Monday, April 1, 2013

Music Director Interview - Question Number 2

This summer I began an interview process with three lovely Music Directors. All work in different areas of the country so I wondered if their answers would vary widely to the five – very long – questions I asked them about what their preferences are when in an audition situation.

Kim Dare works in Seattle at various Equity and Non-Equity companies

Darcy Danielson is the resident Music Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

 Jeff Caldwell works on the east coast in the New York area, on Broadway and Off Broadway.

This is Question Number 2:

 If you could tell an actor one thing NOT to do in an audition -
what would it be?


Apologize. The other total no-no is to learn the song the night before. That just never goes well. 


Don't come un- (or under) prepared. Also – don't make excuses! If your voice is tired, let it be. A good music director should be able to hear when a voice is tired or a person is sick or congested, etc. I hate hearing an actor stand there and give excuses – it's a weak place and really annoying and unprofessional! Certainly, if there is information that should be known, find a way to communicate without sounding like you're whining or making excuses. "Before I begin, I would like to share that I had my tonsils removed just 2 weeks ago. I don't expect an issue, but feel like that's information that you should have." would be perfectly fine!


Don't ever snap, pound out the tempo on the piano, or set the music down and walk away. Rehearse your introduction and tempo setting skills all the time so it is second nature and easy.
The ONLY exception is if you're a jazz singer or doing a jazz standard as a jazz singer in character. Since even in the highest level clubs they will snap and count the band in, it is an acceptable practice in only a few circumstances. If you plan to do this, I would have a conversation with the pianist and ask them if they mind that. I personally am not a fan of someone sitting next to me to converse, or to putting their hand on my shoulder, unless we're super good friends. Don't set water or anything else on the piano. That's my domain in an audition.
And yes, be prepared. There will always be someone better prepared than you, so why not just set the bar high and be THAT person.




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