Posts tagged rant
AUDITION PEEVES #6 - It's not a trick question.

Be sure to follow Save My Audition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! There are buttons at the top of this page to find those social media accounts.

This week’s Audition Advice post on Instagram and Twitter:


Okay… This is an easy one.

When someone behind the table asks you a question, it’s a legit question.

Let’s say you’ve just finished your audition song and someone says to you…

“Sing something else.”

You are absolutely in the right to ask for some guidance, but if they respond by saying “Whatever you want.” It isn’t a trick response. Don’t try to dig further into their head and figure out what they want. Truth is, they probably don’t know what they want. They may not even be asking you to sing something for the show you are auditioning for but for another show they are working on.

Point is, you just don’t know what they want behind the table, and most of the time neither do they.

So take it as an opportunity to sing something that shows you off really well.

I swear, it’s not a trick question.

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AUDITION PEEVES #5 - Stop highlighting stuff! Please.

Be sure to follow Save My Audition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! There are buttons at the top of this page to find those social media accounts.

This week’s Audition Advice post on Instagram and Twitter:


I’m already falling behind on the Monday blog posts. I’m sorry, I’ll get back to it soon, it’s been super busy the past couple weeks.

But for this week’s Audition Peeves let’s talk about highlighting things in your music.

Let me just say…


Just stop. Please for the love of all things highlighter, STOP!

It’s super distracting. We know, generally speaking for decent audition pianists, how to read music. You don’t need to point out the key changes, or the time signature changes, or the tempo changes, or anything else really. Whomever has told you to highlight things to point them out to your audition pianist is doing you a huge disservice. It makes me think that you don’t trust me to do my job.

But… If there is a section of your song that is continually problematic (have a pianist look it over to make sure it isn’t the music’s fault) you can absolutely point it out to us. But you don’t need to highlight it. Trust me, you don’t.

Does this seem to make the music easier to play?

Redacted for Personal Privacy

Redacted for Personal Privacy


Hint. It doesn’t.




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AUDITION PEEVES #4 - You’re making me turn the page backwards?

Be sure to follow Save My Audition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! There are buttons at the top of this page to find those social media accounts.

This week’s Audition Advice post on Instagram and Twitter:


We’ll continue the regular Blog series this coming Monday. Easter/Taxes ate up my time the past couple weeks. But we’ll be back to talking about Contemporary Music Theatre shortly!

Now, onto the rant…

This is an easy one. 

Don’t make your pianist turn the page backwards. 

If your cut involves a first and second ending (or more) or following the “sign” back to the beginning of a song then jumping to a coda... Make copies of the pages you are repeating and set up your cut so that it can be clearly read from the beginning to the end with no backwards page turns. 

This problem is only exacerbated when after turning backwards you then make the pianist turn more than 1 page to get to the coda. 

Here’s the deal, we are processing A LOT of information behind the piano for each audition. You may point out exactly what your cut does logistically, but once we start playing we forget and then we are frantically turning pages and trying to remember where we are suppose to jump to to keep supporting you. 

Help us support you by supporting us. 

This is why I created this site, if you have cuts that jump around, shoot me a message and we can clean them up. Your audition pianist will love you. Plus, it makes it look like you care.

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AUDITION PEEVES #3 - Don't Make it Hard to Turn the Page

Be sure to follow Save My Audition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! There are buttons at the top of this page to find those social media accounts.

This week’s Audition Advice post on Instagram and Twitter:


This one is easy and something I guarantee you’ve never thought about.

As you get toward the end of your book it gets harder and harder for the pianist to turn the pages quickly and efficiently. Especially the last page. If you have your music in plastic sheet protectors, they can tend to stick to the binder making it super difficult to turn that last page. Also, as you get toward the end of your book the lip created by the rest of your music gets smaller and smaller.

If you want to sing the last song in your book, just move it forward a little bit, it’s super helpful.

Now if you are asked to sing something else from your book and you pick the last song you have, for whatever reason, you don’t need to take the time to move it, we’ll survive. But don't walk in the room and sing the last song. It’s a little thing but absolutely shows that you care and that you’ve thought about the job we have to do behind the piano!

See you next week!

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AUDITION PEEVES #2 - If You Sing a Song You Wrote

Welcome to the new weekly (to the best of my ability) Audition Advice/peeves MiniBlog…

On Mondays I’ll post a bit of Audition Advice or an Audition Peeve on Instagram and Twitter, then on Wednesdays I’ll write a quick blog to further explain what my advice or peeve is about.

Be sure to follow Save My Audition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! There are buttons at the top of this page to find those social media accounts.

