How to Choose Songs for Your Book

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No doubt you have friends, family, teachers and coaches all throwing “perfect” audition songs your way. And because "they" know best, you put them right in your book. 

But should you? 

Before a song takes up permanent residence in your audition book, ask yourself these five questions: 

1. Does this person know me and my type?  

When choosing audition material you want to look for characters that you can play now.

Are you a 20-something? If so, you probably shouldn't do “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy, because you’re just not there yet. Instead, look for characters that you could step into if they called you tomorrow.

One way to find new material is to discover your musical theater doppelganger (this is someone you look and sound like.)  

If you want to learn how to do it, click here to get a copy of our FREE COURSEBOOK MORE WORK: Discover your Type and Choose the Right Audition Song Every Time.

2. Does the song GO anywhere?

If it tells a story, most people can relate to it.

The problem with finding a 16 or 32-bar cut is that it isn’t always clear what the character is saying. And without intention, you’re just another pretty face. 

If you write out the lyrics of your song, they should make sense. Don't show up with a song that only tells half a thought. 

3. Does it show you off?

In an audition cut, casting directors want to see the best of YOU. The real you. Do you tell an honest story in this song? 

Also, if the melodic line of the song doesn’t go anywhere, then it's time to keep searching.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to sing to the extreme parts of your range. A good question to ask yourself is, “Can I roll out of bed and nail the money note consistently?” 

4. Does this song round out my book? 

We get it. You feel like ballads show off your range. But keep in mind that an audition is about more than just pretty singing.

We firmly believe that your audition book should have many more uptempos than ballads.

Unless you're auditioning to be a torch singer, keep the mood light. 

5. Do I love this song? 

This is the most important question

You have to like it. If you don't connect with the song, DON'T SING IT. We don’t care who suggested it. If your heart isn’t in it, everyone can tell. Your audition shouldn’t be a chore.

In summary- load up that book with a variety of songs you connect to, can sing at a moment's notice, and tell your story clearly. 

Now, the next time someone suggests a song for you, listen to it and answer these five questions. If it fits, you've got yourself a winner!

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-Kevin Kelly & Natalie Cordone-

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