Tips for Auditioning: American Idol, The Voice, LA Voz

7 Tips: How to Give a Great Audition!

Do you know how to give a great audition? Whether it’s for a label, American Idol, a musical or a touring sideman gig, you have to give someone an amazing experience–—plain and simple.  Recently, I sat with the top names in the entertainment industry and auditioned artists for a big project I am developing. It was amazing to see the talented artists who came through the door, yet they did not get called back. Yes, they were talented but they did not leave a lasting impression on us. Of course there were those who left an impression, but they didn’t fit what we were looking for. Then there were those who had the look and the talent and yet didn’t deliver in a manner that made us call them back. While the following tips are primarily for singers, musicians looking for a sideman gig should also take note. By Jonathan George 1. Song choice, song choice, song choice!!!! I can’t express this enough! If you’re a singer, pick something that shows your voice, but make sure it is within your ability. If you don’t believe me, just watch an episode of American Idol. It’s not rocket science, but it can be a challenge. You want to find something that shows the “sweet spots” of your voice. Make sure you’re not reaching too hard. It is never attractive to watch someone looking like they’re in pain. Find a song that doesn’t have “musical pauses.” You want something that moves, even if it’s a ballad. Pick the best 16 bars, which is usually the chorus or bridge into the chorus and only sing that much. Let the song show your personality. Always be prepared with song choice two and three. 2. Be real. You are being watched at all times. In the parking lot, when you are in the lobby, when you enter and when you leave the room. Bring your personality. That doesn’t mean being over the top and awkward. Just be charming and REAL. If you were to walk into a party, how would you react to the people around you? If you are not able to look people in the eye and be warm and inviting, then you need to get in some people-skill classes. Think about it––what draws you to someone when you first meet? Try to embody those same qualities that draw you to people. Remember, a smile brightens the entire room. There is never a reason to go shake hands––a smile and a “Hello, how are you” works fine. Maybe you can think of something else that fits your personality. Just remember to be warm and genuine, and you will be fine! 3. Don’t stare! Who are you supposed to look at when auditioning? I have been on both sides of the auditioning table, and it can be weird for both parties. Think of it as a conversation––it will take the awkwardness out of things. Eye contact is great, but a stare-down is just plain unnatural. On the other hand, it is weird, at least for me, when someone sings to the wall above me. I just want you to be comfortable so that I, in turn, am comfortable. Also, remember that you are performing! How would you perform for a thousand people? Deliver in that manner. 4. Leave us wanting more! As a golden rule: less is more. Keep it simple. Sing the best 16 bars. After the first few lyrics out of your mouth, I can tell if you are what I’m looking for. Put yourself on the other side of the table––can you imagine listening to 100 people sing? You definitely don’t want to hear them sing a full song. It is unnecessary, and it leaves too much room for mistakes. Personally, if I want to hear more, I will bring you back or I will ask you to sing something else. That is why you need to always have several choices ready to go. One of my dear friends, who is a major director for concert tours, says to herself all the time, “Keep it simple stupid!” If you will live by this rule, you will be better off.  Of course, there are always those situations where people do crazy things to get noticed. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t need a gimmick to get my attention, but there are some that get into that kind of thing. Do research on who’s auditioning you––the internet is your best friend. 5. Look great! You need to always be properly groomed and look amazing, H to T (head to toe). If you assume that the people auditioning you will not notice the smallest details, you’re sadly mistaken. Vincent Herbert (Lady Gaga, JoJo) likes to see manicured feet and hands. He will notice if you walk in with half-painted toe-nails or dirt under your finger nails. You don’t want to gross him out before you even start your label meeting! I cannot express enough how important grooming is. Also, wear something that is flattering on you and shows your personality. 6. Know exactly what and who you are auditioning for. If it is a label meeting, come in as an artist. If it is for a High School Musical tour, dress young and hip. Do your research! If you are not good with fashion, have someone whose style you admire help you pick out an outfit. Never forget that your image and presentation carry a huge weight and speak so much about you. 7. Enjoy yourself! Don’t allow the cut-throat competition aspect of the audition process to stress you out. Remember to always be yourself and genuinely enjoy what you do! miniBIO: Jonathan George, the founder of JG Entertainment, is an artist development coach with over 25 years of experience as a performer, songwriter and artist consultant. He is the Grand Champion on Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star, and has been a mentor to artists such as the Pussycat Dolls, artists on American Idol, Canadian Idol, America’s Got Talent, Dance Wars and many more. Contact him via jonathangeorge.biz.

Do you know how to give a great audition? Whether it’s for a label, American Idol, a musical or a touring sideman gig, you have to give someone an amazing experience–—plain and simple.  Recently, I sat with the top names in the entertainment industry and auditioned artists for a big project I am developing. It was amazing to see the talented artists who came through the door, yet they did not get called back. Yes, they were talented but they did not leave a lasting impression on us. Of course there were those who left an impression, but they didn’t fit what we were looking for. Then there were those who had the look and the talent and yet didn’t deliver in a manner that made us call them back.

While the following tips are primarily for singers, musicians looking for a sideman gig should also take note.

By Jonathan George

1. Song choice, song choice, song choice!!!! I can’t express this enough! If you’re a singer, pick something that shows your voice, but make sure it is within your ability. If you don’t believe me, just watch an episode of American Idol. It’s not rocket science, but it can be a challenge. You want to find something that shows the “sweet spots” of your voice. Make sure you’re not reaching too hard. It is never attractive to watch someone looking like they’re in pain. Find a song that doesn’t have “musical pauses.” You want something that moves, even if it’s a ballad. Pick the best 16 bars, which is usually the chorus or bridge into the chorus and only sing that much. Let the song show your personality. Always be prepared with song choice two and three.

2. Be real. You are being watched at all times. In the parking lot, when you are in the lobby, when you enter and when you leave the room. Bring your personality. That doesn’t mean being over the top and awkward. Just be charming and REAL. If you were to walk into a party, how would you react to the people around you? If you are not able to look people in the eye and be warm and inviting, then you need to get in some people-skill classes. Think about it––what draws you to someone when you first meet? Try to embody those same qualities that draw you to people. Remember, a smile brightens the entire room. There is never a reason to go shake hands––a smile and a “Hello, how are you” works fine. Maybe you can think of something else that fits your personality. Just remember to be warm and genuine, and you will be fine!

3. Don’t stare! Who are you supposed to look at when auditioning? I have been on both sides of the auditioning table, and it can be weird for both parties. Think of it as a conversation––it will take the awkwardness out of things. Eye contact is great, but a stare-down is just plain unnatural. On the other hand, it is weird, at least for me, when someone sings to the wall above me. I just want you to be comfortable so that I, in turn, am comfortable. Also, remember that you are performing! How would you perform for a thousand people? Deliver in that manner.

4. Leave us wanting more! As a golden rule: less is more. Keep it simple. Sing the best 16 bars. After the first few lyrics out of your mouth, I can tell if you are what I’m looking for. Put yourself on the other side of the table––can you imagine listening to 100 people sing? You definitely don’t want to hear them sing a full song. It is unnecessary, and it leaves too much room for mistakes. Personally, if I want to hear more, I will bring you back or I will ask you to sing something else. That is why you need to always have several choices ready to go.

One of my dear friends, who is a major director for concert tours, says to herself all the time, “Keep it simple stupid!” If you will live by this rule, you will be better off.  Of course, there are always those situations where people do crazy things to get noticed. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t need a gimmick to get my attention, but there are some that get into that kind of thing. Do research on who’s auditioning you––the internet is your best friend.

5. Look great! You need to always be properly groomed and look amazing, H to T (head to toe). If you assume that the people auditioning you will not notice the smallest details, you’re sadly mistaken. Vincent Herbert (Lady Gaga, JoJo) likes to see manicured feet and hands. He will notice if you walk in with half-painted toe-nails or dirt under your finger nails. You don’t want to gross him out before you even start your label meeting! I cannot express enough how important grooming is. Also, wear something that is flattering on you and shows your personality.

6. Know exactly what and who you are auditioning for. If it is a label meeting, come in as an artist. If it is for a High School Musical tour, dress young and hip. Do your research! If you are not good with fashion, have someone whose style you admire help you pick out an outfit. Never forget that your image and presentation carry a huge weight and speak so much about you.