This week we jump a little into giving the wrong feel for your song. If there’s a better way to SABOTAGE your own audition… I don’t know what it is.

First off, this is what was posted on Instagram and Twitter:


Let me first say that I LOVE when people walk into the room and sing a song that they wrote. Honestly, I love it. It’s not easy to put yourself out there in that way and I have respect for anyone that is willing to do it.

With that being said… Writing songs is hard. Writing good songs is even harder. Writing good songs that make sense and work in an audition room is even harder than that.

I’ve heard countless original songs in the room, including some incredibly creative stuff, but sometimes a song walks in that’s a clunker. I’m not trying to judge the work and time people put into writing a new song. But what I will say is, please, for your sake, when you sing a song that you wrote make sure it’s a song that is appropriate to the audition you are walking in to. It’s hard to hear new songs in the room. We can easily get distracted trying to figure out what the song is about and we stop paying attention to you as a performer. It’s a delicate balance.


Continue to write new songs, continue to perform them, but know that the audition room isn’t always the best place for your songs.

Also, I fixed that horrifying punctuation error from my original Instagram and Twitter posts, though I’m leaving those original posts up. But a special thanks to my mother:

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AUDITION PEEVES #1 - Don't Give Your Tempo in 3...

Welcome to the new weekly (to the best of my ability) Audition Advice/peeves MiniBlog…

On Mondays I’ll post a bit of Audition Advice or an Audition Peeve on Instagram and Twitter, then on Wednesdays I’ll write a quick blog to further explain what my advice or peeve is about.

This week we jump a little into giving the wrong feel for your song. If there’s a better way to SABOTAGE your own audition… I don’t know what it is.

First off, this is what was posted on Instagram and Twitter:


I can’t remember what the song was that was being explained to me, all I can remember is that the person giving me the tempo/feel gave me the completely wrong feel. The song was clearly in 3/4 and whatever was happening next to my ear was definitely in 4/4. A little bewildered, and at the end of a long day, I just let it happen and didn’t ask for clarification. I take full responsibility for not clarifying what the feel should have been. But still, don’t do that!

I do remember one audition I played years ago, shortly after Beautiful opened, I was playing a required ECC and someone walked into the room and wanted to sing NATURAL WOMAN. “Great,” I thought, “I know this song, no sweat.” She then proceeded to count the song in 4, somehow, I can’t even explain how she did it. She didn’t add a beat to each measure, she also didn’t feel the song in 6/8 with only 2 beats a measure, but what she did do was somehow cram the 3/4 feel into a 4/4 feel and it was confusing. But being a song that we all know and I’ve played about a million times I didn’t think twice and just moved on to play. Needless to say I somehow had her feel stuck in my head and for the life of me I couldn’t fix what I was playing. I was playing the song in this weird 4/4 time that was just flat wrong. She had a terrible audition, I looked like a horrible pianist, and the walls came tumbling down.

Moral of the story, know the feel of your song cold.

As part of your coachings, make sure that you know how to communicate the feel, style and tempo of your song to your pianist. You’ll walk into the room more confident and it will show.

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Don't Stand in Front of Me!
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I know I owe you a good blog post, it’s been one of those months, lots of work, figuring out how to best make classes work for the website, a small human being in my charge turning 3... A busy month.

But here is a quick, down and dirty blog post (I swear we’ll get back into audition book land soon, I’m hoping over the weekend).

Now for the rant...

Don’t stand in front of the pianist during a dance call.

This one should be a no brainer. I need to see the people in the front of the room that want to get you a job, and they need to see me. That’s hard when you plant yourself directly in front of the piano.

I'm not saying to not stand in front of me while you are learning the dance. I'm saying once you are dancing in small groups for the choreographer, casting director, director, producers... Whoever is in front of the room.... DON'T STAND BETWEEN MYSELF AND THE CHOREOGRAPHER!

In a normal callback or audition I don’t get up after playing your song and stand in front of you when you are doing your sides or a monologue. You’re still working. Why would I get in your way? So don't get in mine... Plus there are only so many sweaty heads I can stare at in a 24 hour period.

It’s rude, and it shows that you don’t have any idea of your relationship to the space and the people in the room. Give me my line of sight, please. I know it can get packed in a dance call. I don’t really need that much room, just line of sight to the choreographer/casting director/whomever is running the call.

Why do I need to see them you ask? Let me tell you. I need to know when I have to start playing. Not every dance combo starts with a “5,6,7,8!” sometimes all I get is a nod and I start an introduction, or I do the count off. If I’m ducking and weaving to see up front… That’s a pain in the ass. I have to make sure that the last group has cleared the floor, the new group has taken their places, whomever is looking at the headshots is ready to go and I get my cue... Let me see what's happening in front of me.

