I was playing auditions at Equity the other day, and was reminded that sometimes actors are really, REALLY bad about communicating to their accompanist in terms of how they want their song played. I know there are accompanists out there who aren't the greatest, or ignore you, or don't listen to what you say... but I do wonder how many people out there just don't have a clue as to how to talk to their accompanist. In my experience, its damn near every person that comes in the room. So here are 10 helpful tips from your friendly neighborhood audition accompanist:
1) A smile and a hello go a long way! You can even tell me your name and shake my hand if you want.
2) Put your music down, or hand it to me and I'll put it down so you don't miss the lip of the stand and have your enormous binder crash onto my baby maker.
3) Show me where you are starting, where you are ending, and any cuts. Mark these things clearly. Feel free to point out key changes or odd spots, and have those marked as well.
4) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIVE ME YOUR TEMPO. And please, give me your tempo ACCURATELY. I can't stress this enough-- so many people come in, and just casually and hastily sing through a measure or two of their song giving no semblance of a tempo. The best way to give a tempo to a pianist is to conduct (learn to conduct the basics, its real easy) your tempo and sing a bit of the song. Have a tempo change? SHOW ME where and ACCURATELY how fast. People have given me tempos, and to make sure they're sure I'll play a tempo they give me only to have them say "oh that's way too fast", which I assumed it would be. Know your stuff.
5) "Ok I start here, you'll just follow me ok?" Yes, I probably will, but not everyone will. We're working together here, I want you to have a good audition, so please at least give me a general idea of what you want.
6) Its always a good idea to have a bell tone be your start. I can feel exactly how you're going to do your song based on the breath you take before you begin. This also let's YOU take control, as opposed to having me start with some crazy ass, ill fitting intro that ultimately you'll miss and then blame me for.
7) Please don't be afraid to ask me something when it comes to your song. I realize audition notices these days say your accompanist may not transpose, but if you have your song ending awkwardly in a key that isn't where you began without a helpful modulation, its not gonna end well. Its obviously best to have it all laid out correctly, but if you had asked me if I transpose I would have said "Abso-freakin-lutely!" and I could have given you the best Sondheim ending you ever heard. Don't be afraid, I'm your friend.
8) STOP APOLOGIZING. Do not give me your music and then say "Sorry, its kind of complicated" or "Sorry its in F#" or "Sorry its fast!". I do this for a living, I can sight read Sondheim, JRB, Adam Guettel, and Bernstein. I can follow the time changes, I can follow the key changes, I can play your orchestral reduction. Why are you sorry? You need to have more faith in me than that. And you need to have more confidence in yourself and your audition piece. NEVER APOLOGIZE for your song choice.
9) I'm there to support you. I'm there to ACCOMPANY you. You are the leader. Take charge. If we get off on the wrong measure, note, tempo, whatever, STOP the song. Let's fix it together. I'm not offended. The casting director isn't offended. If anything, it shows you have the wherewithal to control your audition, and to want to be at your best. I'll say sorry, we'll get ourselves in order, and you'll kick ass.
10) A smile and a thank you are also great on the way out.
We're all in this together, and as someone who both auditions and plays auditions regularly, I hope this advice is helpful. Book it!
It's ok to get it off your chest.
I was playing auditions at Equity the other day, and was reminded that sometimes actors are really, REALLY bad about communicating to their accompanist in terms of how they want their song played. I know there are accompanists out there who aren't the greatest, or ignore you, or don't listen to what you say... but I do wonder how many people out there just don't have a clue as to how to talk to their accompanist. In my experience, its damn near every person that comes in the room. So here are 10 helpful tips from your friendly neighborhood audition accompanist:MotherMonsterApproved
Favorite place to rent a practice room? Taking into account price, how easy it is to book a room (that is, how crowded it gets), WITH a piano...go.bowe123
I should have posted this long ago but was waiting for the gig and tell. I also had some reservations because some people seemed to have a good time doing the production but I need to speak my own truth. A man named Michael H***, (that's orn, I did not want this to come up in a google search) who is the house manager at the 45th street theatre runs a production at this theatre called "Something Outrageous". It used to be called something else, but was the same type of show. Incredibly sexual content, strange unartistic format, out of his mind crazy director.
