Yes, you do have to be enrolled in a class to audition. Class tuition refunds will not be given to students who audition and are not cast or withdraw from casting.
REMEMBER…Auditioning is a skill that you only get better at by doing it more. It’s nearly impossible to create an audition scenario on your own to practice, so take every opportunity to audition with Journey so you can increase your skills and confidence.
Auditioning for a show commits students, if cast, to be a part of the show. Once a student auditions there are no refunds given for class or show fees.
Journey Theater is an EDUCATIONAL environment and we want our students to improve. Directors are open to offering feedback, however, for the sake of fairness and growth in professionalism, we ask that you strictly adhere to the Guidelines for Audition Feedback.
Students taking classes at any Vancouver location are eligible to audition for the show.
- A completed and signed Audition Form (there will be extra forms at auditions)
- A current photo (4×6 is the preferred photo size)
- For a Musical: An accompaniment track (instrumental only) for your song. It is recommended that your song be a portion of a song that is 16 bars/measures, or 30-45 seconds, and should not exceed 1 minute. The track needs to be a downloaded MP3 (no streaming).
- For a Straight Play: A 1-minute monologue.
- You will need to fill out the online audition forms before you arrive (Parent Committee, Costume Information)
Students enrolled, who have not previously auditioned, may participate in the audition as a practice experience and will receive feedback from the Judges upon request (see the link for “Guidelines for Audition Feedback” below).
Auditioning: Casting & Cuts
Journey Theater is an educational non-profit organization that values providing opportunities for kids to learn and grow through the theater arts performance experience. Because of this core value, we ask our Artistic Team members to consider all auditioners fairly, consistently, and look for ways to incorporate as many kids as possible into the production.
There are considerations that could cause a student to be “cut” from a production:
- Each of our venues can only safely accommodate a certain number of cast and crew.
- The student is unable to demonstrate a complete audition. This may include the student needing to leave the stage, needing to start their audition over, or not showing preparedness.
- The student demonstrates difficulty in maintaining behavior standards either in Journey classes or in the audition/callback experience. This includes inappropriate audience participation at open auditions (talking during other’s auditions) and unfocused behavior at callbacks.
- The students’ parents have not demonstrated positive contribution to past committee obligations.
- The demands of the show are such that scheduling conflicts & missed rehearsals will impede the progress & success of the show experience.
We want all Journey families to have a successful and positive show experience. Therefore, it is important for us to follow these guidelines for the fair consideration and safety of all involved.
If you have questions about this policy, please direct your questions to:
Bethany Larson, Program Director
Journey realizes that without the support of each parent, it could not offer a high quality production. A parent from each family with a child or children cast in the show is required to serve on a Parent Committee. A parent signature is also required on the audition form.
Required Parent Meetings – dates and times are listed on the audition information page.
Cast and crew members are required to be at all rehearsals for which they are scheduled & every performance. In the case of illness or emergency, notify the Show Coordinator. Cast members may be removed from the scenes/songs they missed at those rehearsals, at the Director’s discretion. Excessive absences may result in dismissal from the show.
All rehearsal conflicts must be listed on the Audition form. Unexcused absences may result in dismissal from show. Please see the rehearsal dates on the audition information page from the show links above.
Cast Members have approximately 50 hours of rehearsal time before move-in and dress rehearsal week
Cast Members are required to pay a production fee. Some additional costs include make-up, shoes etc.
Conflicts may affect casting. You will have an opportunity to indicate any scheduling conflicts on the Audition Form. All cast and crew members must be able to attend every dress rehearsal and all performances.
Dress Rehearsal conflicts may be approved only for a school performance where the student’s grade would be impacted.
There are generally two parts to a Journey audition process. First there is a Audition where a student performs individually for one minute. The next day, there are Callbacks, which can include a dance audition, cold readings from the script, and singing from the score depending on if the show is a musical or a straight play.