So just be a real person, don’t stand in front of people that are working, don’t block my line of sight.

February and March classes have been announced, make sure you check them out.

Get your sh*t together. Stop blowing it!

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Classes... Why?
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So, let’s take a week off from the audition book to answer a question I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently. I’ll be back next week with Post-Golden Age Music, don’t you worry, lots of Audition Book blogs are in the works, with some guests to help out.

Anyway, the question I’ve been asked a lot lately is:

— -People asking

Now, that isn’t really the question that’s asked, but that’s the basic essence of the question being asked. Why am I setting up these classes?

So let’s dig into it, let’s dig into why I’m setting up classes, why I think classes are important, what are my thoughts on classes? We’ll start with the last thought first and work our way backwards.

What are my thoughts on classes?

This is a loaded question that I have to be careful about answering. But let’s start with my experience playing lots and lots of classes, of all different sorts, in New York City and elsewhere. We won’t get into classes I’ve played outside of NYC and I’ll focus on classes that I’ve played in the city.

I’ve played all sorts of classes in the city. Dance classes, Scene Study classes, Acting classes, Masterclasses, Audition classes, Song Study classes, Rep classes, classes for little kids, classes for older actors, classes for actors that only act as a hobby after they get off of work from their real job, classes for non-equity actors, classes for equity actors, classes for special needs actors, classes for... well, you name it, I’ve probably played a class for it. I’m going to focus on my experience with Audition classes, since that is what this whole website is about.

I have one really basic rule when it comes to classes that deal with what happens inside the audition room. They should not be taught by people that haven’t been in the audition room on a frequent and recent basis. There are a lot of really good teachers out there that teach really good audition classes... if you are auditioning for a show in 1985. Unfortunately the room is different now. You’re being led astray. Audition classes should and need to be taught by people that know the changing environment inside the room. People that know the ever evolving needs of the shows being cast. People that have their finger on the pulse of the industry. Everyone teaching an audition class through Save My Audition is a regular in the room, they see what is happening day in and day out, they are casting the current hits and flops of Broadway, off-Broadway and regionally. These are the people that you want to learn from, these are the people you WANT to learn from.

I was tired of playing classes for people that didn’t “get it” about the audition room anymore. It felt a little icky and sometimes felt like they were only teaching classes to make the money, and as a side note, those classes always paid the pianist poorly. Everyone that is teaching through Save My Audition is being paid for their talent at a very competitive rate, including my pianists. Right now I’m playing most of the classes being offered, but as things expand I hope that I won’t be able to cover all of the classes happening. To bring you the best working professional audition pianists I made a conscious decision to pay as close to Union scale as I possible could while keeping the overall cost of classes as low as possible. It’s my aim to only offer the best teachers and pianists in NYC. Wait until you see some of the classes I am working on for March. February will be a light month for Save My Audition as I adjust and learn from mistakes made in January. Regardless of what I thought, I'm apparently not perfect and I've made mistakes, working on fixing them.

I think classes are incredibly important for actors. You should always be working on your craft. Learning from the best. Watching other people work and seeing how it relates to the work you do. I’m not just talking audition classes. All sorts of classes. Take every class you can possibly afford. This is a damn expensive city, I get it, but when you have some extra money, take a class.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on classes. They are important and incredibly helpful, when you take the correct classes. If a class feels icky, it probably is. Get out as quickly as you can and look for new classes. If classes ever offered through Save My Audition feel icky, let me know, please let me know. I’m trying as hard as I can to make these classes as professional, helpful, informative and safe as I can for everyone that wants to take a class.

Why do I think classes are important?

This was partly explained in the above answer. But as a recap, classes are important to keep your skills sharp and build your confidence. You have to always be striving to be a better performer.

Audition classes, I think, are exceptionally important. Auditioning is this weird made up experience that we’ve invented. If there were a better way to cast a show we would do it. But it’s the fairest way we have to make it happen. It sucks. A lot. More than anything else sucks about doing a show. You could be the right person, have gone through 10 final callbacks and end up not getting the role because you are too tall and won’t fit in the costume and the producers don't want to pay to have a new costume made for you... It sucks. A lot.

So, why am I setting up classes?

I’ve been at this a very long time. I’ve meet a lot of really really talented people in this industry. I decided to ask the people that I admire and respect most in this community if they would be willing to help out and teach classes and share their knowledge. I can personally vouch for the talent and ability of every single person that is teaching. They are all wonderful. Every single one of them and I could be more surprised and humbled that they are helping out.

With all that being said let me wrap up...

