Should You Audition with a Song from the Musical You're Auditioning For? (2023)

If you’re a musical theatre lover, you have probably envisioned yourself in a key role, such as Sandy in Grease or Roger in Rent. When you finally have the opportunity to audition for your dream musical, your first instinct might be to audition with the song you have always imagined yourself performing. Unfortunately, though, this is almost always a mistake. A golden rule (with some exceptions, of course) for musical theatre auditions is, unless you are told otherwise, try not to audition with a song from the musical you’re auditioning for. Here is what you should know:

Why Shouldn’t I Choose a Song from the Musical?

There are three key reasons that choosing a song from the musical is a not the best idea. First and foremost, auditioning with a song from the show is a lot like dressing in costume. The audition panel likely has an idea in mind for how the show should look and feel, and you might completely miss the mark on their ideas. It’s far better to choose a song that is similar enough in style for them to imagine how they could fit you into their vision for the show, rather than showing up with your own fully realized creation.

Another reason to choose a different song is that inexperienced auditioners tend to select songs from the musical they’re auditioning for. You don’t want to give the 15th rendition of Over the Rainbow that the panel has heard that day.

(Video) Top 20 Songs You Should NEVER Audition With

Finally, choosing a song from the musical can make it difficult for the audition panel to consider you for a different role in the show. If you audition for A Chorus Line with Dance Ten, Looks Three, you’re putting out there that you want to be considered for Val. But what if you would really make a better Cassie? It will be tough for the audition panel to see you that way.

What Should I Sing Instead?

It is always a good idea to choose a song that is in a similar style as the show you are auditioning for. Rock ballads are great for anthem musicals like Hair. Jazz tunes are perfect for shows set in the 1920s such as Chicago. Also think about the character you are auditioning for. Consider a softer tune if you are auditioning for an ingenue, or something with a hard edge if you are trying out for a bad boy.

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Whatever song you choose, make sure to make it your own. Fully inhabit the character, and tell your own story through the song. The audition panel isn’t looking for you to perfectly recreate someone else’s performance. They are looking for you to show who you are and what you bring to the table. Make it strong, make it powerful, and make it your own.


Remember, we are only offering our opinions on auditioning--this is not an exact science. If you are confident that you have an original, fresh and exciting approach to a song from the show you are auditioning for, go for it. Most importantly, if that song is the one you have prepared--don’t ditch it for a replacement right before entering the room. Go with what you know and love! One final note: Don’t despair if the actor in front of you sings the exact same song you have prepared--again, don’t ditch the song. Each artist is unique, so go in and show them who you are!!

(Video) Top 10 BEST Songs to Audition With

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(Video) Broadway Audition Songs You Should NEVER Use


What song should I audition with? ›

Good Pop Audition Songs
  • Teenage Dream by Katy Perry.
  • Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.
  • Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.
  • 24K Magic by Bruno Mars.
  • Hometown Glory by Adele.
  • If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys.
  • Redbone by Childish Gambino.
  • Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson.

How to do well in an audition for a musical? ›

Tips for Auditioning
  1. Be prepared. If you are asked to present a song or monologue, prepare your piece well. ...
  2. Be kind to everyone and smile. ...
  3. Be on time for your appointment. ...
  4. Use your waiting time wisely. ...
  5. Dress appropriately. ...
  6. Introduce yourself. ...
  7. Don't watch the directors. ...
  8. Mistakes happen.

What is audition etiquette? ›

You never know who's listening. Time yourself and your audition, including your slate time. Choose audition pieces that are age appropriate. Try to choose material that isn't overdone. Try to avoid repeating material that other actors may use.

Should you cry in an audition? ›

Casting director Leah Daniels-Butler of Fox's “Empire” says that in the audition room, “if it's honest and it comes from a real place,” tears are welcome. But the key is not to fake it! “If the scene says you have to cry and you can't evoke that emotion, then by all means maybe that's not the [goal].

What color should you not wear to an audition? ›

The basic rules are what not to wear to an audition. No solid black, solid white, or solid red clothing. No costumes unless specifically asked to wear one. Do not show up in a police officer's uniform unless you're requested to.

How do I impress an audition? ›

  1. Be Different From Your Competition.
  2. Confidence is Key.
  3. Always Come Prepared.
  4. Learn How to Take Direction.
  5. Don't Overstay Your Welcome.
  6. Practice Strong Communication Skills.
  7. Be Mindful of the Casting Director's Role.
May 16, 2022

How do you impress an audition song? ›

5 tips to nail every music audition
  1. Always do your homework first.
  2. Add your own unique touch to the music.
  3. Practice with the backing track but also practice solo.
  4. Be enthusiastic about the music.
  5. Arrive early.
Dec 9, 2020

What are 5 important rules to follow during an audition? ›

5 Basic Acting Rules You Must Always Remember
  • Where are you? Remember to take a moment before you begin the audition to establish in your imagination exactly where you are. ...
  • What is your relationship? ...
  • What is happening? ...
  • Where are you coming from? ...
  • What are you doing? ...
  • Want more audition tips?
Jan 7, 2016

What do casting directors look for in auditions? ›

Casting directors want to see that the actor knows his art. Body movements, facial expressions, tone of voice, smooth transitions, vocal strength, stage presence, character confidence and the ability to portray the role given are all embedded in the sense of professionalism that casting directors want to see.

How long should musical auditions be? ›

Generally auditions are two to three minutes long. Make sure you have a monologue that shows your strengths and is a minute in length. Your music piece should be sixteen bars of a piece that shows your range.

