At Journey Theater Arts Group, we think every experience we offer is worthwhile for learning, confidence building and growth.  Classes are the primary way for building a foundation in theater arts and are great for personalized instruction.  Being in a show provides students with an extended opportunity to practice those newly acquired skills within a practical application.  Participation in a show starts with an AUDITION.

Audition FAQs

1. Do I have to be enrolled in a class to audition?

Yes, you do have to be enrolled in a class to audition.  Class tuition refunds will not be given to students who audition and are not cast or withdraw from casting.

2. For which show can I audition?

Students taking classes at any Vancouver location are eligible to audition for either the Vancouver or Vancouver East show.  Students taking classes at any Oregon location are eligible to audition for either the Portland or Beaverton show.

3. What do I bring to the audition?

  • A completed and signed Audition Form
  • A completed and signed Costume Form
  • A completed and signed Medical Release Form
  • A completed and signed parent Committee Form
  • An accompaniment track (instrumental only) for a one-minute song


Students enrolled in their FIRST Journey class, or who have not previously auditioned, may participate in the audition as a practice experience and will receive feedback from the Judges upon request (see the link for “Guidelines for Audition Feedback” below)

5. Does everyone who auditions get a part?


Auditioning: Casting & Cuts


Journey Theater is an educational non-profit organization that values providing opportunities for

kids to learn and grow through the theater arts performance experience. Because of this core

value, we ask our Artistic Team members to consider all auditioners fairly, consistently, and look

for ways to incorporate as many kids as possible into the production.


There are considerations that could cause a student to be “cut” from a production:

1.) Each of our venues can only safely accommodate a certain number of cast and crew.

2.) The student is unable to demonstrate a complete audition. This may include the student

needing to leave the stage, needing to start their audition over, or not showing


3.) The student demonstrates difficulty in maintaining behavior standards either in Journey

classes or in the audition/callback experience. This includes inappropriate audience

participation at open auditions (talking during other’s auditions) and unfocused behavior at


4.) The students’ parents have not demonstrated positive contribution to past committee


5.) The demands of the show are such that scheduling conflicts & missed rehearsals will

impede the progress & success of the show experience.

We want all Journey families to have a successful and positive show experience. Therefore, it is

important for us to follow these guidelines for the fair consideration and safety of all involved.


If you have questions about this policy, please direct your questions to:

Bethany Larson

Interim Executive Director

6. What are the commitments for participating in a show?

Journey realizes that without the support of each parent, it could not offer a high quality production.  A parent from each family with a child or children cast in the show is required to serve on a Parent Committee.  A parent signature is also required on the audition form.

Required Parent Meetings – dates and times are listed on the audition information page.

Cast and crew members are required to be at all rehearsals for which they are scheduled & every performance.   In the case of illness or emergency, notify the Show Coordinator.  Cast members may be removed from the scenes/songs they missed at those rehearsals, at the Director’s discretion.  Excessive absences may result in dismissal from the show.

All rehearsal conflicts must be listed on the Audition form. Unexcused absences may result in dismissal from show.  Please see the rehearsal dates on the audition information page from the show links above.

Cast Members have approximately 50 hours of rehearsal time before move-in and dress rehearsal week

Cast Members are required to pay a production fee. Some additional costs include make-up, shoes etc.

There are generally two parts to a Journey audition process.  First there is a General Audition where a student performs individually for one minute.  The next day, there is a Callback Audition which consists of a dance audition, cold readings from the script, and singing from the score.


How does the general audition work?

On Friday night, students arrive during the designated time frame and sign up for an audition number.  There’s additional paperwork that is filled out (or can be downloaded and brought with you) including the Audition Form, Parent Committee Form, Costume Form, and optional Crew Form. Students must be signed in before the designated end time in order to audition.  Late arrivals will not be allowed to audition

Students audition with a group of 9 other students.  They sit together and approach the stage one-at-a-time when their number is called.  When it’s their turn, the student comes to the stage, gives their accompaniment/karaoke cd to the TREK student running the boom box, introduces themselves and their song, and then performs their 1-minute piece.

Auditions should be well prepared and polished.  If a student messes up, they are encouraged to continue on rather than starting again.  The artistic team generally helps get the performer back on track.  This is the time to demonstrate poise under nervous circumstances.  Song selections must be limited to ONE MINUTE from the time the student begins singing.  The TREK student will inform the panel of judges when a minute has elapsed and the judges may cut off the performance if it is going over the allowed time.

Things that really "WOW" the judges . . .

