Acting in Plays, Singing/songs for college auditions & state auditions
Hi Sean; My daughter Emily ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvW68hXuG7I) will be a senior in High School this fall and is auditioning for State competition and then college. She's chosen Aldonza for the singing portion and Luisa's monologue (This morning a bird woke me up...) from the Fantasticks. I've been reading that the monologue is overdone - one person said he'd sat through thousands of auditions in the past 25 years and he'd like never to hear it again. Do you mind giving me your thoughts on this and if you know of a better one, I'd love to have your input. Here's another song from Anything Goes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gh3W2uY2tQ
Oh, and as a single parent, I'm sending triplets to college next year - can you recommend a college for Emily? She wants to go to NYC of course, but the money tree in my back yard has become increasingly barren. Thanks so much for any help you can offer. Barbara
Hi, Barbara --
Thank you for the question.
The Fantasticks has actually been around for the past 54 years. It went from Off-Broadway to local theaters in a short period of time and has been playing in Somewhere, USA ever since. Thus, “overdone” is a hard case to make -- especially for all the employed Luisas (and their understudies) who will be picking up a check come Friday. Having said that, based on her gutsy performances posted on YouTube, Emily is not the Luisa-type anyway -- starting with, the role belongs to an innocent soprano.
My expertise on this site is not about monologues. There are a number of published collections containing contemporary monologues for women, i.e., from the past 25 years. Check your main library, ask the librarian about inter-library loans if the material you want is not in their collection. Yes, the hardest part about being a Theatre Arts major is all the reading and research you have to do. Emily will know the right monologue for her when she reads it. All she has to do at the audition is be herself, be understood (I missed most of the lyrics in the second verse of “Anything Goes”), and be heard in the back of the room.
“Aldonza” falls into the category of a mezzo-soprano. Women who sing the Habanera from “Carmen” are very comfortable with this song. The range of Aldonza extends from Ab3 to E5. That E5 is one-half step above the highest note in Let It Go, i.e., Eb5.
If I were Emily’s vocal coach, we would be exercising her passagio between C5 and at least F#5, G5 would be better. In “Let It Go” the C5 and C#5 happens in “I'm never going back, The past is in the past!” The Eb5 above it happens on “Here” of “Here I stand”. To have a competitive / marketable E5 at an audition or in a performance, the singer needs to own a climactic and balanced F#5 above it in practice.
Recommending colleges is also out of my field on this site. As with every other performing arts conservatory, NYU grinds out scores of musical theatre graduates every year. The vast majority of them will never pay their monthly bills singing and dancing.
Check out the state colleges in your area that have reputable Music and Theatre and Dance Departments. Emily is obviously a smart girl. Look into scholarships. You and she both need to learn about The Business of the performing arts. Get to know more than any Agent who might one day have any sort of influence over her career. Investigate what it means to be able to qualify for membership in the performer’s union -- Actors Equity Association. For most folks, even those with a Masters Degree, it takes years of non-paid work to earn the points to get that card.
I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. When you want to make an appointment, contact me at: BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com.
I am also published on:
HuffingtonPost.com -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield
Examiner.com -- http://www.examiner.com/classical-music-in-san-francisco/sean-martinfield
FabulousFilmSongs.com -- http://www.fabulousfilmsongs.com
Below are links to my recent articles and interviews:
Tenor Stuart Skelton on Peter Grimes
Alexandra Silber and Cheyenne Jackson in New Recording of West Side Story
A Conversation with Dmitri Hvorostovsky – This Week at Davies Hall
Jeffrey Biegel Is Rainbow High on New CD: Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos
JEANETTE MacDONALD and The Great American Songbook, Pt. 1 — Close encounters with “Dinah” and “Some of These Days”
A Conversation with Mario Frangoulis – International Tenor Debuts in San Francisco, April 4th
Anita Monga – Talking with the Artistic Director of the SF Silent Film Festival
NOIR CITY 12 – ‘It’s A Bitter Little World’ – Talking with Producer Eddie Muller
A Conversation with Maestro James Conlon
Ricardo Bustamante – Profile of A Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet
In Conversation with Stewart Copeland – Famed Drummer Composes New Soundtrack for ‘Ben-Hur’ (1925)
A Fabulous Debut at Davies Symphony Hall for Natalie Dessay
Save The Castro Wurlitzer! – A Conversation with Organist David Hegarty
A Conversation with Pianist Roman Rabinovich
Program 3 at San Francisco Ballet – Heartaches by the number
A Conversation with Organist Paul Jacobs - This Week at Davies Hall
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Introduces ‘Rita’ by Donizetti
Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony and Sonata
Launching the Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel Piano Trio: Old School Genius in the 21st Century
SY SMITH – Just the Thought of You
Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke: Unmasked at SF Symphony's Masquerade Ball
New on CD: ‘As Long As There Are Songs’, by Stephanie Blythe
A Conversation with Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band