What should you not say in an audition? ›

What should you not say in an audition?
  • Being Rude. ...
  • Wearing Inappropriate Clothing. ...
  • Covering Your Face (Hair/Makeup) ...
  • Not Looking Like Your Headshot. ...
  • Apologizing for a Bad Audition. ...
  • Talking To The Casting Director & Creative Team. ...
  • Bringing In Difficult to Read/Play Sheet Music. ...

Is it OK to wear jeans to an audition? ›

Keep It Casual

Your clothes shouldn't be a wrinkled mess, but you also shouldn't be wearing business attire to an audition. A good pair of jeans can go a long way, and it's worth investing in a pair for auditions alone. Women can get away with pretty much any clothing option, as long as it isn't too revealing.

Should I look at the camera during an audition? ›

If you happen to be auditioning for the theater, breaking the fourth wall and looking directly into the lens would be acceptable as long as it's indicated in the play. However, when taping a monologue for a film or television audition, you should adjust to adhere to a film and television format.

Should you practice the night before an audition? ›

And remember, speed is not always what the audition is about. Practice scales slowly so that you can play them flawlessly. Get plenty of rest the night before the audition. This is another no-brainer.

How do you not freak out in an audition? ›

How do I calm my nerves during my interview/audition?
  1. Think about how you are standing/sitting – your body language can really affect your mind. ...
  2. Really listen to your interviewer's question. ...
  3. Take a moment to think of your answer before speaking.
  4. Take a breath before speaking to slow yourself down.
Mar 4, 2019

How do actors memorize their lines? ›

When a certain line is accompanied by action, movement, the actor will be able to recall the line every time. Another useful technique is to associate the words with emotions. Evoking an emotion associated with the scene makes memorizing the words easier.

Should I wear my hair up or down for an audition? ›

Getting booked with your hairstyle

Our Casting Directors recommend wearing your hair down for your current photo so they can clearly see how long your hair is.

Can you chew gum in an audition? ›

But stay away from gum. Chewing gum during an audition is very unprofessional. Don't risk chewing a piece of gum in the waiting room and forgetting to take it out of your mouth for your audition.

Should I wear earrings to an audition? ›

Avoid big, shiny jewelry.

Leave it at home if you are auditioning for any on-camera roles. Big, shiny jewelry is distracting, especially if it's metal flashing in the bright lights of the television studio.

How long should an audition last? ›

Most auditions last approximately 15-20 minutes, but some specialisms have longer audition processes, or may require you to attend a second panel usually on the same day. The majority of your audition will be spent performing your repertoire.

What do you do the morning of an audition? ›

4 Rules For Your Audition Morning Routine
  1. Be Mindful of Mindset. I always say, “If you don't want to do the audition, don't do it.” You can't possibly expect to be successful if you don't have the desire and drive behind it. ...
  2. Do a Physical Warm Up. ...
  3. Do Your Vocal Warm Up (Even in Public!) ...
  4. Mind Your Mindset (Again)
Feb 15, 2016

Should you practice the day before an audition? ›

Don't practice too much the day before the audition.

On the day before the audition, a thorough warm-up, one or two run-throughs of the audition materials, and perhaps checking and correction of a few troublesome spots should be sufficient practice for the day.

What makes you the best candidate for casting? ›

When interviewing casting directors, look for candidates who possess extensive practical knowledge of artistic productions and the ability to work with casting budgets. Avoid candidates who lack knowledge of professional networks and those with poor communication skills.

Where should you look during an audition? ›

Here is the rule – we need to see your eyeballs, we need to see them like we see Greta's above. We need to see all of them, all the time. So the first part of a successful audition is putting your eyeline as close to camera as you possibly can. BUT never look straight down the lens!

How do you know if your audition is good? ›

How do you know if an audition went well? You can usually tell that an audition went well if the casting team spends a lot of time interacting with you in the room. They might ask you to try a scene a different way (see #2 below) or sing another song.

What do judges look for in music auditions? ›

What do judges look for in auditions? The key things judges look and listen for are pitch, tone, accuracy of timing, how well you know your instrument, stage presence, and overall performance. It is the little details that make the audition great overall.

How many songs do you need for an audition? ›

Here are eight of the most common audition book myths out there. 1. A typical audition book has around 20 songs. The experts agreed that the best audition books have a total of 6-9 songs, max.

How do you impress judges at an audition? ›

Take control of your audition with these 10 helpful tips to improve your skills.
  1. Be confident. It sounds simple, but it takes practice. ...
  2. Showcase your personality. ...
  3. Connect with your reader. ...
  4. Know your character. ...
  5. Know your character's objective. ...
  6. Understand your character's obstacle. ...
  7. Play opposites. ...
  8. Find the love.
Nov 30, 2022

Should you memorize a script for an audition? ›

Casting directors realize you will learn your lines before the callback or shoot. So being a quick study and knowing your lines for the initial audition doesn't give you a leg up over other actors. If you can learn your lines and be really solid for the audition then absolutely memorize them.

Can you read the script during an audition? ›

A reader speaks the lines of other character(s) in the scene during the audition. This way, the auditioning actor can hear the lines, react to them, and respond to them appropriately. A lot of what casting directors are looking at is how you react.


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3. Surprise! Army Dad Reunites With Daughter Kaylin As She Gets A Platinum Ticket - American Idol 2023
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4. Rachael delivers a faultless audition | Auditions Week 5 | Britain’s Got Talent 2016
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5. Tonight’s the night for HILARIOUS variety act Ben Langley! | Auditions | BGT 2018
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6. Janet Devlin's audition - The X Factor 2011 (Full Version)
(The X Factor UK)


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