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Musical Theatre Audition Workshop With Igor Goldin & Arabella Hong-Young

Igor Goldin and Arabella Hong-Young

On Tuesday October 5, 2010 Actors' Equity Association hosted a free Musical Theatre Audition Workshop with Teacher/Author Arabella Hong-Young and Director Igor Goldin in Equity's NYC Audition Center. AEA Members and Equity Membership Candidates (EMCs) had the opportunity to receive personalized coaching on the audition piece of their choice. Attendees were asked to bring a brief Musical Theatre audition piece and names were drawn out of a hat to determine participation.

A classically trained concert singer, Arabella Hong-Young is well known for her portrayal of Helen Chiao in the original Broadway production of FLOWER DRUM SONG. The song "Love Look Away" was created for her by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Ms. Hong-Young has taught voice and acting for 45 years and is the author of "Singing Professionally," She is a Graduate of the Juilliard School.

A prolific director, Igor Goldin's numerous Off Broadway, and Regional credits include WITH GLEE, THE SPITFIRE GRILL, UNLOCK'D, ROMANCE/ROMANCE, THE FULL MONTY, and BLITHE SPIRIT. He directed several productions of the award-winning musical YANK! and received StageScene L.A.'s "Outstanding Achievement in Direction of a Musical" citation as well as a Drama Desk Nomination. He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Within the evening Workshop, Ms Hong-Young and Mr Goldin worked with four of the attendees. Each performed a full audition song and received coaching and direction from the two distinguished panelists.

An overview of performance insights and comments during the evening include:

Arabella Hong-Young and Igor Goldin

Ms. Hong-Young utilizes "Zen" principles to help actors achieve their objectives. She stressed that each Actor must find "that special thing" within them so that one can "live" rather than "act" the part. She emphasized the importance of good vocal production, "One must be understood to be effective. The vowel is the vehicle of sound."

In preparing audition material, Mr. Goldin encouraged participants to be specific about the context and intent of each piece. To ask themselves before they sing: "What specifically do you want? What is the moment before? What is stopping you from getting what you want? What is the arc of the piece? How are you different at the end"?

Additional comments:

  • Don't play emotion generally - always search out the objective and find the motivating action behind the emotion.

  • When repeating a lyric or phrase, there must be a renewed and different intent or reason driving the repetition.

  • What drives the "need" of the piece? What are the "stakes"?

The Workshop was sponsored by the Eastern Region Membership Education Committee, Chair, Mark Aldrich. Actors' Equity presents Workshops and Seminars as a benefit for Members and Membership Candidates.


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