Sutton Foster on Auditioning, Getting Into Character and Singing for 8 Shows a Week

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Sutton Foster, who is currently on tour doing a one-woman show (which I’m going to see!), was at Northwestern University recently for a talk with its theater students where she answered questions on all things musical theater.

On when she realized she wanted to be a performer:
“There wasn’t a singular ‘eureka’ moment when I decided to make performing my life. It was a gradual thing where I didn’t know what else I was going to do. Theater was the only thing I liked doing.”

On Auditioning:
“The biggest tip I can give for auditions is to be as prepared as you can be. Sing things that you feel really solid about, that you’ve rehearsed. Also just remember your individuality. When you walk in the room, bring who you are, and not what you think they want. What they want is you.”

On getting into character:
“First I look at a character and try to find something in it that I can relate to. And when I get a different character, I can explore parts of myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

For the benefit of the many aspiring singers in the audience, Foster spoke about her routines that helped maintain her vocal health, such as doing yoga, taking multivitamins and identifying what types of music she will and will not sing.

On singing in 8 shows a week:
“There are certain things that I can do once but can’t do eight nights a week. It’s important to know what you can and can’t do and set limits. I think you can put on a good show without doing vocal gymnastics.”

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