I was hired to do this gig and was put off from the start. He seemed bipolar to me and went off on insane tangents full of lies where he name dropped to gain your trust. How do I know this? He prefaced his name dropping by saying "I'm going to name drop to gain your trust".
He tried to pass himself off as old hat in the business with well connected parents and all that, but I caught him in more than one lie (his parents did not start second city in Chicago). I thought I'd be able to just do the production for the outlined 2 weeks, but decided that it wasn't worth the anxiety and bad feeling that it was giving me, and promptly quit after the 2nd rehearsal. And good thing I did...
I found out later from a friend who had been cast in his production and had had the same reaction of unease to him and his style, that in a one on one session with a casting director, the CD saw this particular credit on a fellow actor's resume and advised her to remove it. He said, and I quote: "this is a well known scam in the industry. He hires young, green actors without much experience in the business and has them do this show. He asks them to invite a certain number of people (he doesn't do that anymore but is certainly pushy about it), and then pays the rent on his theatre with the money from the profits."
I would suggest not even getting tangled up in this mess. The man lied in my audition-(told me he wasn't the director, he was just filling in for Clifton King), and talked about very sexual things-enough that i felt uncomfortable. I was consistently thrown into strange and uncomfortable positions in rehearsal, and was worried that he would blow at any minute. He doesn't advertise his show under his real name, he uses a pseudonym. On top of all of this. When he announced he wouldn't be paying us, unprompted by any questions from my cast, he got belligerently angry and defensive, telling us that we would be arrested if he were to pay us since we aren't in the union.
I don't know how this guy is still doing this, it seems that it's been going on for a few years, but there is NO benefit to be had from being in this production. It looks bad on your resume, the content is incredibly sexual (and in my own opinion... weird), and during rehearsal he is filling your head with lies. Stay far far away from this man and his scam of a production. I hope this info helps people as when I was cast and still deciding whether or not to stick it out, I was desperately looking for something to help support my gut instinct. I am happy to say that i followed it-but don't apply to audition, don't audition and don't do Something Outrageous.makintherounds
Okay, here's the sitch.
I went to an event last Friday for a theatre company I've done some work with. At the party, I was approached by a CD who had seen my work (and told me she was a big fan) in a show a while ago.
She reiterated that she thought I was fab, then said, "I'm seeing you soon, right? For [show]?" I responded, "I hope so!" since I hadn't yet gotten an appointment. She asked me who my agent was, I told her, and she said, "Oh, I'm sure you were submitted then."
I emailed my agent the next day to let her know that I had been approached, and to make sure I had been submitted. I had. On May 13.
Tomorrow, a week will have passed since I spoke to the CD. Still no word, from my agent or from the CD.
Is there a good way to follow up? Should I just calm down and let it go? I have no idea when appointments are... but I don't want to annoy anyone.
Never done the pay-for-play route. (Kinda reminds me of "I'll give you my lunch money if you'll be my friend" desperation.)
Anyway...considering upcoming Step It Up classes...& interested in feedback &/or comments from anyone who has been to them.
Or recommend places offering agent &/or CD "classes"...?
I've never done one of these & wondered when people really show up to sign up, how crowded they generally are, any other insights for getting seen. Thanks!BBrave
Anyone have info about this company? I want a cruise job but not one that makes me wanna jump overboard.iamplayingme
I saw a similar question a while back but I can't find it again. (Is there anyway to see the archives?)
I just dyed my hair and don't have new headshots yet (I might just get the hair color changed on my old ones), but I'm attending a seminar with a casting director tomorrow. Should I use my current headshot and attach a snapshot?itwillbeme1day
Anyone done this dance call? How was it?Mista Lupone
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, perfect. Not even close. But when I make a mistake, I like to own up to it.
With all the trolling go on, I came to someone's defense, and in the process called another user an asshole for being, what I perceived as rude. Turns out they just had a much more finely tuned troll-dar than I did.
So to BobbyBaby, I apologize.
I don't like to delete anything on this site. It inhibits the free exchange of information. But there is a serious infestation of trolls here lately, and I am just going to start deleting things that are either obvious trolling or become obvious later on.
The Bitching post is supposed to be amusing, fun, snarky, maybe a little rude, but above all helpful. It is not here for some loser with nothing better to do than start shit on the internet when they should probably be working on finding an acting job. That is what this site, and even this section of the site, is supposed to be, a place to help your career. Maybe it is being helped by venting, or ranting, or finding information, or just realizing that you are not alone in a particular frustration. All of that is healthy and good for your career in the long run, even if it is in the smallest increment.
