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Inside Job

The Keys to Recording an Audio Demo for Musical Theater

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The Keys to Recording an Audio Demo for Musical Theater
Photo Source: Jordan Matter Photography

Tina Marie Casamento is an actor, vocal coach, and casting director who founded New York–based BroadwayDemo.com with her husband, pianist David Libby, to help musical theater performers record and showcase their vocal demos.

“I have my pet peeve songs that I just do not want to hear ever again, but I know other people who love to hear those songs,” Casamento says of picking material to record. “You just have to choose music that speaks to you.”

Why do actors need a vocal demo?
Actors need to be smart and proactive about promoting themselves. Casting directors can only have so many appointments in a day. Your vocal demo will give them a chance to go online, listen to a quick sample, and decide whether or not you’re right for their project. They don’t want to waste anybody’s time. So casting directors are going to demos to search for and get to know people they don’t know.

What are some of the keys to recording a successful demo?
Figure out how you’re trying to market yourself, and choose music that is perhaps not as easy to do live. I think you need to choose three contrasting songs that represent the kind of roles and the kind of shows that you can do. You don’t want to do three really sad, belty songs; you want to do a variety of things that represent accurately how you will be cast.

What else do actors need to know about making a demo?
People don’t think about how much the acting comes through in the vocal demo. It’s not just about singing your highest, loudest note. If you can show all kinds of vocal range, that’s great. But then get to something that will make you stand out as an actor. BroadwayDemo’s not a website for recording artists, it’s a website for performing artists. 

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