On Friday night, students arrive during the designated time frame and sign up for an audition number. There’s an Audition form that needs to be filled out, signed, and brought with you. You also need to include a current photo of the student auditioning (3×5 is the preferred size). There are online forms that need to be filled out before you come: Parent Committee Form, Costume Form, and an optional Crew Form. These can be found on our Forms Page. If the show is a musical, they should also have a downloaded MP3 of their accompaniment track. WiFi is not reliable in many of our locations, so the track must be downloaded to the device being used. Students must be signed in before the designated end time in order to audition. Late arrivals will not be allowed to audition
Students audition with a group of 9 other students. They sit together and approach the stage one-at-a-time when their number is called. Make sure the device they are using to play their music is unlocked, and the song is cued to the correct starting place. When it’s their turn, the student comes to the stage, gives their device to the TREK student running the speaker, introduces themselves and their song, and then performs their portion of a song that is recommended to be 16-bars/measures, or 30-45 seconds, not to exceed 1 minute.
If the show is a straight play, they will perform their 1-minute monologue.
Auditions should be well prepared and polished. If a student messes up, they are encouraged to continue on rather than starting again. The artistic team generally helps get the performer back on track. This is the time to demonstrate poise under nervous circumstances. It is recommended that song selections be limited to 16 bars/measures, or 30-45 seconds from the time the student begins singing. If at 1 minute an auditioner is still singing, the music will be stopped and the audition will end.
- Take the phone out of its case – sometimes the headphone cable cannot plug in with the case on.
- Turn the volume ALL THE WAY UP
- Turn off any screen time-outs or temporarily remove any passcode to get into the phone
- Download the song onto the phone, DO NOT RELY ON STREAMING. The internet connection in the building is very spotty and unreliable.
• A big smile!
• Using a loud, clear voice, continuing with good projection all the way thru.
• Dressing nice – not in costume, but like you would for a school presentation. A clean and professional look goes a long way in making a good impression.
• Performance energy – move around with gestures and facial expressions that help tell the story. Songs and monologues shouldn’t be choreographed per say, but the judges are looking for “stage presence.”
The General Auditions are “open” which means students perform to an audience of family and friends that are there to support and encourage you. It’s a great experience and everyone is helpful and friendly…especially if it’s your first time on stage.
Just in front of the performance area is a panel of “judges”. They are the Artistic Team for the show. Usually, the Director, Music Director and/or Choreographer are at the table. They have adjudication forms that they’re completing for each student. Depending on the type of show, they’re evaluating any of the following:
• Stage Presence – how a student presents themselves physically
• Diction & Projection – how clearly the student speaks and how strong of a performance they give
• Pitch & Range how well a student sings in tune and demonstrates their voice.
They also have a place to write general comments about the performance and start making some decision about who they would like to see at Callbacks. MOST IMPORTANTLY they are your CHEERLEADERS!! They smile at you, help you get back on if you forget the words and generally support your whole process.
- Do not sing a song or perform a monologue from the show you are auditioning for. This allows the Artistic Team to consider you for many characters, rather than the character who sings this song.
- Keep your hands out of your pockets
- Don’t throw anything.
- Try not to rock back in forth.
- Generally, handing things to the Artistic Team or going up to the table isn’t a good idea.
- Keep smiling and be confident, even if you think you didn’t do your best.
- The Judges will cut you off if your audition exceeds 1 minute.
- If you have a lot of conflicts, casting options may be significantly limited or impossible.
- It’s okay if someone in your audition group is doing the same song as you. Do your best!
- Focus on phrasing and dynamics. These will make your song stand out.
- Be careful about belting – DON’T OVERSING! Show your strengths but show them in a controlled, musical way.
“Open Auditions” means that guests are welcome to observe auditions. We do require those observing auditions to stay seated and to refrain from talking during each group of auditioners. In light of that, please do not bring guests who are not able to sit still and stay quiet.
Auditions for summer shows are closed. The auditioner performs their audition in front of the artistic team; with no additional observers.
How to Choose A Song
Students perform a portion of a song that is recommended to be 16 bars/measures or about 30-45 seconds (not to exceed 1 minute) to a karaoke track of their choice. That means that there should not be any “lead vocals”. It should be instrumental only so that the student’s voice can really be showcased. The judges want to hear the STUDENT sing!
