Broadway Auditions and the Weary Path to Landing on the Stage

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Broadway always was something like a microcosm of its own. Broadway auditions, accordingly, are a world away from the fabled, world-renown Hollywood auditions. However, when it comes to pointing out precisely what sets them apart, it’s pretty hard to figure it out.

The case may be made that Broadway auditions are far more high-brow. That the actors that be are a cut above the rest and that whoever you are, you’ve got to rise to the challenge. A high-wire act demanding natural talent and skill. That’s what it means to get on Broadway. The respect from the acting community, the silent admiration from all of your fans – everything falls into place like Tetris blocks.

broadway auditions and sign showing broadway street intersection

But like Tetris, dealing with the pressure of theater can be overwhelming. Not everyone has the chops to pull it off. The greatest achievement, one would argue, is to actually land a job in the cast of a play. Of course, that means resorting to tricks and tips on how to pass Broadway auditions. So here’s what we gathered after a thorough browse through the web.

Tips and Tricks on How to Secure Broadway Auditions

There are many pieces of advice that we could give you. There are many in the business that would disagree. I say that in order to successfully apply for a Broadway play, you need to have three things: first, the ability and training needed to sing; secondly, the acting skills to portray complex, multilayered characters; and thirdly, the capacity to think out of the box – something that surprisingly few actors think nowadays.

I remember an online meme stating the clear way into voice acting. Auditioning, being a monster in the closet with the microphone on, and then success. In a sense, that’s not too far from how one should see Broadway. Here’s how to rule the stage:

You should go and chat with other actors…

Rule number one before Broadway auditions: don’t bother actors right after they perform. Instead, figure out their favorite places to hang out – they all have at least one. Without being obnoxious, go and be social (if you feel like it). Overcome your fear and go out. Last thing, remember that their actual advice won’t count as much as you making authentic human connections.

You shouldn’t think that you are somehow unique…

You’re young. You’re talented. You have a pleasant singing voice. You’re in shape. You look good and have the perfect CV for the act, but let me tell you something – it won’t matter. Not when there’s a room full of 50-something other people that have those exact same qualities. I know it’s a cliché to say be different than everyone else but stick to it anyway, because this is where it counts.

You should take singing lessons…

Figure out how much of the play will be song. Chances are that it’s a lot. Everyone says you should get singing lessons for Broadway auditions. Take that advice! Even if you have the voice of an angel, it isn’t all it takes. Training is important. Go for the best trainer you can afford, and if you want the cheaper option, try singing lessons on the internet (most actually have useful advice).

You shouldn’t think Broadway is perfect…

If you think that casting directors on Broadway are all highly cultured individuals, impervious to gender, race, or ethnic stereotypes – you’re in for a big disappointment. We hope you never have to come across such offensive people, but if you listen to this article, you might be inclined to think the theater business is clearly un-gender-balanced, and definitely not representative of the minorities.

curtain over broadway auditions stage set for auditions

You should hunt for obscure plays…

Not everyone will get their Cats in their first few Broadway auditions, it’s a fact we shouldn’t pussyfoot around. Every famous musical today was doubted before it became big. Moreover, it’s far more important for you to get experience than to be in a famous play. Almost everyone dreams of playing Shakespeare in the company of the best actors in town, but there’s a long way to that gilded stage.

You shouldn’t overlook the complete act…

Acting, singing, dancing – these three ingredients are like the secret formula to success in acting. Except they’re not secret. Everyone knows this. How are there still people who underperform in these categories? I don’t have a straight answer. Lack of training, overacting, underacting, lack of dancing skills, poor coordination, no rhythm – the list could go on. The point: remember the act is one consistent singularity of the three, which you have to master for Broadway auditions.

You should respect the opportunity…

If you’re new to acting and get the chance to audition for a Broadway musical, you need to realize that this is your moment. Drop everything you can and focus on the task at hand. This is the big thing. You made it. You’re here. A bunch of frightening faces look you off from behind a bland metal table. Everything is cold – make it light up. No pressure.

You shouldn’t choose a difficult song…

Admittedly you won’t be singing with an accompanying tape, or worse – a Capella (God no!). Given that, you’ll be stuck with the sometimes-sucky piano player that happens to be at the audition. You’ll have to provide sheet music with the accompaniment of your song. Test that sheet music with another piano player before hand – it needs to be in the right key and you need to be sure it’s simple enough for hands of a (mediocre) classically trained piano player with an ear for jazz fusion.

You should know the script…

This should stand as obvious. Still, you wouldn’t believe how many people going to Broadway auditions just read a few pages or skim over their preferred parts. A professional actor will know the script so well that they’re close to developing a personal relationship with the characters.

red stage sign in blue arrow on black background showing howto get to broadway auditions

An Ending Note

What have we learned? Broadway auditions are no walk in the park. There’s a lot to take in if you want it to go smoothly. New Line Theater says you should always be confident, even if you think you are sub-par.

While the practical details win you over and your focus is divided between what to wear, what to sing, and how to act, it may be important to look at the broader picture. Take a step back and imagine your Broadway auditions like just another obstacle in your road to success. And you’re good at going over obstacles. Because you’re the star of your life’s musical – and whatever happens, your show will go on.

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