In my studio, I have students who are constantly preparing for auditions. In and outside of lesson time, we are in constant communication, trying to find new repertoire to build their books. In the vast world that is musical theatre it is tough to narrow down various genres as well as binder tabs, but by focusing on the individual student (by actor type, voice type, age, etc.) the following tips can help the student do their own research.
- Figure out what roles you could play tomorrow. Focusing on your actor type and what age you play on stage. For example, a role that I know I can do right now – Amalia Balash in She Loves Me.
- From there, I look at the list of actresses (as well as understudies) who have played her in the past and make a list –
- Barbara Cook, Anne Rogers, Madeline Kahn, Judy Kuhn, Ruthie Henshall, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Benanti, Scarlett Strallen
- I look through each individual actresses’ background, including other roles that they have done in the past and make another list –
- Laura Benanti – Maria in The Sound Of Music, Cinderella in Into The Woods, Julia Sullivan in The Wedding Singer, Louise in Gypsy…
- Then go through the shows list I just made and see other actresses who have done the roles. It’s pretty much a never-ending cycle-
- Louise in Gypsy – Sandra Church, Zan Charisse, Crista Moore, Tammy Blachard, Lara Pulver…
- Be sure to have a healthy mix of current or past performers, to get a variety of roles.
Your book will be ever changing, which is an exciting thing! It will change when you get sick of a song, age, vocally figure out new things, have a new audition, etc. Enjoy the process! This post was inspired by Professor Matthew Edwards’ original blog post found here, which breaks down a spreadsheet way to do this.