Are you serious about a career in musical theatre? This audition masterclass is for you

The dreaded audition

Photo by: florriebassingbourn

Ask any performing artist in the Australian musical theatre industry about the dreaded ‘A’ word, and 95% of them will shudder and tell you “it never gets any easier”.

Despite our best efforts, and constant reminders that the audition room is “our space” and that we need to “take control” of the experience, the act of auditioning for a role can cause paralysing nerves in even the most experienced of performers.

In Australia, months can pass between audition opportunities for major musical productions, so honing audition skills by attending regular audition calls is not as easy for Aussie performers as our counterparts in the USA or UK.

Enter Queenie van de Zandt – musical theatre veteran and educator – who learned the hard way that auditioning is a technique, put her technique into practice and is now one of the most sought after mentors and performers in the country. Co-founder of the Australian Musical Theatre Academy, Queenie has studied audition practice for over 20 years and has created the Advanced Audition Technique for Musical Theatre Course (The Advanced Course for short!) to assist working professionals and graduates of theatre institutions nail their auditions every time.

“Growing up in Canberra, I had no experience of what to expect in a professional audition and hence I made every mistake possible” Queenie told

“Some choice examples: choosing auditions songs not appropriate for the show I was auditioning for (I sang ‘Movie in my Mind’ from Miss Saigon for my Phantom audition), singing the song from the show I was auditioning for (I sang, ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, when auditioning for the role of the Peron’s Mistress in Evita – and what’s worse – I’d learned it off my Elaine Paige cassette tape and when I turned up at the audition the song was in a much higher key than Elaine’s) and I turned up to an audition for HAIR without any sheet music and just sang ‘And I Am Telling You’ from Dreamgirls – a capella! (David Atkins actually ended up casting me anyway and he very generously took me aside and said never to do that again and gave me a copy of the sheet music).

So I became very interested in audition technique after all of that and began studying it and it made me realise what an under taught skill it is – so I decided to specialise in teaching audition technique and the course grew out of that.”

Queenie Van de Zandt. Image by Kurt Sneddon
Queenie Van de Zandt.

Melbourne, you’re in luck!

In August and September 2016, Queenie van de Zandt will be running her Advanced Course for performers over 5 weeks in Melbourne, and submissions are now open for the highly sought after program.

20 highly motivated and skilled performers will be selected for this course to participate in 9 workshops, one-on-one tutorials with Queenie (culminating in 0ver 70 contact tuition hours), a public performance in front of industry professionals and working with 12 of the most influential and experienced creatives in Australian musical theatre.

The Course

There are 2 ways in which you can apply to be a part of The Advanced Course – either audition to be one of 20 participants or by auditing the course.

(Auditing is a common practice in performing arts studios in the USA. It’s a process of attending a class informally, but actively learning through observation). Bonus: You can win an auditing place in the course on AussieTheatre.

“What makes The Advanced Course so unique, is that performers not only get to learn the audition practice I’ve developed that has helped former students gain lead roles in shows such as The Sound of Music, Matilda, Singing in the Rain, and We Will Rock You, but they also get to work with, and be seen by Australia’s leading musical theatre directors, choreographers and musical directors”

The course also offers specialty masterclasses with top producers, casting agents, and high profile performers, with the course culminating in a public performance where graduates perform for invited industry guests as well as friends and family.

What will you learn?

The course goes through a step by step process of how to obtain and deliver excellent musical theatre auditions and create the career you want – covering skills such as:

  • How to obtain musical theatre auditions
  • The power of research
  • What do you need in your repertoire
  • The 6 components of an excellent audition song
  • How to take a song and make it into a performance
  • Musical theatre styles and how to nail that scene
  • Choreographic styles in musical theatre and nailing that dance audition
  • Musical theatre singing styles and musical direction in your audition
  • Controlling nerves and performance anxiety
  • Putting it all into action at the mock audition
  • Creating your dream career

The nitty gritty

Dates and information (all the important stuff!)

One-day workshops:
AUGUST: Sat 20, Sun 21, Sat 27, Sun 28
SEPTEMBER: Sat 3, Sat 10, Sun 11, Sat 17, Sun 18

Private Tutorials:
½ hour private tutorials will be held between 11:00am – 7:00pm on various Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays during the course, at a time that suits both the students and the core tutor and rehearsal pianist during those hours.


$1,785 (incl. GST)
$1,760 (incl. GST) – Early-Bird Enrolments (pay before Wednesday 10 August)

$460 – Early-Bird

Closing date for applications to audition for a place in The Advanced Course is Friday 5 August

For more information, and to apply for the course, visit

Don’t miss your chance to win an opportunity to audit The Advanced Audition course with Queenie van de Zandt, worth $485.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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