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Wonderful Town

Audition Commentary

WE ARE OFTEN ASKED how we evaluate auditions. The method is quite simple and the "secrets" are set out below. At CCM, we contend that a well-prepared audition will reveal two major aspects of the performer. Loosely described, these conform to who you are and what you can do. In the first category, we would like to see your personality, your strengths, your love of the arts, the uniqueness that makes you "you." In the second, we will be evaluating your skills: your voice, your physical presence, your intellect and your emotional availability.

If you want to be technical about it, the second area is evaluated as follows:

► Vocal and Musical Ability. Good pitch, a rhythmic sense, a pleasing vocal quality; articulation that is clear and appropriate to the context of the song or monologue.

► Physical Awareness. General poise and stage deportment, freedom and ease of movement; general posture, use of hands in an unselfconscious manner, and the light and graceful carriage of the body. Ability to learn rudimentary dance combinations and perform them with accuracy and style.

► Communication Skills. Energy that is focused, communication with the audience (sharing), involvement; identification with the subject of the song or monologue and the creation a believable "reality" on the stage. Understanding of the text and the “givens” of the song or monologue. Capable of experiencing a range of emotions and demonstrating the ability to share these with the observers.

► Development of Style. The integration of the techniques of acting, voice and movement into the successful performance of selections from the musical theatre repertoire. The development of personal skills and an awareness of self.

A Chorus Line

WE RECEIVE A LOT OF MAIL about auditioning at CCM. Most applicants agree that the audition is a fun-filled process and not at all intimidating. The Musical Theatre faculty strive to put everyone at ease. We regard the theatre as a celebration ― and that celebration begins in the audition room. We are looking for students who are as passionate about Musical Theatre as we are and can demonstrate their love to us.

Each year, at audition time, we receive many letters commenting on the experience. The following are some quotes from unsolicited letters received in the past few years. We hope they will give you a better idea of what to expect.

►  “Thank you for a wonderful audition experience. Although it’s hard not to be nervous at an audition, you helped create such a friendly environment that it made things a lot less stressful than I thought they would be. I've rarely been to an audition, especially one this important, where I’ve had so much fun. I am by no means a dancer, yet the dance audition was the best part of all. Getting out on the floor and dancing like crazy made me feel really alive. I know this was due to Diane Lala’s teaching. With professors like that, I can see why CCM is so highly regarded. I took a lot away from the audition and I will always remember the experience. 

► “After my audition yesterday, I am positive that CCM is the place I want to be for the next four years. I was very impressed by the professional manner in which the auditions were conducted. The students who performed for us were amazing. They showed such passion for their craft. They inspired me to do the best I could in my own work. I dream one day I will be in their shoes showing hopeful students what I have learned at CCM. It is clear why you are the top program in the country. Auditions are often stressful or unnerving, but you and your faculty made me feel right at home and allowed me to realize how much of a ‘celebration’ the audition process should be.

► "The dance portion of the audition was lots of fun. I liked having the opportunity to work with Ms. Cory. Her combination was unique and I can't wait to show it to my instructors back home. I really appreciate the time, effort and kindness she lavished on us all. Your personality, politeness and desire to 'celebrate theatre' made the audition very enjoyable. . . . If I were to try to express my desire about attending CCM, it would take up another page in itself. To sum it up, attending a program that uses extremely rigorous training to produce the finest actors possible, with the commitment that the Marines have to their goals, is exactly what I want from the school that I attend."

► “Coming to audition at CCM, I braced myself for the worst, expecting a school with such high standards and fantastic reputation to have a superior air about it. By the beginning of the audition, however, I realized I was wrong. The faculty and students were welcoming and polite. The orientation was informative and often hilarious. The students who performed for us were terrific – and obviously loved what they were doing. They were more than willing to talk to me about the program. They were exceptionally gracious and very encouraging about the auditions. Not once did I feel pressured or under scrutiny – rather, I felt the faculty was eager to see what I had to show them. I felt positive and confident as I left the audition room. On the way home, my parents asked me how it had gone. The only thing I could say was, “It was so much fun!”  My mother laughed, thinking I was being sarcastic. She knew I had been terrified about how cold the students and faculty might be. I told her I had been terribly misinformed about the atmosphere at CCM. My audition could not have been a more pleasant experience! Thank you again.

► "Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Thank you to your fantastic faculty and amazingly talented students. I had a wonderful time! The greeters were so helpful and friendly. The students who taught the dance combination were great ― they listened to our questions and helped us until we got it right. And the student performances were truly top-notch. I fell in love with the lyrical dance piece. It was beautiful. The sophomore performance was hilarious and spot-on vocally. The tap number was perfection. I can only hope to be accepted into such a wonderful program. I would be proud to attend CCM in the fall."

"To be completely honest, I felt somewhat intimidated in the days leading up to my audition at CCM. I had heard many rumors that the conservatory was very cold and expected complete perfection of anyone even showing up to audition for the program. I was thrilled to have all of my preconceived notions wiped away upon arrival. I enjoyed every minute of my time at CCM and found the faculty and students to be incredibly kind ― people I could easily befriend, as well as work with and admire."

from a letter of thanks received after an audition
Meet Our Students
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Open House

Introducing
Our Alumni

Lee Roy Reams

Lee Roy Reams

Natalie Bradshaw

Natalie Bradshaw
Class of 2007

Tyler Maynard

Tyler Maynard
Class of 2001

Meggie Cansler

Meggie Cansler
Class of 2006

Jessica Hendy

Jessica Hendy
Class of 1993

Josh Breckenridge

Josh Breckenridge
Class of 2007

Adam Laird

Adam Laird
Class of 2006

 

Photo Credits

Banner Top: Preston Truman Boyd and company in Wonderful Town.