A blog where I post about movies, TV, video games, and a helluva a lot of theatre. I also do graphic design. And stuff.

 

rationalnonsensecomics:

Remember when gaming used to be about actually playing games instead of complaining about irrelevant shit like the main protagonist’s skin colour or ethnicity or sex or sexuality? Where games were reviewed and judged based on their actual merits as opposed to who was fucking who? Before it was poisoned by feminism and social justice warriors with victim complexes trying to make everything about themselves? Yeah I remember 2011 too.

Breaking: Matthew James Thomas Takes Over PIPPIN for Denver Tour Launch

aprilsimon:

SEND HELP

ROAD TRIP I AM NOT PLAYING AROUND

(Source: witchescanberight)

When someone comments “This is important” on a tumblr post, chances are it is anything but.

vanconcastiel:

mychemgirl15:

ultrafacts:

Source For more facts follow Ultrafacts

Fun fact: the reason that people threw tomatoes at bad actors in the medieval age was because tomatoes were thought to be poisonous to humans. They aimed for the mouths because they were trying to kill them

Well that’s a touch excessive


if you’ve ever sat through a bad play you know it is anything but

vanconcastiel:

mychemgirl15:

ultrafacts:

Source For more facts follow Ultrafacts

Fun fact: the reason that people threw tomatoes at bad actors in the medieval age was because tomatoes were thought to be poisonous to humans. They aimed for the mouths because they were trying to kill them

Well that’s a touch excessive

if you’ve ever sat through a bad play you know it is anything but

underwaterwanderlust asked
That metaphor pun. I think I love you!

I do what I can, haha. Glad you like it!

silas-botwin:

yo, broadway side of tumblr:

what’s a good uptempo male sondheim song that’s age appropriate (late teens-mid 20’s) and contrasts with Later from ALNM that isn’t giants in the sky?

"Ah, Miss" is a good one right off the top of my head… and the only one coming off the top of my head, check beck tomorrow and I might have a better answer

princeowl:

really sick of seeing so much hate directed towards the police on here. look, we get it, you prefer sting’s solo work, i like it too alright? that doesnt mean ‘every little thing she does is magic’ and ‘can’t stand losing you’ arent awesome jams. ‘roxanne’ and ‘don’t stand so close to me’ are classic, don’t even get me started on ‘spirits in the material world’. just stop ok? 

Anonymous asked
can you give a detailed explanation of the things you said musical theatre auditions shouldnt be

gdelgiproducer:

mikesgun:

aah yes, after hours of research, this is what i have come up with for tips on choosing your musical theatre song for an audition

NO ROCK MUSICALS

Specifically, no Next to Normal or Spring Awakening. Not only are they overdone and the director will be comparing you to everyone else and be bored out of their mind, they are also written for certain voice types. Even if you have that alternative rock sound, it’s safest to stay away from it for your audition.

NO JUKEBOX MUSICALS

This makes you look like you know nothing about musical theatre and you just wanted to sing a Green Day song. Again, meant for specific voices. Not to mention no one in the world likes Mamma Mia! and if you do it’s because you haven’t experienced good theatre.

NO SONDHEIM, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN, COLE PORTER, SHWARTZ

All of these music/lyric artists are absolutely amazing and it’s fantastic to hear Sutton Foster belt Anything Goes on a big Broadway stage, but you are not Sutton Foster. All of their music is terribly overdone, which as mentioned in the rock musicals section, isn’t good for a number of reasons. If you must choose one of their pieces, make sure it’s one of their lesser known songs. Also, no Les Mis. I don’t care that Lea Michele sang On My Own for her Glee audition.

NO JASON ROBERT BROWN

You wouldn’t want to sabotage your own audition, therefore don’t give the accompanist something that is so difficult to sight read. Again, terribly overdone as well. Especially stray from The Last 5 Years because every director in the world is tired of hearing an audition about an audition. His songs are also very mature and I know a lot of my followers are still teenagers, and while they may sound fantastic singing the songs, it wouldn’t make much sense.

