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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Avenue Q is an hilarious musical which has puppets alongside actors. If you went looking for Sesame Street and got lost and ended up in the wrong neighbourhood you might just find yourself in Avenue Q!The song Purpose comes early in Act One and is sung by lead character Princeton. Recently graduated he is keen to find a purpose in life.Like Corner of the Sky from Pippin, the song is typical of dreamer songs and is great for auditions as it has plenty of character and comedy and story in its lyrics.Be careful to keep the emotion under control and not be too ‘wide-eyed and jazz-hands’ when singing it. Try to keep grounded and find the truth in the song to really show some acting ability.
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!
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 Prince of Eygpt is a 1998 animated epic from Dreamworks which tells the biblical story of Moses and the Book of Exodus. The story follows Moses from being a Prince of Eygpt through to his destiny leading the children of Isreal out of Eygpt. The songs are written by the Wicked and Godspell composer Stephen Schwartz.This wonderful uplifting song is sung by Jethro a high priest and father to Moses’ wife, Tzipporah. Moses has gone into hiding and journeyed many miles across desert ro reach the land of the Midiantes – who worship the Hebrew God.Jethro sings a song of thanks to God and welcomes Moses into the tribe. The song is a celebration of life and noticing and celebrating all that the world has to offer.Stephen Schwartz has this to say about the inspiration for this song:
That was actually the third song written for its spot the other two had more to do with the tribe welcoming Moses into their midst. It was Jeffrey Katzenberg’s suggestion that the song be more about the philosophy of Jetthro, the spiritual leader of the tribe. One of the directors, Steve Hickner, found a well known poem called “The Measure of a Man” which helped to inspire some of the specific ideas in the song.“So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life, look at your life through heaven’s eyes”
Larger than Life is from the musical My Favourite Year, by Flaherty and Ahrens. Flaherty and Ahren’s musical A Man Of No Importance is also worth checking out for the song’s On The Streets of Dublin and Welcome to the WorldMy Favourite Year tells the story of Benjy Stone is a sketch writer for a live television variety show In the 1950s. He is given the task of keeping sober the alcoholic womanising movie idol Alan Swann until airtime. Benjy finds himself involved in a sequence of shenanigans unlike any he ever experienced before.Larger Than Life is a lovely stand alone song telling of Benjy’s love for the movies and for his hero Alan Swann. A great story song, and a gift for actors.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice