By Sophie McLeod
Innovative Arts’ callbacks feature “The Medley” which combines a range of songs into one peice. This allows us to hear more material from our students without taking up too much time or overwhelming students with material. It also allows those who have been previously cast in a specific role to show off their versatility. Our sopranos can display their lower range while our contemporary belters get the opportunity to exhibit a section in their classical head voice. The Medley format allows us to consider students for a greater variety of parts and challenges them to go outside of their comfort zone.
Besides mastering The Medley, we asked Innovative Arts Casting Directors what the other secrets are to conquering the callback, and here is what they said.
1. Dress to Impress
Our casting directors don’t expect students to look like they’re on their way to the semi-formal, but they do expect students to look presentable. Coming to an audition in a baggy sweatshirt is just poor audition etiquette, so be comfortable in your clothes (if you can’t move in your shoes or dress, it’s probably not the right choice) but also be professional. Girls are encouraged to wear something stylish such as a dress or jumpsuit and boys are encouraged to wear smart comfortable jeans with a nice shirt. This is also your chance to show off your personal style, if you do not usually curl your hair, show us a fun ‘do’; if you typically do not wear a dress shirt, try wearing a nice one just for us.
2. Be Yourself
We absolutely love spending a little time catching up with students at the callbacks, so don’t hesitate to break the ice by telling us what you’ve been up to or ask us how we are doing! It builds a connection, demonstrates friendliness and approachability, and allows us get to know you a bit better.
3. Move Your Body
The audition medleys aren’t just constructed to show off a variety of vocal ranges, but also to allow performers to demonstrate different acting styles and dance abilities. Students don’t need to have had dance training or be able to drop into the splits, but if you can confidently move around the room and strike a few poses that will make all the difference!
4. Advocate for yourself
Don’t hesitate to ask us questions about the audition, the characters or the style of the show! If feel like you messed up or we played the wrong song, don’t hesitate to let us know that you need to start over. That being said, don’t make excuses! If you mess up, politely ask to try again--there’s no need to get upset or tell us a crazy story like “I didn’t practice with this track because it was your brother’s birthday on the weekend and my parents needed the speaker to play party music on it!” If you aren’t comfortable with a song in the Audition Medley feel free to say, “I won’t be performing this section of the medley” instead of “Do I have to perform the first song?” Practice being professional and showcasing yourself in the best light without extra comments or self-deprecation.
5. Perform your Piece
Pick a spot on the wall above the casting directors’ heads (DO NOT STARE US IN THE EYES) and have fun! Unless you were singing for a voiceover where no one could see you, you should always act! Don’t let getting it right or hitting the notes get in the way of having fun and connecting with the material! We want to imagine you on the stage in every role you sing for us, so help us on that journey by relaxing and embracing the role.
Remember, our casting directors love watching you perform so have fun with it and keep these tips in mind as you prepare to conquer your next callback!
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