Journey produces MUSICALS, so the song should be a musical theater selection from Broadway-style show/composer or Disney. Do not sing a song from the show you are auditioning for. This allows the Artistic Team to consider you for many characters, rather than the character who sings this song. Students should take their time when choosing and preparing an audition song. It’s important to research the show and the various characters (info is posted on the Show Callboard) then select a piece that helps showcase them for the role(s) they’re interested in. For example, if a student is most interested in playing the villain in the show, they should choose a song that captures that type of character. If they are interested in the comedic role, an upbeat funny song is a perfect choice. The judges may decide a different role is better for them, but the student should show their intention towards a character.
This is something students get better at the more they audition and take Journey classes. If it’s your first time auditioning, just be sure to pick a song that you can sing confidently and HAVE FUN!! Students who are hesitant about singing might want to consider a “patter” song that will showcase enunciation and an ability to perform to music.
To choose a song, you can listen to song samples on MTIshows.com or look up songs thru iTunes. You’ll need to purchase a KARAOKE track with which to perform. The Artistic Team really needs to hear YOUR voice, so you are not allowed to sing along with a lead vocalist. Likewise, a cappella (without any accompaniment) auditions are not allowed either.
Where to find Songs:
- itunes- Visit apple.com to download iTunes. When you search, use “karaoke + broadway” or “karaoke + show”. You can also search by song name.
- www.pocketsongs.com – This is a great site. Lots of choices Make sure you order ahead of time.
- www.sheetmusicdirect.com – Lots of sheet music.
- Dave Hunter – Will edit tracks to 1 minute for a fee. email@example.com
- Jonni Glaser firstname.lastname@example.org – www.myspace.com/AuditionMusicService This is a San Diego Dad who is a very good musician. He charges, but can make you a track of any song- NO MUSIC NEEDED! Mention that you are with Journey and he will donate a portion of his charges back to Journey. Contact for rates.
- www.ez-tracks.com/karaoke.html – A download service.
- http://www.hamienet.com – A track download service. Most are free.
- www.hitkaraoke.com – Lots of selection, but you need to order CD’s ahead of time.
- Audacity is a free download editing software. It is very basic and simple to use. This is perfect to cut your song down to the 16 bars/measures limit, or 30-45 seconds.
- Also- here is a link to instructions on how to remove vocals from a song using Audacity.
Audition Tips Websites
- www.musicaltheatreaudition.com – A great collection of song ideas, articles on a range of audition topics. Practical, helpful advice that will improve any auditions.
- www.voicestudio.kristinaseleshanko.com/AuditionTipsForSingers.htm – A great list of general tips for vocal auditions.
- http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/680_musical-theater-audition.htm – A web video series with a variety of topics.
- http://www.stageagent.com/Shows/Songs/ A searchable database of song ideas
- http://www.cramercenter.com/cramerstore/bshows/bdwy-al-silent.html A list of shows with song titles for ideas.
After Auditions, the Artistic Team deliberates to determine who they need to see at Callbacks. This is a “closed” audition, meaning only the students invited may attend. Students do NOT receive a phone call if invited to attend. The invitation list is posted on the Show Callboard along with instructions for participation. If a student is NOT called back, it simply means that the Artistic Team got all the information they needed during Auditions. It does not necessarily mean that the student is not cast. Students will know casting decisions on Sunday at 5pm when it the Cast & Crew List is posted on the Show Callboard.
Typically Callbacks consists of a Dance Audition where the Choreographer teaches a group number to those in attendance. After it’s been taught, he/she will put students in small groups and they’ll dance the selection together for the Artistic Team to evaluate.
Once the Dance Audition is complete, a smaller group of students is asked to stay for Cold Reading and Singing Auditions. The Artistic Team then works together to gather the information they need for casting as they watch students perform works from the show, receive direction, and demonstrate their character choices.
