On The Condition of Your Music…

This one baffles me.

People walk into the audition room with pieces of paper that look like they were washed, tumble-dried, and carried in the bottom of their bag with their Laducas .

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million more times…  set yourself up for success.

Y’all, broken music is the opposite of that.. Would you go to the gym without stretching? Would you play golf(sportsball) with broken clubs? Would you do yoga with no mat? Would you eat Indian food with no bathroom near? Would you use a headshot from when you were 13?… well, some of you might, but still… set yourself up for a win.

A hole punch should be circular. Not a broken circle, not a half circle because you missed.

You can purchase hole reinforcers at Staples.com or at your nearest office supply store. Buy them. When the hole rips – which it will – reinforce it.

If your music looks like it was used to write the Declaration of Independence, then it’s probably time to reprint your music. Spend the money, it’s worth it.

If your music is covered in pencil/pen to try and explain what your cut is… and the chords you want the cut played in… then it’s probably time to hire someone (me) to type it out for you in a new pretty cut that is easy for a pianist to read. Spend the money on your own pretty sheet music that is for your pretty cut and pretty face.

The list goes on. But it’s important. Nice music makes for a nice audition.

Now go make it all pretty 🙂


On Marking Cuts…

There is no “right way” to mark a cut, but there are wrong ones. If the cut is marked and the pianist understands it, then it’s probably ok. I’ll tell you what is a problem though, not marking anything and just telling the pianist that after they play that 3 pages of Guettel that they have to turn four pages and play the last half of the 8th page and then then cut to the last 12 bars… and not marking it. I assure you, they will forget and it will be a train wreck.

Set yourself up for success.

Mark your cuts with bold pencil marks, or cut and paste and make an arts and crafts project out of it.

Here’s a picture of a well-marked cut spot: (GASP How could you cut DEH?!? easy…)


Block out the section you are not singing:


Mark where the pianist should cut to:


It’s not brain surgery. It really isn’t, but you have to do the work. If you’re worried about cutting a section that you love and will want to sing again someday then print a second copy. Trust me, prepping the music is worth the effort and cost of a second print. If you’re using an iPad, most software (at least the apps you should be using [hold for future post about iPads]) have features to write on the music or white out sections you aren’t using.

Again, you can copy cut and paste the music physically to make it a one page moment instead of having two half pages (I saw this in a girl’s book and I think it’s an example that any pianist could read) :


Just make sure it’s neat and makes sense musically. Have a pianist or musician look at the cut and see that it makes musical sense and would be an easy transition.

Make sure there are no key changes that happened in the cut material. If you want the cut to work so badly but there is a key change in the middle, then buy the music in a lower/higher key (depending on the key change…is it up or down?) so that the section you’re cutting to is in the same key as the section you’re cutting from. Again, ask a musician friend to help you with this if you need to! No shame in properly cut music!


I’ll Start With Hello!

Getting to know me…

I’ll start with my name. I’m Rodney. The past 6 years I’ve played more auditions than I can count and coached hundreds if not thousands of singers on their auditions and material. This blog will be mostly my thoughts on all things audition and actor related, with anecdotes and things that people behind the table hate…and maybe some things they love.

There will also be large amounts of space dedicated to an often overlooked and scoffed at crippler in the world: anxiety. As an artist with pretty debilitating anxiety, I will share with you some of my journey on finding a way to manage the monster.

I hope you enjoy! And if you do or don’t, leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to hear about!