Take classes. Take the classes being offered through Save My Audition. Take classes being offer elsewhere. Just take classes. Learn. Make yourself better. Make yourself more confident.

Learn from Ben Cohn the music director of Dear Evan Hansen.
Learn from Lindsay Levine from Tara Rubin Casting, one of the best casting directors I’ve ever played for in New York City.
Learn from Rachel Hoffman who I’ve known for a very long time and couldn’t be a better person or a better teacher.
Learn from Aaron Galligan-Stierle over at MaxTheatrix.
Learn from Sheri Sanders on how to be comfortable inside of your Rock body.
Learn from Jason Styres who has a beard that makes me question my manhood, he's also a hell of a casting director.
Learn from the young up-and-coming associate directors on Broadway.
Learn from your friends.
Learn from your enemies.
Just learn.

You don’t always have to take classes to learn, but classes are a great place to start.

So check out the classes we have offered. And look around for other classes.

I’ll be back next week with some more Audition Book bloviating.

Until then...

Get your sh*t together! Stop blowing it.

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Can you sing another song?
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Alright gang, here’s a quick, down and dirty blog post. I’ve seen a particular problem rear it’s ugly head a lot of times since the New Year started and I wanted to address it. This is a problem that is completely avoidable and completely inside of your control.

Let me lay the scene:

Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. - Okay, not really. Not coincidental at all. This is real stuff people.

Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. - Okay, not really. Not coincidental at all. This is real stuff people.



I have seen this scene happen exactly one million, four hundred six-two thousand, eight hundred and two times. Give or take.

This is super simple, and I’m going to put into the “almost a rule” category. But don’t forget, there are no rules. But this is something that is as close to a rule as you can get.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a couple songs that you know you can flip to if they ask for more material in the room. I would suggest an uptempo and a ballad generally in the style of the show you are auditioning for. Also, know right away what your “favorite song to sing” is. Chances are if someone in the room asks you to sing your “favorite song to sing” they really just want to see who you are. They don’t care about how your voice/acting choices fit inside of the show you are auditioning for anymore. They want to get to know YOU a little more.

This applies to every room you walk into. Again, no rules, but we’re pretty damn close on this one.

Whether it’s an ECC, EPA, Appointment, Callback, Final Callback, random audition you’ve crashed. Whatever it is, walk into the room with the song you are going to start with and a couple songs that you can flip to quickly if you are asked for more stuff.

If you’ve been given callback material and someone has told you that there is absolutely no chance that you will sing anything from your book, what do you do?


Correct. You bring your book with a couple songs ready to go, just in case they ask. Be prepared. Get your shit together, stop blowing it! Oh!! I think I have a new tag line for the website. I’ve been looking for that. Every Audition Counts is cute and right in a professional corporate sense. But you are all probably picking up on my lovable snark. I give a lot of advice with a heavy dose of snark and sarcasm, but always with love and a hope that you find it useful and helpful.

Be sure to check out our classes for the rest of January. Still slots open!

So, get your shit together, stop blowing it!

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10 Things That Annoy The Hell Out Of Your Audition Pianist - Part 1.5
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Ten things that annoy the hell out of your audition pianist:

I imagine this is what 7 year-old me looks like when I get annoyed.

I imagine this is what 7 year-old me looks like when I get annoyed.

This is a rehash BLOG that I wrote for a friend, I’ve kept some of the more annoying things and added some new annoying things, enjoy! The original post can be found here. Also Sara Glancy is great, use her if you are looking for new rep.

The musical theatre audition pianist. That hero among hero’s that sits behind the piano and makes you sound like a dream each and every time. Okay, maybe not each and every time. But that’s what we aim for. But while we are back there trying to make you sound the best we can, there is a lot of stuff you do that just annoys the hell out of us! A LOT OF STUFF.

This blog is a list of things that annoy the hell out of me as an audition pianist. It should be noted that this is just my opinion. I have audition pianist friends that would disagree with some of these and agree with others, as well as have their own list. But these are the things that drive me nuts. They are arranged in alphabetical order by the last letter of each subtitle. So basically… no order:

Not recognizing me:

Not a real conversation. But a fair faxsimile.

Not a real conversation. But a fair faxsimile.

The room is weird. It’s a high stress situation. It all happens fast and sometimes you’re already back out the door before you realize you were in the room. That being said, pay attention to who is in the room! I can’t tell you how often friends have come into the room and had no idea that it was me behind the piano. I have a conversation with you when you walk in! How do you not realize who your pianist is!? Take a deep breath, have a moment of recognition and then we’ll go through your song. Having a friendly face in the room is a good thing, become our friend, know who we are, we’re here for you. Don't send me an awkward text 30 minutes later that says...