If you are trolling, just stop. You are being dick, and you are not helping your fellow actors. There are plenty of other sites for that.
Does anyone know what the minimum number of equity actors a theater must employ under an SPT agreement...can't seem to find the answer anywhere.mattbrew
Has anyone taken this before? I'm thinking of signing up as a nice way to motivate myself before fall auditions start and to be seen by some people in the industry, but it's pretty pricey (4 days is $600+). They say they audition people to get in and there is a showcase, but is it legit? I just want to make sure it would be worth it. Any thoughts would be super helpful, especially from people who have taken the workshop before!
You know that moment after you get a job offer and after the excitement and relief you realize everything that's wrong with it? Some thoughts in this weeks post...
So, this has been on my mind for a while, but the activity I've seen the past few days has pushed me over the edge.
I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who's noticed a change in tone here on the BP in the past few months. In fact, the person who I would argue is the single most influential poster in Bitching Post history hasn't shown up in months because of how insane the posts have gotten on here. This is a person without whom the Bitching Post literally would not exist in its current form (i.e. snark and practical advice woven together), and she doesn't come here anymore because it's just too maddening.
The whole reason we can have anonymous usernames on here is because it's important for us to be able to be honest about the not-so-publicized aspects of the industry, and not have to worry about being blackballed for speaking up. It is not- I repeat NOT- so that we can be dicks to each other without fear of repercussions because, "hey, the internet!" That is the coward's way. We are better than this.
Bitch about the industry if you want. I won't stop you. But I can only imagine how many *don't* contribute their ideas (which could be great, if a little half-baked) because they're afraid of being raked over the coals. You'll never know it, because they were never here to begin with, but that potential is lost. This used to be a place where we could think out loud and toss around ideas and be given the benefit of the doubt unless you said something truly asinine. And I miss that.thejollyraja
I have an idea! You should be Glinda in Wicked on Broadway if you sing that high. Then you'll get all the boys. I hear that Wicked is the best show on Broadway. My friend told me. *said in an animated kitty voice* You should be on Broadway.BobbyBaby
Morning! I got into Jen's Audition Workshop and Studio Workshop classes. That's $800 gone in one shot. Is it worth it to take both or is one not necessary if you have the other? I have my BFA so I'm not starting at the beginning- I need a jump start. Anyone who has taken the classes have any insight? Thank you!Actortime
Does it bother any other female Equity members that it's been two months after the new Equity lounge opened, and the women's restroom still has no disposal receptacles for feminine hygiene products in three of the four stalls?!!
The only stall that does have a trash bin is the handicapped one, so apparently, Equity thinks that if you're on your period, you're handicapped. I have twice put the suggestion in the suggestion box of trash cans in the stalls, but nothing yet has come of it. They don't need to be those metal containers attached to the stall wall, they just need cheap, plastic trash cans you can get at Bed Bath and Beyond! Three small trash cans will cost the union, what? Maybe thirty bucks? Meanwhile, us menstruating people have to carry our bloody tampons with us out of the stalls to throw away. As a friend said, "Unsanitary and disgusting."
Please, if you're a fellow female in agreement, let's bombard the suggestion box with suggestions of trash cans in the stalls. And if you're someone at Equity in a position to actually put this plan into action, please, go out and get those cheapie trash cans for us ladies. Thanks!
And thanks AuditionUpdate for giving me a place to rant.BreatheNamaste
once again I've been in two final call backs in the past week and have booked ZERO. at this point I think God is having a little joke at my expense. I'm so frustrated. does anyone have any ideas on pick me ups?bwystar123
Has anyone worked for JSE? I got offered a role and want to learn more about them before I accept.dancewhenucan
Hi, people of AU,
I'm looking for a recommendation for a great acting class. Scene study, probably. But what I really want to know is...where did you study that was so good that you booked a job right after as a direct result of having studied there?
Thanks. Scene study would be great, but interested in hearing stories of all kinds of classes that directly bred work. Thanks!ulcer
You know who you are!!! 95% of you "straight" boys in MT aren't actually straight. It doesn't matter how much you love Jesus. STOP WASTING MY TIME!!!!BethSingsSoPrano
This is a big, fat question with a lot of pieces, many of which have been answered on here before, but humor me?
