Having worked with teams of casting professionals in a high pressure and fast paced environment, I'm familiar with what it takes to get recognized amongst the rush to cast these tv singing competitions.
Here are a few tips to keep you ahead of the competition and catch the casting departments eye:
Making Smart Song Choices - ABSOLUTELY NO ADELE
Be prepared to sing at least 3 songs (30 seconds to a minute and a half).
Avoid covering legends like: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Elvis, etc (unless you're really frikn fantastic).
Absolutely no Adele and under no circumstances should you audition with Amazing Grace.
Try finding a version of your song that is arranged differently (Example: What Adam Lambert did on American Idol).
Practice the song in a few different keys and settle on one that feels the most comfortable but not too safe.
Structure your audition song so that the best parts, that really show off your voice, are moved to the front of the song.
Passing The Personality Test - Owning Your Quirks
Speak with the judges, casting department, and crew professionally and honestly.
Be your authentic self at all times and in all interactions.
Don’t be afraid to be a bit braggadocios about what you’re great at (don't be annoying about it though-unless being annoying is your thing).
Real crying is always great when necessary.
If you put your hands up like claws, like Lorde does when she is perfofrming, you need to own it.
Don't be afraid to share your other hobbies and interests. Maybe you're a night club musician that is secretly an expert kickboxer?
Startling The Casting Department - Making A Moment
Maybe it’s holding a high note for a long time or maximizing an emotional moment with dynamics (softer/louder).
Give a hint earlier in your song foreshadowing your big vocal moment.
Do you have a reason or purpose for your song selection? Maybe its your favorite song or it reminds you of your pet goldfish - Harriette
How about taking a country song and make it sound R&B? Mix it up - but don't take away from the song's original melody.
In conclusion, making a smart song choice is the most important part of your audition. Avoid songs by Michael Jacksonm, Adele, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion or other musical legends. If you cannot slay songs by those artists then you should turn your attention to other artists and songs. If you can, avoid choosing songs by artists that are similar to your style and sound as the casting team might compare them to you.
Give several performance moments as quickly as possible during your vocal audition. When arranging the song, make sure the end of the performance has a big moment. A moment can be a huge dynamic change in the song like holding a really high note, or executing a sweet vocal run. Give them your best but leave them wanting more.
Remember when you are auditioning for these shows always be authentic when interacting with tv show producers and staff. If you are pretending to be someone you are not they will see right through the smoke and mirrors. Don't be late. Don't be unorganized.
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