•   A big smile

•   Using a loud, clear voice, continuing with good projection all the way thru

•   Dressing nice – not in costume, but like you would for a school presentation.  A clean and professional look goes a long way in making a good impression.

•   Performance energy – move around with gestures and facial expressions that help tell the story.  Song shouldn’t be choreographed per say, but the judges are looking for “stage presence.”

The General Auditions are “open” which means students perform to an audience of family and friends that are there to support and encourage you.  It’s a great experience and everyone is helpful and friendly…especially if it’s your first time on stage.

Who are the "Judges"?

Just in front of the performance area is a panel of “judges”.  They are the Artistic Team for the show.  Usually, the Director, Music Director and Choreographer are at the table.  They have adjudication forms that they’re completing for each student.  They’re evaluating:

•   Stage Presence – how a student presents themselves physically

•   Diction & Projection – how clearly the student speaks and how strong of a performance they give

•   Pitch & Range how well a student sings in tune and demonstrates their voice.

They also have a place to write general comments about the performance and start making some decision about who they would like to see at the Callback Audition.  MOST IMPORTANTLY they are your CHEERLEADERS!!  They smile at you, help you get back on if you forget the words and generally support your whole process.


  • Keep your hands out of your pockets
  • Don’t throw anything.
  • Try not to rock back in forth.
  • Generally, handing things to the directors or going up to the table isn’t a good idea.
  • Keep smiling and be confident, even if you think you didn’t do your best.
  • The Judges may cut you off if your audition exceeds 1-minute.
  • If you have a lot of conflicts, casting options may be significantly limited or impossible.
  • It’s okay if someone in your audition group is doing the same song as you.  Do your best!
  • Focus on phrasing and dynamics. These will make your song stand out.
  • Be careful about belting – DON’T OVERSING! Show your strengths but show them in a controlled, musical way.

How to choose a song

What kind of song should I sing?

Students perform for ONE MINUTE to a karaoke track of their choice.  That means that there should not be any “lead vocals”.  It should be instrumental only so that the student’s voice can really be showcased.  The judges want to hear the STUDENT sing!

Journey produces MUSICALS, so the song should be a musical theater selection from Broadway-style show/composer or Disney.  Students should take their time when choosing and preparing an audition song.  It’s important to research the show and the various characters (info is posted on the Show Callboard) then select a piece that helps showcase them for the role(s) they’re interested in.  For example, if a student is most interested in playing the villain in the show, they should choose a song that captures that type of character.  If they are interested in the comedic role, an upbeat funny song is a perfect choice.  The judges may decide a different role is better for them, but the student should show their intention towards a character.

This is something students get better at the more they audition and take Journey classes.  If it’s your first time auditioning, just be sure to pick a song that you can sing confidently and HAVE FUN!!  Remember:  karaoke/instrumental tracks only.  A cappella auditions (singing without accompaniment) are not allowed.

To choose a song, you can listen to song samples on or look up songs thru iTunes.  You’ll need to purchase a KARAOKE track which to perform.  The judges really need to hear YOUR voice, so you are not allowed to sing along with a lead vocalist.  Likewise, a cappella (without any accompaniment) auditions are not allowed either.

Technical resources for finding and editing your audition song

Where to find Songs:

Editing Songs

  • Audacity is a free download editing software. It is very basic and simple to use. This is perfect to cut your song down to 1 minute.
  • Also- here is a link to instructions on how to remove vocals from a song using Audacity.

Audition Tips Websites


How does the callback audition work?

After the General Auditions, the judges deliberate to determine who they need to see at the Callback Audition.  This is a “closed” audition, meaning only the students invited may attend.  The invitation list is posted on the Show Callboard along with instructions for participation.  If a student is NOT called back, it simply means that the judges got all the information they needed during the General Audition.  It does not necessarily mean that the student is not cast.  Students will know casting decisions on Sunday at 5pm when it the Cast & Crew List is posted on the Show Callboard.

Typically a Callback Audition consists of a Dance Audition where the Choreographer teaches a group number to those in attendance.  After it’s been taught, he/she will put students in small groups and they’ll dance the selection together for the artistic team to evaluate.

Once the Dance Audition is complete, a smaller group of students is asked to stay for Cold Reading and Singing Auditions.  The Artistic Team then works together to gather the information they need for casting as they watch students perform works from the show, receive direction, and demonstrate their character choices.


