As an actor it can often be really tricky finding the right piece for any audition. Here at actor hub we like to help with occasional lists of audition pieces which we know work, these are pieces we have witnessed at auditions and have been humdingers!
At a musical theatre audition it is really important that you choose a piece which not only shows off your vocal ability but more importantly which demonstrates your acting ability. If a director just wanted great singers in a show then it is unlikely they would be approached you or your agent, they would choose someone who had spent years at a classical school perfecting their voice! They want an actor who can tell a story, and show a character out there on stage, and your audition piece should do just that.
When you are presenting a song at an audition you want to know that the accompanist can play the song, so don’t choose something madly obscure or too tricky. Don’t worry yourself endlessly about choosing something which they haven’t already heard that day, yes you want to be memorable but if you sing something that your competition has just sung, don’t fret, just know that you will be interpreting it completely differently.
If you are certain that a life on the musical theatre stage is for you then you need to be building your repertoire and learning about musicals all the time. Go to shows (at present loads of fringe theatres seem to be doing musicals, so you wont have to break the bank), search youtube, visit forums, get listening on itunes. The more familiar you are with the different styles, genres and periods of musical theatre the more prepared you will be for any audition which comes your way.
Remember to be bold, be brave and to go in as an individual and make the choices you want to make. If you slip up or fail, that’s ok, laugh it off and do it in style.
Audition Songs for Men
The songs below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to male audition songs. I have chosen these as they demonstrate both your vocal ability but also your acting skills. They should also introduce you to some songs or shows you didnt already know or that you might have overlooked. I will keep adding lists as I find new songs. If you find something else, or have a favourite you would like to share, let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to one of our lists.
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Saturday Night was Sondheim’s first musical which was written in 1954 but was never produced until 1997 due to an unfortunate set of events!Set in 1929 in Brooklyn a group of friends spend their Saturday Nights restless because they have no dates. Gene, who works in Wall Street in a menial job dreams of escaping Brooklyn and becoming a member of the exciting Manhattan society.The group have decided to head out for a Saturday Night and Gene has arrived in elegant clothes which has impressed everyone. He tells them how his smart clothes will be the ticket to the beautiful world and people of Park Avenue!This is a terrific mid tempo number is charming and a great opportunity for a singer to be cheeky, fun and likeable.
The eighties movie Footloose was terrific (I remember it at the cinema … yes, Im that old!) in 1998 a stage musical opened and has played both Broadway and the West End.It tells the story of Ren a Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister, dancing and rock music have been banned!This song opens the show (and the movie!) Ren is dancing off his stress of his long work day on his last visit to his local dance club before he moves to the small town of Bomont!
Stephen Schwartz’s work became so popular after the success of his musical Wicked, but the song Corner of the Sky from the musical Pippin has always been a favourite for auditions.The musical Pippin tells the story of a young prince on his search for meaning and significance. Pippin, the young man, sings Corner of the Sky right at the top of the show and it tells of his dreams to find where he belongs and his quest for an extraordinary life.Although overdone, it really is a classic I Dream/I Wish song and is perfect for young actors. It has innocence and vulnerability in bucket loads and will show off your type, your acting and your singing all in one making it great for casting purposes. And lets not forget it has a fantastic falsetto ending to boot!
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical telling the story of a fictional spelling bee (US spelling competition for school kids) set in Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.I’m Not That Smart is sung by one of the kids, Leaf Coneybear, when he has some trouble spelling one of the words he is faced with. He remembers how his family thinks he ‘is not that smart’.If you can really find the truth of playing a young kid then this song could be a winner, if you play it for laughs and put in all manner of ticks and thumb sucking ‘kid acting’ then I think you will stand out for all the wrong reasons.Look for the truth in the words, look at how you could relate to how the character is feeling. Work on how a kid would be able to express these feelings openly and not suppress them. Work on a few mannerisms which make you slightly kid-like but not over the top, and then go for it. If you take risks it will pay off in the long run.A comedy song which can show off your comic skills but also showcase your musicality.
Carousel was the second musical by the team Rogers and Hammerstein. The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right.When Julie has announced her pregnancy to Billy, he is overwhelmed with happiness. He imagines all the fun he will have with his son, Bill Jr, then he realises the child could be a girl, and reflects soberly on the duties he will have being a father to a girl. All of this reflection is done alone on stage in the epic musical song ‘Soliloquy’The song is seven and a hlaf minutes long! And through it Billy daydreams happilly, then is horrified, then disappointed, then tender, and then motivated. It is a huge song for any singer and is done well can be a tour de force. It is the closest I think musical theatre gets to having an aria.Interestingly when Sinatra released ‘Soliloquy’ as a single the song was not complete on Side A it had to continue on side B.“I-i got to get ready before she comes!
I got to make certain that she
Won’t be dragged up in slums
With a lot o’ bums like me”
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice