It's been awhile since I last blogged. Forgive me! It's been a whirlwind year of theatre, music, and Diet Coke.
I had the absolute pleasure of being a Guest Artist for the Texas Thespian Convention. Thousands of awesome student performers from all over the Lone Star State met up in Dallas in early December. I presented 15 workshops on Musical Theatre Vocal Audition Techniques, Musical Theatre College Audition Strategy, and Performance Techniques and Styles. It was so lovely to sing and work with so many dedicated and smart young talents. I also loved meeting all the other Guest Artists and educators from all over the nation!
River City Pops rehearsals started with a bang in January for our amazing BRITISH INVASION show. We played at the Long Center in gorgeous downtown Austin to sold-out crowds. There was The Who. There was Wham. There were 12-part harmony arrangements of the Rolling Stones. So. Much. Fun. I have signed to be their musical director for another year. We audition again for a few select slots in September of 2016 and I'm thrilled to see what unique talent will appear.
February and March finished up college auditions and Unifieds for my college-bound auditioners.
All four of my selected students booked killer schools and walked away with some major scholarships. L. will attend Boston Conservatory, K. will attend OU-Musical Theatre, C. will attend UNT-Vocal Performance, and M. will attend Otterbein MT. So proud of this fantastic bunch.
My college-aged performers and studio alumni nailed the leads in Legally Blonde at UT and She Loves Me at St. Edward's University and booked some impressive summerstock work: New Hampshire, Lyric, Zach Theatre, Austin Playhouse, Palace Theatre, Zilker Theatre, TUTS, New Hampshire, Dallas Summer Musicals, Summerstock Austin, and Maine State Music Theatre. I'm seeing as much as I can from this talented group!
I had a great time vocal directing AIDA at Theatre at the RIDGE in January and was thrilled when the production received a best musical direction nomination at the GAHSMTA awards.
In April, I had a great trip to Norman, Oklahoma to see studio-alum T. as Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie at OU! It was great to see a bunch of awesome performers that I also MD'ed in Rocky Horror Picture Show last summer! May brought graduation as longtime studio member D. graduated from The University of Michigan MT and killed it at his senior showcase in NYC.
May also ended my fun time at St. Edward's University as a guest adjunct faculty for their Omni and Omni Jazz showchoir while their director was on maternity leave. Great group and we got to play with numbers from Something Rotten, so I was happy, happy!
The summer has been fantastic for studio members and clients onstage! Students have booked leads and features in:
Persuasion: 5th Avenue/UT
Mary Poppins: Zach Theatre
Carnival: Summerstock Austin
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Hellraisers of Daytona: Chicago/NY Bound
Multiple contracts and offers came to studio members as a result of very successful NETC, SETC, MWTC, UPTA, and StrawHat Auditions.
Special shout-out to studio members N. for graduating college and booking Godspell, Altar Boyz, etc., immediately after and to B. for graduating and being accepted for Second City in Chicago!!
There is great new music and brilliant new productions and adaptations happening out there!
Can't wait to see what the rest of 2016 holds! I'm still nerding out to pop culture podcasts, keeping up my herb and veggie garden, and trying to break my 'Guns and Ships' addiction.
Studio Members and Alum have been KICKING it onstage this year.
EVITA AT ZACH THEATRE
A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT ZACH THEATRE
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AT AUSTIN THEATRE PROJECT
HEATHERS AT DMP
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AT DMP
GUYS AND DOLLS AT TEXARTS
THE WILD PARTY AT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
FLAT STANLEY AT THE PALACE
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE PALACE
GUYS AND DOLLS AT SUMMERSTOCK AUSTIN
CHICAGO AT AUSTIN PLAYHOUSE
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER AT ZACH THEATRE
THE KING AND I AT ZACH THEATRE
RAGTIME AT OU
A CHORUS LINE AT FLORIDA STATE
INTO THE WOODS AT SUMMERSTOCK AUSTIN
HAIRSPRAY AT ZILKER THEATRE
DAMN YANKEES AT PALACE THEATRE
SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO
THEATRE UNDER THE STARS
How many of these are you guilty of???
1) You've been singing your go-to audition song in the SAME KEY for two years or longer.
Chances are that your voice has developed and changed. It doesn't mean that your favorite audition song is a lost cause, but it does mean that another key or arrangement may better highlight you as a performer. It is so important that you find that sweet spot in terms of balancing ease of range and performance energy. Make sure you modernize and individualize your keys.
2). For musical theatre auditions, you only sing from shows.
Casting and musical directors mean it when they say "in the style of the show". That doesn't necessarily mean from only another show in the style of the show. Branch out in terms of finding your material and open up your options! Similar style and tone is more important than similar show.
3). You don't rehearse in your shoes.
No, I mean literally. As a voice coach, I insist that students put on the shoes they will audition in and run their material. As a musical director, I have seen so many performers fidget/stumble/ and alter their technique due to their shoes. Work your shoes. Work your music. Work your music in your shoes.
4). You've never heard your exact piano accompaniment to your song.
It is imperative, IMPERATIVE that you know what your accompaniment truly sounds like. Vocal selections and scores differ. Cast recordings and keys differ. It's so important to know the context of your song so that you can work that relationship between the lyrics and the music. Not knowing what your accompaniment sounds like before your audition is like practicing a tap routine without your tap shoes.
5). You don't know what adrenaline does to your body.
Self-awareness is key. Start to notice and correlate your patterns and habits. Does your breath control get more or less effective in an audition setting? Does your range seem to expand or constrain under pressure? All of these things are crucial to knowing what the best material is to highlight your strengths and present the absolute best you.
NOW, GO BOOK IT!
MOLLY WISSINGER IS A VOICE TEACHER, AUDITION REPERTOIRE COACH, AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR.
She runs WHATSHOULDISING.COM , which digitally selects and prepares music for auditions, provides guide melody tracks and accompaniment tracks, and does vocal and resume coaching ,sending them all directly to you! Molly's passion is when performers break away from old habits and assumptions about themselves and others and fully engage while auditioning. Email her to get new audition music or if you have any questions!