AUDITIONING 101 – Part 3: The Callback List Is Posted…Now What?

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Learn how to improve your Auditioning Technique

Okay, so you did your best at the General Audition.  Now what?  Well…you wait.  Sometimes that’s the worst part.  Journey students monitor their Show Callboards closely and anxiously await the “CALLBACK LIST” to be posted.  Refresh.  Refresh.  Refresh…


After the Friday night General Auditions, the artistic team finds a place to deliberate.  They compare notes, examine conflicts, and make a plan for how to be efficient in the Callback audition the next morning.  They are not making CUTS at that time, however, they may determine that not every student needs to be called back.  For instance, the dance demands of the show may be such that only a specialty group needs to be considered (only teens, or only a certain height, or…).  Therefore, the full ensemble does not need to attend.

It is important to know that Journey policies have been set in place to make the deliberations as fair as possible.  When a member of the artistic team or the Show Coordinator have a family member auditioning, they step out of the room for the remaining team members to have free, unbiased discussion about a particular student.  Likewise, if a team member is the personal vocal coach or has a close family relationship with a student, they are the last to offer opinions about casting.  This is true for Saturday afternoon casting deliberations as well.

deliberations funny pic


The deliberation process can be long and difficult, however, it’s a great time for the artistic team to collaborate and work together.  It’s not heated or argumentative (like the scene from Twelve Angry Men above).  Rather, it is bathed in prayer and marked by good communication and peaceable, open hearts.


Once the list goes up, there are several things to watch for and be aware of.  Typically, there are instructions about how to prepare and lists of how long each student needs to attend.  

Some students will be called back for the DANCE ONLY portion.  They will learn a group dance from the Choreographer and then do a little bit of vocal range checking with the Music Director before they are dismissed for the day.  Other students are on a FULL DAY list.  They will do the dance portion, then they will stay for the remainder of the time to participate in cold readings from the script and singing from the score.

It is really important to read the full instructions.  Everyone will need to bring a quiet activity to keep them busy and not distracting to others if/when they are not being used in the callback.  Those that are attending the full day should also bring a sack lunch or snack for themselves.  There are instructions about how to dress and what kind of shoes to wear.  Follow the instructions carefully.  They are not suggestions.  Rather, they are tools to help you become your most successful self.


The Saturday morning callback auditions are REALLY different than the Friday night general audition.  FIrst off, they are closed, which means only those invited may attend.  Parents and friends are not allowed to watch.

Second, the artistic team totally leads that time.  At the general call, the student has their one minute to perform however they want.  It’s THEIR time.  At the callback, it is the artistic team’s time!  They have to get all the information they need for having effective deliberations.  It’s really important that students stay focused, work hard, and do what the artistic team asks.


At Journey callbacks, students do not know in advance what characters they’re being considered for.  The artistic team has created extensive charts to guide them thru the callback process, but students are not privy to this information.  Because of this, it’s important that students prepare beyond the scope of what is realistic for their type.  Students should spend time before the day of auditions to read as much as they can about the show, be familiar with all the characters, and learn/memorize the music from the cast recording.  

REMEMBER!!!  At callbacks you want to DEMONSTRATE skill, therefore, you don’t want to spend all your time there LEARNING material. If you come prepared, you’ll be more likely to feel good about what you offered.


So, you’re ready to arrive at Callbacks, but what should you expect when you arrive?  Stay tuned for Part 4: Taking The Guesswork Out Of The Callback.

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