Acting in Plays, Singing/Into the woods audition

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Question
I absolutely adore the musical Into the Woods and I am finally going to get the chance to audition when my high school does it for their spring musical next year. The character I have chosen to audition for is little red. To insure I put forth the best audition possible I am asking your assistance in choosing a proper song. I am an alto but unaware of which notes I can hit exactly. Since I have so little information on my voice I can tell you I have sung Nothing from A Chorus Line and that suited my voice very well. I recently performed I caint say no from Oklahoma for my musical theatre class. Although I did hit all the notes, some were more difficult. The song I am considering is anything goes but I am really looking for something more appropriate for the musical. Do you have any suggestions? I go to a performing arts school so the competition singing wise is very tough. I have a good voice but not one of those "wow" voices so I depend mostly on my acting abilities and usually chose a song that is more of a conversation. I understand red does not have to be the strongest vocally so I think this is my best role option. Thanks so much for you help!
Thanks again
Madi

Answer
Hi, Madi --

Thank you for the question.

Who told you Little Red does not have to be strong vocally? Whoever—they don’t know what they’re talking about. Everyone in a Stephen Sondheim show must be vocally strong and secure in their range. Moreover, you have to be an excellent musician. Sondheim is not easy stuff.

“Nothing” from A CHORUS LINE is a wonderful song, but sits low in the voice: G3-B4. By contrast, Little Red’s vocal range in “I Know Things Now” stretches from C4-Eb5. That translates to a major 4th higher. “I Cain’t Say No” sits in that same range, the high note D5 being one-half step lower than “I Know Things Now”.

You have plenty of time to prepare for this show. If you want to audition successfully for Little Red, then you need to pull your upper register to F5 -- one whole step above Eb5. You want to know walking out the door that your voice is secure at least one whole step above and below the range of your performance or audition song.

Some audition notices describe Little Red as being a soprano. What They mean by that is a youthful sounding voice. Technically, Little Red sits in the range of a mezzo-soprano -- but, again, with a young sound. She is most certainly not the soprano required for Cinderella.

Get some vocal coaching. Perhaps you are mezzo who simply needs to develop her upper register. My job as a professional vocal coach is to show you how.

Consider the following songs:

Broadway Baby (Follies) -- Range: C4-E5
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0112214_U5

You’ve Got Possibilities (It’s A Bird...It’s A Plane...It’s Superman) -- Range: C4-D5
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0025998&

Also consider a cutting from “If Momma Was Married” from GYPSY:
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0051951&

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out my web site: http://FabulousFilmSongs.com

I'm also an entertainment and cultural critic for HuffingtonPost.com – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield and Classical music reviewer for Examiner.com – http://www.examiner.com/user/4557381/articles. Let me know when you're ready to come to San Francisco for some vocal coaching.

See my interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKeeTYTYMAI

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:

‘A Grand Romance’—A Spectacular CD from pianist Jeffrey Biegel
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-grand-romancea-spectacular-cd_b

Philippe Sly Debuts In 'Cosi fan tutte' at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/philippe-sly-debuts-in-co_b_33294

Nicole Henry redefines the '70s with her latest CD, 'So Good, So Right'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/nicole-henry-redefines-the-70s_b_

THE GREAT GATSBY—F. Scott Fitzgerald Classic goes Three Dimensional
http://www.examiner.com/review/the-great-gatsby-f-scott-fitzgerald-classic-goes-

Christopher Wheeldon's 'Cinderella'—A Smash Hit for the Season Finale at SF Ballet
http://www.examiner.com/review/christopher-wheeldon-s-cinderella-a-smash-hit-for

'FILLY BROWN' — An Extraordinary Film from Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos
http://www.examiner.com/review/filly-brown-an-extraordinary-film-from-youssef-de

TINSEL TARTS IN A HOT COMA—Extended through June 29th at The Hypnodrome
http://www.examiner.com/review/tinsel-tarts-a-hot-coma-extended-through-june-29t

Nonsemble 6 presents Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire' – in corsets
http://www.examiner.com/article/nonsemble-6-presents-schoenberg-s-pierrot-lunair

'Onegin' – A Must-See at San Francisco Ballet, Final Performances 3/26—28
http://www.examiner.com/review/onegin-a-must-see-at-san-francisco-ballet-final-p

Tenor Noah Stewart Debuts with Berkeley Symphony in World Premiere of New Work by Steven Stucky
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/noah-stewart_b_2899344.html

Marnie Breckenridege, A Modern Soprano for Contemporary Opera
http://www.examiner.com/article/marnie-breckenridge-a-modern-soprano-for-contemp

A Profile of Choreographer John Neumeier and his "Nijinsky"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/profile-choreographer-john-neumei

Peggy Cummins Honored at San Francisco's Noir City Film Festival
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/noir-city-film-festival_b_2569333

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room
http://www.examiner.com/article/in-conversation-with-peter-gallagher-coming-sund

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tosca-san-francisco-opera_b_21965

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/moby-dick-san-francisco-opera_b_1

'Drama Queens' – A Conversation with Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/drama-queens-a-conversation_b_214

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6
http://www.examiner.com/node/53741556

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/marco-vratogna-is-sensati_b_19070

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-joshu_b_18824

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/jazz-vocalist-nicole-henr_b_18536

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/norma-shearer-and-joan-cr_b_17750

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/wizard-of-oz-san-fran-symphony_b_

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/samuel-ramey-attila_b_1586131.htm

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD
http://www.examiner.com/review/victor-herbert-collected-songs-a-great-cd-for-mem

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tom-judson-cabaret_b_1498594.html

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/gennadi-nedvigi-ballet_b_1427319.

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/christopher-houlihan_b_1398351.ht

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/richard-winsor-swan-lake_b_135148

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166623

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166029

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=24462

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=99268

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
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A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-a6Oa-0j4

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=58241

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

Acting in Plays, Singing

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Sean Martinfield

Expertise

I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com I am also a music and cultural critic for HuffingtonPost.com and Examiner.com. I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.

Experience

As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

Publications
HuffingtonPost.com Examiner.com FabulousFilmSongs.com SanFranciscoSentinel.com

Education/Credentials
San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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