I'm signed with a legit agent (small agency). She's gotten me in for a few things, and she is GREAT at submitting me for everything I'm right for. However, I'm not getting appointments. I have new headshots, reel footage, a strong-enough resume (AEA, lots of great Bway and off- directors), always follow up with CDs, keep in touch, give good auditions, etc, but I'm just not getting the appointments.
So my broad questions (all advice welcome):
1. How can I increase my appointment-getting rate?
2. I CANNOT afford to join somewhere like One-on-One right now-- getting new headshots cleaned me out for a while. And call me old-fashioned, but I have icky moral issues with paying to meet people. I've done it... but if I can avoid it, I'd rather not. I know a lot of people disagree-- it's okay, I'm talking to my therapist about it.
3. I'll be in two productions this summer, one in the Fringe and one running July/August downtown. Should I hold off on making any moves as far as mailings/stuff until I have, like, postcards for the shows or can offer tix? Or should those be follow-ups to something else?
4. I attend EPAs. So that's another thing I'm already doing.
5. Any words of wisdom? Trying to be specific, but just ended up writing a novel. Whoops.twirlinggirl
We've all been there: walk into the holding room and it's a ghost town. Then it hits you: everyone else knew this EPA was a required audition, so why bother!
I just saw an EPA for June 3. Rehearsals start two weeks later for a six week contract. Is this for real? They're putting their season on the line that they're going to cast this in a week or so?
Or is this puppy "cast" and we're wasting our time traveling to Hudson, NY:
Thank you SO much for this wonderful site. Despite the few venomous posters here, you have provided an illvaluable service to actors here in NYC!!! And thank YOU for all of the helpful responses in every thread!! Calling out the assholes for what they are and trying to help the ones who mean well out. You are a GIFT to this industry!!!BethSingsSoPrano
Has anybody ever done the acting track audition for this? Just curious what it was like! (And what to wear?)cclpiglet
I have an audition with the Bohemia Group this Wednesday and was wondering if 1.) anyone here was managed by them (or know of anyone that is) and 2.) if you are what is your (or your pals) opinion about them. Thanks darlings!dramaqueen09
A show I want to audition for is letting me send in a video submission because I cannot attend the initial audition, but can attend callbacks. The auditions are two days later this week, and then callbacks are two days afterwards.
Do you think there is any advantage to sending in my video submission either as soon as possible, or waiting until the day of auditions to send it in? I'm just wondering if anyone thinks there might be a benefit/con to sending it in a certain time.
Hi all! I love my current acting/monologue coach, but I was wondering if some folks could suggest some amazeballs Shakespeare audition coaches? Are there any names out there that are widely agreed to be the best of the best? Thanks!eatthefish!
Hi all! Just curious. I received an appointment for a show at the Interact Theatre in Phila. I know that's not too dreadful of a day trip to make, but before I do, has anyone worked there before? They list "local housing" in the breakdown, but does anyone have the inside scoop on if they really only hire locally or whether they consider out of towners? Thanks!eatthefish!
Quirky redhead cameos at 1:48:
So I check my notices this morning and there is a Romeo and Juliet on Backstage requesting submissions.
Search this board. Search the web. Michael Horn is the same associated with Michael Chekov. There have been numerous complaints about working with him, his company, his views and attitudes towards women and his respect for actors.
For all looking to possibly submit, please do your research. You might love the guy, but there is a large amount of information out there about him. Some positive and negative.
I just thought I'd give a heads up.SecretActorian
I know that they now have audition privileges at EPAs, but I keep hearing they are trying to shut it down. Does anyone know where this stands at the moment? I have such mixed feelings about this...Neverneverlad
Ok. I'm goin to be honest. I've been slacking this past audition season. I went to auditions but wasn't the best with networking, lessons, class, gym, etc. I got comfortable with my day job (aka $$$) and, to no surprise, am here this summer without having booked anything. Now...most of me is ready to get back to it this summer but part of me is considering taking the summer off to get myself in incredible shape for for the fall and beyond (revamp the book, get new headshots, hit the gym like crazy). Should I give any weight to the part that is considering doing me this summer? Any advice would be much appreciated. I keep going back and forth.s_mike13
I'm curious about how these things are regulated by the industry/unions. I know this is a bit germaphobic, but as a non-union actor who is sometimes asked to do this in low/no pay films or theater projects (which are indeed legit, and kissing is integral to the story), I feel unprotected and concerned in the event that I could pick up or transfer to my significant other some form of Hepatitis or herpes or things that are transmitted through mouth to mouth contact. I know it's a low risk, but...you never know where that mouth has been...
