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Auditioning For Musicals: The Recalls

When an actor, singer Check our website or dancer throne rush hack cheats auditions for a show, it is very rare that they are cast on the first hearing. With thousands of actors singers and dancers looking for work, the recall system is a necessary evil. (One of our clients in the UK had to go through 9 recalls – all at her own expense – before being cast in the show.) This article describes the different stages of auditioning, and how I coach performers through the system.

I’m assuming that you have either succeeded in or bypassed the preliminary stage of auditioning, the open call (or cattle call), and completed the first full call.

Getting a recall means that the company has decided you might fit the part and are at approximately the right level for them. They want to find out more about you and how you deal with the material in the show. The casting panel will normally send you the songs and the script for the characters they want you to study.

If the production company haven’t given any music or instructions, but has asked you to sing your own choice for them again, my advice is NOT to take new songs “to show something different” but to polish the same songs that were sung in the first audition. I also recommend wearing the same outfit. It’s the song, the performance and the clothing that got you the recall, so why risk changing their minds?

During a coaching session for auditions, we focus on the song, the character and the story – what’s the package that we’re selling? This technique, used for first auditions with your own choice of song, can be applied to the recall. We’ll explore the songs the casting panel has provided, identify the style elements of the show and incorporate them into the song (and your voice). We’ll also nail the personality aspects of the character, and experiment with dialogue and scenes to carry the character through singing AND speaking to produce a cohesive performance.

That’s the first major hurdle. But the second recall is different again. By this time you will probably have been given not just the music but also some clues or advice on how the company wants the character to be played. In coaching for the second recall, we might experiment with different readings of the song based on different subtexts. It’s essential during the second recall that the performer gives a clear reading, but can still stay flexible enough to change if required.

The third recall is usually a more flexible event. You now know that you are at the right level and appropriate for the role. Often in the third recall the director and musical director will work with you in detail. This is the time to listen and experiment! Occasionally other auditioning actors will be brought in to “match up” a potential cast. My coaching sessions for the third recall are much more focussed, using information and hints given by the panel.

For example, working on auditions for the musical Spring Awakening recently, one of my clients was looking at three different roles and had been given very specific instructions from the directors for all three songs. So we worked on more aggression and bite in the consonants for one character, a more fluid, lyrical feel with some musical style tweaks for the second, and a hypnotic, sexually dominant feel for the third.

Another client was working on recalls for Mamma Mia and was up for two of the three leading ladies. So we worked on the dialogue for each character, identifying and shaping the differences between gta 5 hacks the two roles, finding the essence of their speech patterns, speed of delivery, pitch range and characterisation. Then we carried those differences into the songs to give a complete, identifiable package for each of the leads.

By the time you get to the fourth, fifth or sixth recall, you will have a relationship with the casting panel, and they have more time to discuss what they want to experience from you. You should be able to find out if there are any weaknesses in your presentation, and what you can do about it. Experimentation is vital here so know your material!

Occasionally at this point, it’s less about you and more about the casting panel being in disagreement about what the role requires. Perhaps a show originates on Broadway and comes over to the West End (or vice versa). In these cases there is often an American casting contingent who might have very different ideas. Just stay calm and do what you do. Be prepared to change everything that you have done so far. Stay focussed and open, and listen very carefully to what you are being told. In the rare event that you receive conflicting information, follow the advice of the person with the highest authority!

And if you don’t get any further in this particular journey, remember that the casting panel in your country has already approved your performing and will remember you for other shows.

Auditioning for jobs is a fact of life for the actor singer dancer. Once you become more successful at singing auditions, casting directors start to see you in other roles and you can bypass the first stages of auditioning (although even for the stars auditioning never goes away – “Would you like to pop in for a chat and a little sing?”).

Being offered the lead in a West End musical, or stepping into a role on Broadway can be very rewarding. Working the Recall System in this way can help you understand the process and get you there quicker.

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