General Callback Tips
- Get some sleep! The callback list will be the same whether you see it a 3am or 7am.
- Strong creative choices are essential.
- The directors are there to help you do your best- so feel free to ask questions and clarify directions.
- Give your best at every role you are called back for – not just the one you “want”. Every opportunity is important.
- Be flexible with your role expectations.
- The number of times you read or sing is really no indication of casting thoughts. Sometimes directors need to see some people more than others.
- Don’t give up! The day is long, don’t let yourself get discouraged by how you feel you are performing or how others are doing.
- Try! Do your best! Have fun with the material.
- You are auditioning from the moment you walk into callbacks. Be respectful, helpful, courteous. This goes a long way.
- Often the directors will give you a description of the song, character or scene. Listen- this is essential information for you.
- Have fun with the material and the characters.
- Be yourself! If you are called back for a role, there is something in your personality or performance that is in common with the character. So be natural.
Dance Callback Tips
- This is not the time to talk with friends- pay attention.
- Even if you can’t do a move perfectly- just try it!
- Help each other out.
- If you are asked to “free dance” you can use choreography that you learned in the past.
- Do your best- be confident.
- Facial expressions are important. Remember to smile.
Voice Callback Tips
- If it is possible, listen to the music ahead of time.
- Don’t worry if you mess up- try your best and keep going.
- Even if you don’t think you can sing something- go ahead and try.
- Focus on breathing and articulation.
- Don’t get deflated if you crack on a note or miss something. One note is not going to make or break you.
- Try to show character and acting with the song you are singing.
- Ground the song in the scene – you don’t need to sing to the directors.
- Try to think about the words you are singing and connect to the emotion of the song.
- Relax and remember the fundamentals.
- Be confident.
Cold Read (reading from the shows script) Callback Tips
- Strong, creative choices are essential.
- As soon as you are given a script, start reading over the scenes with the character for which you are called back. Find what the most important part of the scene is. What does your character want out of the scene?
- Physicality, vocal inflection, facial expressions and non verbals are important parts of your callback.
- Make the interpretation of the role your own. You don’t need to do it the same way as the person in front of you did it.
- Don’t worry about stage directions or how you think a scene should be blocked. But add movement and follow the natural movements of the scene.
- Relate to the person you are doing a scene with.
- Follow along in your script with your thumb. This will help you keep your place.
- Utilize every opportunity presented. For example, if you are asked to read in a scene a different part (even one that is the opposite sex of you)- go for it! You never know when the directors will see something that gives them an idea for casting.
- Don’t try to “act” – let the natural emotions and reactions of the scene unfold.
- Feel free to ask questions.
- If you are called at the beginning – its ok to take a moment to skim the scene.
- Try to look up from your script. Read your next line as the other person is finishing their line.
- Don’t play to the directors. Play the scene.
- If you are doing a scene with a partner that is struggling – don’t get frustrated. Help them by delivering a strong performance yourself.
- Take risks. The bigger the better.
- If the role requires an accent, take your best stab at doing it.
- Be engaged in the scene the whole time- not just when you are saying a line.
Occasionally students are allowed to submit a video audition. Permission for this exception is granted only after prior arrangement with the Show Coordinator in conjunction with the Program Director. Video submissions must be received by email by the designated cut-off audition time for the show the student is auditioning for. All required paperwork must also be attached to the email submission. The Artistic Team will then watch the video during their deliberations and score the student in the same manner in which they did the other auditioners. Some scenarios that may receive approval for this exception include:
- Family trip planned well in advance of the audition date being published.
- Unforeseeable medical issues, such as contracting pink eye or head lice. Doctor’s note required.
- Conflict with scheduled medical procedure.
Please talk to your Show Coordinator ASAP if you think you may be eligible for consideration.
If a student is unable to attend any portion of the auditioning weekend, they are ineligible for principal character casting and may only be considered for ensemble roles (“Ensemble Roles” may include featured ensemble, supporting ensemble, additional ensemble). Students who are able to attend Callbacks (if invited) may still be considered for full casting options.