How is this dealt with in the unions? Industry in general? Stars' contracts? Anyone have thoughts about their own experiences or others' stories?om
Why does every train arrive on time, and every day bring sunshine, and every homeless man smile instead of yell...it's because NOW I'm leaving. Thanks for being such a bitch normally NYC.....but now, now that I know for sure I am out of here...all of a sudden you're nice to me again? So now...NOW I feel regrets and this and that....can;t it just rain or can't the blue line just get shut down for the day? Make me hate you again!! lolcountonme123
Many of you will also be receiving this in your emails, but since a lot of you use throwaway email accounts for this site, here is a special promo code for our Casting Director Panel next week.
Enter promo code PANEL to get tickets for just $19 (they go up to $29 tomorrow night).
The casting directors on the panel will be Daryl Eisenberg, Joy Dewing, and Jamibeth Margolis.
Here is a link to the ticket site:
Was wondering if anyone on here belongs to Crunch and would be interested in going to the gym a couple times a week together.Actorkev
Tom - can't thank you enough for this wonderful gem that is Audition Update!! I wonder if there is a way to incentive-ize posting in this, or to get/purchase the store of information that was in Non-Equity Deputy? I often check Gig and Tell when I am looking at job offers, and find that many theaters are unrepresented with comments. Have checked other sites that purport to do the same review process, and there are very few, if any, posts or comments...It would just be really helpful to us as a community to know more information about the places to which we're applying for jobs!! And of course I will continue to share my own experiences.Cometgirl
I need a tenor voice teacher with a legit background but room to work in pop and contemporary musical theater. Any ideas?two
Pretty sure I'm being spammed right as we speak from a production company called Rainsworth who is soliciting people to sign up to their newsletter in order to get audition appointments. Or attend networking parties.
Anyone else just get 5 emails in a row from them?SecretActorian
Hey, Kids. So I've got a quandary on my hands.
I have not worked in a great number of places. However I have worked with some pretty great directors with names that look good on a resume. Do you think it kosher to leave out LOCATION of production and sub in DIRECTOR's NAME. It's not a lie, but I think seeing the same location multiple times could be hurting me in the room.
On gig and tell one post says Reagle Players does house actors and one post says they do not. Can someone clarify? I'm actually considering auditioning for a job the DOESN'T PAY ANYTHING.sausagefest
As a member of Equity, could one work for companies like Chezzam Entertainment and other party motivator/dancer/human statue staffing companies for weddings, events, etc? How would that work?Cometgirl
I'm gonna go ahead and risk making myself look like an idiot, because try as I might I just CANNOT figure this out...
Can someone please explain to me what the honest-to-god difference is between an agent and a manager?
.............I DON'T GET IT.bowe123
I had an audition this week and the CD was literally texting from the moment he got me from the door until the moment I walked out. It was a big audition. One that I had prepared for. It was super disheartening and distracting.
Literally THE WHOLE TIME. Ugh.Heygurlhey
...is forcing me to drink...more than I usually do...
So a while back I submitted for this production called AMERICAN COLLAGE via backstage. I just got an e-mail saying that they wanted me to come in to sing/dance. I tried doing some more research on the show or who the composers were, but nothing has turned up. Does anyone have any information on this production?achoice
Okay, I feel like at this point in my career I should be over the jitters but seriously, they still get me!
Any tips to relax/ stop my breath from locking up?5AMwakeup
Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of women's calls are at 2pm? I feel like women used to be at 10am a lot, and then as of recently, it's been flip-flopped and women are at 2pm a lot of the time. Maybe it just seems this way because the shows I want to audition for have 2pm calls and I just can't get there. Which is fine, whatever. But the thing that really gets me is that if a show is going to have two days of open calls (which so often they do!), it would be nice to have one of the days Men@10/Women@2, and then the opposite on the next day, so that people can try to juggle it around their "day jobs" so that we can actually get seen.
Just a thought.cookie