7. Enjoy yourself! Don’t allow the cut-throat competition aspect of the audition process to stress you out. Remember to always be yourself and genuinely enjoy what you do!

miniBIO: Jonathan George, the founder of JG Entertainment, is an artist development coach with over 25 years of experience as a performer, songwriter and artist consultant. He is the Grand Champion on Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star, and has been a mentor to artists such as the Pussycat Dolls, artists on American Idol, Canadian Idol, America’s Got Talent, Dance Wars and many more. Contact him via jonathangeorge.biz.

DFW Icon Winners - 2014

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1st Annual DFW ICON Awards Top Singers in the DFW Area with Over $20,000 in Prizes at the 30th Annual Grapevine Main Street Days

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS – (May 18, 2014) – As part of the 30th Annual Main Street Days, held in Historic Downtown Grapevine, the 1st Annual DFW ICON singing competition took to the Audi Main Stage with 33 talented Finalists. Four category winners and one Grand Champion Winner took home over $20,000 in prizes. Talent was judged by some of the music industry’s top pros.

Semi-Finals took place, at the Grapevine Palace Theatre, on May 16 & 17. Out of 85 contestants, the judges narrowed it down to 32 Finalists and one Wild Card. First place category winners: Ages 7-11 – McKinley Ream (11), Sunnyvale, TX; Ages 13-15 – Lauren Gehle (15), Burleson, TX; Ages 16-19 – Trevor Douglas (16), Ft. Worth, TX; Ages 20-24- Tori Sloan (20), Grapevine, TX. The Wild Card contestant, Chloe Moore (14) from Prosper, TX was selected as Grand Champion Winner.

At the helm of DFW ICON is Dallas native, Jonathan George, CEO of JG Entertainment. George currently lives in LA and is responsible for developing some of the biggest young names on Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV, Universal, Sony and more. George states, “The competition was stiff…there were so many talented performers that some incredible talent did not make it through to the Finals. Texas has a lot of wonderful young talent.”

The prize packages included: A fully produced, mixed and mastered Single with Grammy Nominated producer and writer Bob Parr, Artist Branding Consultation, Artist Photo shoot, Social Media Branding Package, Professional Bio, Press Release, Celebrity Styling and Imaging Consultation, House of Blues Industry Showcase, and $8000 in Scholarships to Hollywood Launch Academy of DFW.  George states, “We want to give the winner the tools to take their career to the next level.”

DFW ICON was hosted by 106.1 KISS FM radio personality, Billy the Kidd. The event benefited the late Kidd Kraddick’s foundation, Kidd’s Kids. Billy said, “I was blown away with the level of talent on that stage. The fact that it benefited Kidd’s Kids, which is dear to my heart, made it even more amazing. The event was so successful; it is hard to believe this was their first year!”

Jonathan George and Contestants are available for interviews.

DFW ICON

Grapevine’s 30th Annual Main Street Days Teams Up With Talent Expert JG Entertainment to Debut 1st Annual DFW ICON Vocal Competition

May 16, 17 and 18 

GRAPEVINE, TEXAS – (April 21, 2014) – As part of the 30th Annual Main Street Days held in Historic Downtown Grapevine May 16, 17 and 18, JG Entertainment will debut the 1st Annual DFW ICON vocal competition. At this exciting competition, JG Entertainment expects to find promising talent in hopes of launching the next big star. DFW ICON will also benefit Kidd’s Kids, the organization founded by the late Kidd Kraddick.  

DFW ICON will open the microphone to talented singers between the ages 7 to 24 years old. Winner packages exceed $20,000 in prizes including recording, branding, social media, photo shoots, image consulting, scholarships and more.

At the helm of DFW ICON is Dallas native, Jonathan George, CEO of JG Entertainment. George currently lives in LA and is responsible for developing some of the biggest young names on Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV, Universal, Sony and more. George states, “It is exciting to be coming home to Dallas and Grapevine to find the most promising talent. We are always looking for the new up and coming stars. They are out there. You just have to find them.”

Preliminary rounds will be held at the Palace Theatre May 16 and 17. Finals will be held on the 30th Annual Main Street Days Main Stage on May 18. Talent will be placed in four categories grouped by ages 7-11, 12-15, 16-19 and 20-24. Those wanting to compete must register online at www.DFWICON.com.   

 

For more information, please visit:

www.DFWICON.com

www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/MainStreetDays

 

Jonathan George is available for interviews.

 

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