Okay so what does my audition binder need?
Well as long as you feel comfortable performing everything in your audition binder at the drop of a hat I am of the opinion that you can never have too much material. That being said, the absolute minimum your binder should have is:
1. Contemporary Ballad
2. Contemporary Up Tempo
3. Classic (Think Pre-1970) Ballad
4. Classic Up Tempo
5*. Comedic Novelty Song (If you plan on going out for comedic musical roles)
6. Contemporary Dramatic Monologue
7. Contemporary Comedic Monologue
8. Classic Non-Shakespeare Dramatic Monologue
9. Classic Non-Shakespeare Comedic Monologue
10* and 11*. If you are interested in Shakespeare you should have both a Dramatic and Comedic Monologue from his works.
Wow, that seems like a lot!
It is, and that is just bare bones. Although be aware monologues are starting to be used less and less but it is important that you at least have a couple that at worst you can refresh yourself on quick before the audition.
So how do I pick my material?
Well I pick my songs and monologues based on 5 criteria in no particular order:
1. Do I enjoy performing it? - If you enjoy performing your piece that joy will read across the table and make you seem more fun to work with.
2. Do I sound good performing it? - This one is more for songs than monologues. Whatever you pick you should be able to sing in your sleep, auditions are nerve racking enough, you don't need to add, "Will I hit those high notes?" in there as well.
3. How difficult is it to play? - Again, another one for songs, check with your voice teacher, or friend who plays the piano, or play it yourself if you can, how difficult is it to play. Remember your accompanist is human, if you give him an incredibly difficult piece it is possible he could mess up.
4. Does it cut well? - When you go to an audition usually you do not get to perform the whole song or monologue. Usually you have between 8-32 bars for the song and 30 seconds - 2 minutes for the monologue. Some pieces work fantastically as a whole but simply cannot be effectively cut down to this size.
5. What 2 - 3 things do you specifically want to show about yourself with this piece? - I know I said in no particular order, but I saved this one for last. Every audition piece you do, you should be able to pick specific skills or traits you have as a performer that the piece shows off. Maybe it shows your gorgeous soprano voice, or your ability to effortlessly play tough guy characters, or something as specific as you love the way you deliver that one line, or hit that big note.
So that is just the start of how to pick material for your Audition Binder. If you would like to know more, join us tomorrow, Monday the 11th - Friday the 15th, for our Audition Workshop Summer Camp, more information is included in the summer camp link on the left side of the page.
Thanks! As always please leave comments and let me know what kind of blogs you are most interested in reading.