Choosing Your Audition Song

perfect audition song

Ready to get started on your NTSA audition video but don't know what song to choose? Katherine Steele's Theatre Thursdays on YouTube has some excellent advice! (And we have a few extra tips to help you make the most out of your NTSA audition video!)

Everything that she says in this video is spot-on, especially about how you should be able to tell a complete story within your song (even if the audition only allows you to sing 16 or 32 bars). NTSA requires you to sing the entire song — so that should be easy. If your song doesn’t tell a complete story, then the composer/lyricist hasn’t done their job. How can you tell if a song tells a complete story? Ask yourself: "Does my character change or grow over the course of the song? Does my character start out the song one way (afraid, lonely, excited, etc.) and end up somewhere completely different?" If the answer is "no," pick something else.

We also agree with what she says about choosing a song that shows off your strengths and hides your weaknesses. If you don’t have a range that rivals Lindsay Mendez, then choose something that shows off the best parts of your voice. If you’re selected for one of our productions, you’ll spend your first day on campus auditioning. That will give our creative team a chance to see what you can do — preparing scene-work, learning choreography, and, yes, checking those high notes. But don’t worry about any of that. Right now, you just need to focus on preparing one song that will convince our creative team that you’re exactly what they’re looking for.

We also love that Katherine doesn’t talk about the dreaded DO NOT SING list in this video. She doesn’t care about it — and you know what? Neither do we. If you feel a deep personal connection with Eponine and want to sing “On My Own” from Les Misèrables, go for it. If you can take an overdone song and knock it out of the park, then the auditioners are going to remember you and not the song that you chose.

However, we do have one addendum to add on to Katherine’s list here: don’t choose a song that’s too mature for you. You can sing Eponine’s “On My Own,” but you’re probably going to want to steer clear of Fantine’s “I Dreamed a Dream.” Your teenage years are a little bit premature for declaring that life has killed the dream you dreamed.

By the way, Katherine doesn’t mention our favorite Kelli O’Hara song in this video: “Not a Love Story” by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk. Slightly overdone in auditions but, as previously mentioned, we don’t care. We could listen to it all day long.

After you've chosen your audition song, CLICK HERE to apply to NTSA! Looking for more audition resources for musical theatre actors?

* Finding Your Accompaniment Track

Picking the Right Pop-Rock Audition Song

Writing Your Resume

Choosing Your Headshot

Filming Your Video Audition

Posted on Oct 16, 2017 in Auditions  

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