NOTHING NEW ON BROADWAY

If a show just closed or opened on Broadway, it’s probably too soon to use their music. Not only would it be incredibly hard to find correct sheet music, if you’re auditioning for a professional show then the director may have seen this production recently or downloaded the cast recording and will be comparing you to the star. I wouldn’t want to be compared to Barrett Weed and you shouldn’t either.

NO BELTING TO SHOW OFF

I get it, you can belt and maybe that’s you’re signature thing or you’re not as comfortable with your regular singing voice. But if you belt too much in your audition it will look like you’re showing off. If the director is seriously interested in you, he will ask you at a callback how high your belt is/if you can belt (if the part calls for it), so there’s no point doing it beforehand, it just gets annoying.

SING SOMETHING THE GENDER OF THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

Ladies, I know we all love Aaron Tveit, but that doesn’t mean that we can sing Goodbye and nail it. Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to perform a song originated by someone of your character’s gender.

SING SOMETHING IN YOUR AGE RANGE

If you are 16 years old then it would look extremely odd if you get up there and start singing about divorce. That just doesn’t fit. Same as if you’re 40 and you try to sing something from 13 (which you shouldn’t do anyway if you read the no JRB section)

SING SOMETHING THAT COMPLIMENTS THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

If you’re auditioning to play Rose in Dogfight it wouldn’t make much sense to sing Dead Girl Walking from Heathers. You would probably want to try something with a more innocent touch to it.

After reading this list you have probably deleted all but one song on your “Auditions” playlist and you probably sound terrible on that song and now you’re screwed and have to go discover new musicals. It sucks, I know. If you want any help choosing a song I can try to help but I’m kind of in the same boat right now.

TL;DR: This person is going to need to rapidly reconsider 90% of the advice they just gave in short order if they want to survive in this industry at a professional level.

The long version is under the jump. (And thanks to decaffinatedplease for being a good friend, and for tagging me on this one.)

Read More

Anonymous asked
can you give a detailed explanation of the things you said musical theatre auditions shouldnt be

mikesgun:

aah yes, after hours of research, this is what i have come up with for tips on choosing your musical theatre song for an audition

NO ROCK MUSICALS

Specifically, no Next to Normal or Spring Awakening. Not only are they overdone and the director will be comparing you to everyone else and be bored out of their mind, they are also written for certain voice types. Even if you have that alternative rock sound, it’s safest to stay away from it for your audition.

NO JUKEBOX MUSICALS

This makes you look like you know nothing about musical theatre and you just wanted to sing a Green Day song. Again, meant for specific voices. Not to mention no one in the world likes Mamma Mia! and if you do it’s because you haven’t experienced good theatre.

NO SONDHEIM, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN, COLE PORTER, SHWARTZ

All of these music/lyric artists are absolutely amazing and it’s fantastic to hear Sutton Foster belt Anything Goes on a big Broadway stage, but you are not Sutton Foster. All of their music is terribly overdone, which as mentioned in the rock musicals section, isn’t good for a number of reasons. If you must choose one of their pieces, make sure it’s one of their lesser known songs. Also, no Les Mis. I don’t care that Lea Michele sang On My Own for her Glee audition.

NO JASON ROBERT BROWN

You wouldn’t want to sabotage your own audition, therefore don’t give the accompanist something that is so difficult to sight read. Again, terribly overdone as well. Especially stray from The Last 5 Years because every director in the world is tired of hearing an audition about an audition. His songs are also very mature and I know a lot of my followers are still teenagers, and while they may sound fantastic singing the songs, it wouldn’t make much sense.

NOTHING NEW ON BROADWAY

If a show just closed or opened on Broadway, it’s probably too soon to use their music. Not only would it be incredibly hard to find correct sheet music, if you’re auditioning for a professional show then the director may have seen this production recently or downloaded the cast recording and will be comparing you to the star. I wouldn’t want to be compared to Barrett Weed and you shouldn’t either.

NO BELTING TO SHOW OFF

I get it, you can belt and maybe that’s you’re signature thing or you’re not as comfortable with your regular singing voice. But if you belt too much in your audition it will look like you’re showing off. If the director is seriously interested in you, he will ask you at a callback how high your belt is/if you can belt (if the part calls for it), so there’s no point doing it beforehand, it just gets annoying.

