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Do You Have Any Advice on Song Choice When You Want to Prove Versatility?

Do you have any advice on a song choice (general advice or specific songs would be helpful) when you want to prove versatility for any role? I am a 27 year old who feels she can play the 22 year old or the 50 year old. But I don’t want to sing a song thats too young or too old and have them think that I’m trying for a specific role. Any help would be appreciated.

I think the key to musical theatre (and really any type of music) is to pick a niche. All the greats have a niche… just think of any of your favorite actors. As for finding your niche, the best way to do this is thinking back on the roles you have been cast in and the similar personality traits each have, as well as your natural personality traits.
Also, while you don’t have to stay confined to this, it’s always easiest to play the age you look more than any other. It doesn’t matter you real age, market yourself to the age you like and you’ll do best. That being said, if you do a good job and the show needs you cast elsewhere, they’ll make that change.
Lastly, when it comes to song selection, it’s best not to generalize. I can’t tell you how many singers come in and sing On My Own or Memories for all their auditions. These are great songs, but they’re so over done and often don’t fit the style of the show, often making them poor selections.

So, when auditioning, I’d suggest having 4-6 contrasting songs ready and waiting in your repertoire and of course, you can always learn a new song for a show you’re particularly interested in. When deciding which song to use, select the song based on the genre, time period, character age and character personality your auditioning for. Don’t pick a song from Rent for a Phantom of the Opera audition and vise versa. This can be a tricky process, but song selection is a key part in getting cast, so I think it’s worth it.

I know I didn’t give you the specifics you were looking for, but I think this advice will help better guide you than if I had done that. Best of luck to you!

Happy Singing (and Auditioning!),

Vocal Coach Ken


ps – I put this article together a while back on Singing Auditions… figured you might like it as well.
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