Saturday, July 21st, 2018

USM graduate gives advice on the audition

Posted on November 10, 2014 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

Photo Courtesy of Megan Marino

By Dora Thompson

Any performing acts major knows the terror and importance of the dreaded audition. It’s their link to the real world and one of the most important things about getting a career after graduation.

On Friday, USM school of Music presented a master class with Metropolitan Opera singer Megan Marino to help students with this audition process.  She discussed the important business aspects of the audition needed for a professional career in the performing arts.

Marino earned her undergraduate at USM. She has performed at the MET Opera and Carnegie Hall, and is currently is in between shows, living in New York City. Coming back to USM let Marino connect with old friends and professors who helped her get where she is today.

During her time at USM, Marino studied vocal performance. Here, she met professors that didn’t try to put her in a box but rather worked with her own personal voice and style. Not only did they teach her about music, but they aso educated her about life in general.

“The faculty is one of the benefits of going to a smaller institution. You have lots of opportunities. Being smaller does not necessarily mean you’re not going to put out quality people. There are people who are really making careers at this school. There is a magic here.”

During the Masterclass, several vocal majors performed for Marino with the accompaniment of Kathleen Scott on piano. Once Marino watched each USM student perform, she called them up again and gave them advice and critiques, giving hand positioning tips, or suggestions about how to better portray their character in front of an audience. She compiled a pamphlet of all the helpful audition tips a performer would want to know about one of the most important moments of their career.  It covered everything from audition etiquette, proper clothing options, the best ways to copy music for your pianist, and how to deal with rejection. Marino gave inside information that only someone who’s been in the harsh and intricate professional world.

Marino discussed a method for dealing with the pressure that auditions create. Instead of thinking of the audition as life-or-death. She encourages hard work, practice and passion for your craft.

Jenna Guiggey, a second year masters student at USM. Her major is music and vocal pedagogy,  hopes to get more experience working with young artists and helping them understand their vocals. She says the concept she struggles with the most about auditions is the time to practice before them.

“I love the drama. I feel like being involved in opera allows me to express parts of my personality that i don’t get to show in everyday life.” said Guiggey.

Guiggy was one of the vocals majors that got to perform and get suggestions from Marino.

“Her overall  performance was so helpful. An audition is one of those unknowns. You don’t know what to expect, but it’s good to have markers to know what to keep in mind,” explained Guiggy.

USM’s famous alumnus insiders advice can help all performing arts majors in their future careers, but also all students. The need to perform, work hard, and impress is prevalent from computer science to psychology.

“If you don’t wake up every morning and think, ‘I love this,’ then you need to do something else,” said Marino.

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