SING SOMETHING THE GENDER OF THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

Ladies, I know we all love Aaron Tveit, but that doesn’t mean that we can sing Goodbye and nail it. Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to perform a song originated by someone of your character’s gender.

SING SOMETHING IN YOUR AGE RANGE

If you are 16 years old then it would look extremely odd if you get up there and start singing about divorce. That just doesn’t fit. Same as if you’re 40 and you try to sing something from 13 (which you shouldn’t do anyway if you read the no JRB section)

SING SOMETHING THAT COMPLIMENTS THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

If you’re auditioning to play Rose in Dogfight it wouldn’t make much sense to sing Dead Girl Walking from Heathers. You would probably want to try something with a more innocent touch to it.

After reading this list you have probably deleted all but one song on your “Auditions” playlist and you probably sound terrible on that song and now you’re screwed and have to go discover new musicals. It sucks, I know. If you want any help choosing a song I can try to help but I’m kind of in the same boat right now.

There’s a lot of this I take issue with, as someone whose done a ton of auditions because this information is really unhelpful and can actually lead people away from songs that are awesome showcases for them. (Also: I’d love to hear gdelgiproducer's take on this).

First, when you’re putting together your audition book, you should use this guide. You don’t need to follow it to the letter, but it’s a great jumping off point for putting together a diverse book that doesn’t pigeonhole you, and lets you be prepared for almost any audition situation.

Anyway, here’s my advice as someone who does this a lot.

In general, when picking a song for a show you want to choose something that is stylistically similar to the show you’re auditioning for and lines up with the character that you’re shooting for. However, this is a very broad guideline and more of an encouragement than a hard and fast rule. At the end of the day, you need to choose the songs that best showcase YOU. There’s never any right song for an audition. I know people who made Anything Goes by singing pop songs. Yes, there are some WRONG songs for auditions, but there’s no such thing as absolutes when it comes to picking pieces.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was that it doesn’t matter what you sing, as long as you sing it and act it well. I think this really true for the most part. When you read these “do not” lists on the internet, it’s all about creating definite restrictions on what you shouldn’t sing, and most of the time they’re bullshit. Being an actor is about putting your spin on a character, song, whatever. And if you can blow the table away with an awesome rendition of what may be a common heard song, then you should do so, internet lists be damned.

That being said, there can be some songs that you should definitely consider avoiding. I want to address the points made in the response above.

NO ROCK MUSICALS

This one is pretty much bullshit. Especially since it’s becoming a more and more popular genre. Not having this at least in your book is a big mistake, and it cuts you off from a TON of great new work. But wait, new work is bad too (get to that later). There may be a reason “everyone” does them, and it’s because rock musicals are a growing part of the musical theatre canon, and not using them is like ignoring all songs from, say, the golden age of musical theatre. Yes there’s common songs from all these musicals. Yes it’s harder to stand out if you’re singing “Superboy and the Invisible Girl”, but if it’s what best showcases your voice, USE IT. And it’s also possible to find great cuttings in from songs that aren’t popular pieces. I know when I auditioned for Spring Awakening, I used the third verse from “Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I’m Falling”, and had one of my better auditions.

NO JUKEBOX MUSICALS

Singing only exclusively musical theatre is incredibly limiting and is going to cut you off from a lot of auditions. Some Jukebox musicals have great arrangements of non-musical theatre songs that work great as audition pieces. Again: sing what showcases you best and works best for the show.

NO SONDHEIM, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN, COLE PORTER, SHWARTZ

This is the biggest turd in the bunch. You’re basically insisting that people ignore 4 (and presumably more) of the most prolific and well known musical theatre composers just because they ARE WELL KNOWN and that other people will sing their stuff? That’s such bad advice I can’t even wrap my mind around it. Even if I was to concede the fact that singing a hugely popular audition piece like “Corner of the Sky” or “In My Own Little Corner” won’t make you stand out unless you make it your own, that doesn’t mean that you should restrict yourself from popular composers. That’s a terrible idea.