Sing your song in the right time signature:

This mostly applies to when you are talking your song through for me. The number of people that sing their “tempo” in the wrong time signature would be baffling to most people. That 3/4 time signature should not be song in 4/4. Don’t slip in extra beats or take away a beat. I mostly assume that that is how you actual want the song played. But surprise, you go up there and sing the song correctly and now I look like I’m bad at my job for 3 measures. Thanks.

Over explaining your song:

Yes, I know that you are going to take your sweet ass time when you sing “II won’t care if I…” at the end of ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE. Yes, I know that you are going to take your sweet ass time when you sing “I only know when he...” at the end of I COULD’VE DANCED ALL NIGHT. Yes, I know that you are going to take your sweet ass time when you sing… Get the picture? Unless you are doing something different with your song, you don’t need to tell me about it. Most of the things that you feel the need to “explain” to me are things that are already marked in the music.

Broken binder:

I completely understand, you use your audition binder a lot. A real lot. If it is starting to fall apart, go buy a new one. The worst is when the rings don’t connect and properly hold your sheet music inside of the binder. The top one starts going first, you’ll notice your music starting to slip out of the top ring, then the middle one starts to go, all of a sudden your music falls only held on by the bottom ring and it’s now almost upside down and hanging on top of the keys of the piano. Not many people know this, but we use both hands when playing the piano so it’s hard to fix this problem as it is happening. So let’s just nip it in the bud. Go buy a new binder. Also - buy some 3-hole punch reinforcements if you don't use sheet protectors and your pages are starting to rip. There are only so many times you can say "I'm sorry my music is falling out" before I start to think that you just don't care.


Sexts on iPads:


Let me repeat that for those of you in the cheap seats… 


I have seen more than one sext come through on an iPad during an audition. And more than one NSFW photo.

I’m not kidding. This isn’t a drill. 


Transposed chord symbols:

Holy shit, this one drives me absolutely bonkers. If for some reason, any reason, you have written in transposed chords in your music, please erase them if you aren’t doing it in the transposed key.

Side topic: If you are doing your song in a different key, get it transposed properly.

Back to topic: Seeing notated music and chord symbols that don’t match makes my head explode. It’s like my brain is playing tricks on me to see a chord written in that I don’t see in the music. It’s not cool. Don’t do it. Even worse than that… Having more than one transposed set of chord symbols written in. 3 different transposed keys is the most I’ve ever seen, so with the actual printed music that’s 4 different keys my brain is fighting about. STOP IT!


Okay, this deserves it’s very own in depth blog post, which I'll do eventually. But as a quick rant: If your cut involves multiple endings and codas and turning pages backwards instead of forwards… Please fix it. I’ve had people walk up to the piano and say “Okay, this is super complicated….” Why would you do that to yourself, much less me!? That’s just opening yourself up to lots of mistakes. 

My rule for audition cuts:

They should start at the beginning and end at the ending. It’s super simple.

Hair in binders:

This one is mostly aimed at you ladies. But gentlemen with long hair, I’m not excluding you. The amount of loose strands of hair that end up in your binder is mind-boggling to me. It’s everywhere.


I could start a pretty decent wig making business with the hair I’ve pulled out of binders, or blown off a piano after an audition. Just check it out from time to time. This is the stuff you never think of. But we have to deal with it.

A lot.

Two page cuts:

If your cut is only 2 pages long, why are you making me turn a page? Why? Honest question… Why? That’s just mean. It’s only 2 pages, put it in your audition book so that they lay open. Seriously. It’s just rude. People doing this ghastly mistake is why I started my new audition services website.

But seriously, 2 pages… Don’t make me turn a page. It’s simple. And if your cut is printed 2-sided. Go make a copy of one of the pages so you can lay them flat in your book. Audition pianists the world over will thank you for it. I promise.

Let’s bring this to an end:

This list could go on for quite some time, and if you were counting, that was nine things, not ten. So I either over-advertised, or if you read the first round of this, we are now even, even though I repeated some of the more annoying ones. The lesson in all of this is to be as clear as you can be with your music, be a real human being with compassion and feelings, and breath. You get to control everything that happens in the room from the time you walk into the door until you stand in the center of the room and begin your audition. After that point things start to slowly get out of your grip.

Best of luck auditioning. Remember I’m on your side, even though this blog post makes it seem like I hate everybody. I don’t.

Every Audition Counts!

Audition book blog posts will continue on January 8th. There may be some more fun rant-like posts before then. But I'll get back on my schedule come January 8th.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a great New Year! Be safe! I'll see you in 2018 here on the Blog and in class if you sign up for some of the amazing classes being offered!


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