Five tips for not throwing away your shot in a Hamilton audition
We chatted to the show's award-winning casting directors about their top tips for auditioning for the musical
At the CDG casting awards last week we chatted to two of the award-winning Hamilton West End casting directors Felicity French and Paul Wooller about five-star smash hit musical. The Hamilton team spend over eight months a year searching for exciting new talent to bring into the London production. With stars like Tarinn Callender and Jamael Westman coming from relative obscurity to wow audiences on a nightly basis, there's every chance that the next Alexander Hamilton could be one audition away from a path to stardom.
With the production announcing a new round of auditions last month, here's what French and Wooller said about auditioning for the show.
1. Think Shakespeare
Want to know how to do Burr best? Maybe take tips from the Bard, as Wooller explains: "A lot of the solo stuff and the monologues are Shakespearean. It's talking to the audience, it's a soliloquy. The only difference is it's done on pitch. To a beat."
2. Don't be scared of the material
French admits that the lengthy process is all about seeing as many people as possible. But the key part is for auditionees to not feel intimidated by the musical. She says: "We see a lot of actors who sing, who assume that musicals aren't their thing." Wooller adds: "The casting of Jamael has shown a lot of actors from RADA or LAMDA, for example, that this can be a role for them, it isn't just a musical theatre person's world. It's for everyone."
3. Listen to the soundtrack
This might be stating the obvious, but the cast recording is a vital resource. There's a lot of words in Hamilton and having a headstart is never a bad thing, especially when some auditionees have to run through up to 15 or 16 pieces in the space of an hour. As French says: "Listen to it. Listen to it a lot. The more you listen the less afraid of it you are."
4. Get ready to get moving
While there are A LOT of words in Hamilton, the really time-consuming part of the audition process is finding the dancers. Wooller explains: "It's slightly simpler for the singing tracks and the standbys, but it's much more complex for the dancers". "The dance hours are really long...[the auditionees] are really get put through their paces", French adds.
5. Go and see it
Given the show's selling like hotcakes, this one might be a bit tricky. But, as Wooller and French say, it really can make the difference. "If [auditionees] see the show, sometimes they process what we tell them."