For every “Defying Gravity” and “Being Alive” there’s a “With You” and an “Ah, Miss”. I mean, hell. The two Sondheim songs I have in my book are “Giants in the Sky” to show off my patter abilities and breath control, and “Being Alive” because of the great emotional weight that song carries. Yet both of those frequent “Do Not Audition With These Songs” lists.

Now there IS a reason for that. The problem is that people tend to do nothing with these songs, and any casting director would get tired of seeing 1,000 people do “Gimme, Gimme” the exact same way. Les Mis is often cited because it’s a very common ameteur choice, and yet every girl I’ve ever seen has “On My Own” in their book still. The point that I need to make is that you singing “On My Own” isn’t gonna set you apart, but you singing “On My Own” with emotional force and knocking out of the park will. There is a REASON Lea Michele made Glee by singing that song.

Also: Sondheim often frequents these lists not because he’s popular, but because his piano parts are often incredibly complex and difficult to sight read, which is a great segue into…

NO JASON ROBERT BROWN

This one I have to say I agree with. As a general rule, he writes OBNOXIOUSLY difficult piano parts to his songs. They are amazing in a performance setting, but a bitch for any accompanist to sight-read. Yes, Climbing Uphill is often overdone, but again USE IT IF IT’S THE BEST SHOWCASE FOR YOU.

The reason Sondheim and JRB are often excluded can be applied to a lot of newer composers too, especially post-Millennial musical theatre composers. Pasek and Paul, at least with Edges, write some very difficult rhythms and melodies, for example.

NOTHING NEW ON BROADWAY

There is something to be said about this, and it is something you should definitely be cautious about, but making it a hard and fast rule is a bad idea. I just auditioned for The Mystery of Edwin Drood with “Poison in My Pocket”, which I felt was an excellent choice for that show. I have “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” and “Santa Fe” in my book because the first shows off my top range and the latter does that and gives me juicy emotional stuff to work with. I am confident in these songs and they show me off really well. I couldn’t care less about the fact that they’re “new”.

NO BELTING TO SHOW OFF

I don’t get the way this is stated because the entire freaking point of an audition is to show yourself off. But, yes, use your belt thoughtfully. Listening to someone belt an entire number gets exhausting, even in a performance setting (let alone an audition!). Save it for money sections, and then blow them away with your choices.

SING SOMETHING THE GENDER OF THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

The only advice I have for this is don’t sing something obnoxiously gendered from the opposite sex. I recall a fantastic SNL sketch where Will Ferrel played a guy auditioning (John Timothy Crisp) who kept singing obviously women’s songs and not realizing until he got to a line such as “…now let me put my bra back on”. But I’ve got two songs in my book right now written by or sung by women. “Lady” by Regina Spektor and “Spread a Little Sunshine” from Pippin. They’re both great songs that show off different things, and they’re definitely likely to not be often heard from other male auditioners. 

So if you can rock out “Goodbye” then DO IT. Singing a song not commonly song by your gender (and singing it well) is a great way to catch the table’s eye.

SING SOMETHING IN YOUR AGE RANGE

In general I agree. It’s a little different for high school and college-level auditions, where you’re all roughly the same age competing for characters of vastly different age ranges, but outside those places, stick within your age range. No one wants to see a 19 year old belting out “The Ladies Who Lunch”

SING SOMETHING THAT COMPLIMENTS THE CHARACTER YOU’RE AUDITIONING FOR

Probably the best advice in all of this. At the end of the day, you can get away with a lot in terms of the style of song you sing, but if you want to be considered for a part, sing something that compliments that role. Don’t sing “I Could Have Danced All Night” for Mrs. Lovett or “Razzle Dazzle” for Pippin. Put some careful consideration into what songs you choose. And then choose. And DON’T second guess yourself. That’s probably the worst thing you can do when preparing an audition. I’m guilty of it myself. I always doubt my audition song up until the last minute, and don’t doubt it’s cost me a couple good auditions. Once you’ve gotten a great piece, own it. Pour your heart into it. Make it yours. Blow them away.

That’s my general advice for choosing audition pieces. There’s nothing wrong with singing stuff from lesser-known shows and composers, and it’s something that I encourage, but you should also not ignore well known composers or popular work just because of the fact that they’re well known and popular.

If anyone ever has questions about auditions, my inbox is always open!