Callback tips:

  • Get some sleep! The callback list will be the same whether you see it a 3am or 7am.
  • Strong creative choices are essential.
  • The directors are there to help you do your best- so feel free to ask questions and clarify directions.
  • Give your best at every role you are called back for – not just the one you “want”. Every opportunity is important.
  • Be flexible with your role expectations.
  • The number of times you read or sing is really no indication of casting thoughts. Sometimes directors need to see some people more than others.
  • Don’t give up! The day is long, don’t let yourself get discouraged by how you feel you are performing or how others are doing.
  • Try! Do your best! Have fun with the material.
  • You are auditioning from the moment you walk into callbacks. Be respectful, helpful, courteous. This goes a long way.
  • Often the directors will give you a description of the song, character or scene. Listen- this is essential information for you.
  • Have fun with the material and the characters.
  • Be yourself! If you are called back for a role, there is something in your personality or performance that is in common with the character. So be natural.

Some good reminders for each area of discipline:


  • This is not the time to talk with friends- pay attention.
  • Even if you can’t do a move perfectly- just try it!
  • Help each other out.
  • If you are asked to “free dance” you can use choreography that you learned in the past.
  • Do your best- be confident.
  • Facial expressions are important. Remember to smile.


  • If the possible, listen to the music ahead of time.
  • Don’t worry if you mess up- try your best and keep going.
  • Even if you don’t think you can sing something- go ahead and try.
  • Focus on breathing and articulation.
  • Don’t get deflated if you crack on a note or miss something. One note is not going to make or break you.
  • Try to show character and acting with the song you are singing.
  • Ground the song in the scene – you don’t need to sing to the directors.
  • Try to think about the words you are singing and connect to the emotion of the song.
  • Relax and remember the fundamentals.
  • Be confident.


  • Strong, creative choices are essential.
  • As soon as you are given a script, start reading over the scenes with the character for which you are called back. Find what the most important part of the scene is. What does your character want out of the scene?
  • Physicality, vocal inflection, facial expressions and non verbals are important parts of your callback.
  • Make the interpretation of the role your own. You don’t need to do it the same way as the person in front of you did it.
  • Don’t worry about stage directions or how you think a scene should be blocked. But add movement and follow the natural movements of the scene.
  • Relate to the person you are doing a scene with.
  • Follow along in your script with your thumb. This will help you keep your place.
  • Utilize every opportunity presented. For example, if you are asked to read in a scene a different part (even one that is the opposite sex of you)- go for it! You never know when the directors will see something that gives them an idea for casting.
  • Don’t try to “act” – let the natural emotions and reactions of the scene unfold.
  • Feel free to ask questions.
  • If you are called at the beginning – its ok to take a moment to skim the scene.
  • Try to look up from your script. Read your next line as the other person is finishing their line.
  • Don’t play to the directors. Play the scene.
  • If you are doing a scene with a partner that is struggling – don’t get frustrated. Help them by delivering a strong performance yourself.
  • Take risks. The bigger the better.
  • If the role requires an accent, take your best stab at doing it.
  • Be engaged in the scene the whole time- not just when you are saying a line.

REMEMBER…Auditioning is a skill that you only get better at by doing it more.  It’s nearly impossible to create an audition scenario on your own to practice, so take every opportunity to audition with Journey so you can increase your skills and confidence.


Journey Theater Arts Group is an EDUCATIONAL environment and we want our students to improve.  Directors are open to offering feedback, however, for the sake of fairness and growth in professionalism, we ask that you strictly adhere to the following:       Guidelines for Audition Feedback

Auditioning Exceptions

Occasionally students are allowed to submit a video audition.  Permission for this exception is granted only after prior arrangement with the Show Coordinator and approval from the Executive Artistic Director.  Video submissions must be received by email by the designated cut-off audition time for the show the student is auditioning for.  All required paperwork must also be attached to the email submission.  The Judges will then watch the video during their deliberations and score the student in the same manner in which they did the other auditioners.  Some scenarios that may receive approval for this exception include:

  • Family trip planned well in advance of the audition date being published.
  • Unforeseeable medical issues, such as contracting pink eye or head lice.  Doctor’s note required.
  • Conflict with scheduled medical procedure.

Please talk to your Show Coordinator ASAP if you think you may be eligible for consideration.

If a student is unable to attend any portion of the auditioning weekend, they are ineligible for principal character casting (as classified by the director & included on the posted character descriptions) and may only be considered for ensemble roles (“Ensemble Roles” may include featured ensemble, supporting ensemble, additional ensemble).  Students who are able to attend the Callback Audition (if invited) may still be considered for full casting options.

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