the better at them you get.
I hope you guys enjoyed re-living my audition experience with me! If you have any audition experiences you want to share I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment or tweet me (@thejesslauren)!