Why is it?

Why is it?

Laura
Laura

November 22nd, 2008, 4:24 am #1

Julie, why is it that so many Annies aren't really singers or good at all? Is it that Martin decided to change the role to be more acted than sung or is it just hard to find real singers. I mean you can hear the difference from say Julie as a child to some of these other kids. I saw some videos of "smile" and one of the girls basically spoke her lines. It was aweful. Out of all of the Annies out there there are so few who are true singers. I mean any little kid may sound cute but as far as singing goes a lot of these so called Annies aren't singers and I was just wondering why? Please dont' take offense to this I am looking for a serious discussion as to why this may be. I mentioned no names so please take this post seriously and lets' all be honest and admit that some of these kids can't sing but I'm sure they may be able to act well. But I am only referring to the sing aspect.
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my 2 cents
my 2 cents

November 22nd, 2008, 5:04 am #2

1. They will sound different on tape 2. They will improve as the weeks move on. 3. They are not as well rested as their peers. 4. They are travelling by bus most days....ever done that for 32 weeks? and 5. They are going to catch every bug they encounter. How many kids do you know who perform 8x times a week and take the critique of the world?
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Laura
Laura

November 22nd, 2008, 8:07 am #3

Thanks for replying but your response is exactly what I didn't want. You know there are little girls under all those circumstances still can sing. Somewhere along the line being able to sing well took back seat. I wanted some opinions why. Was it lack of girls who could do it. Let's face there are some Annie's who can sing you can tell under any circumstances. I wanted to know why is that no longer the case. The thing I loved about Annie was unlike other shows with kids in it these kids actually held their own with the adults. Annie set a new standard that just because they were kids didn't mean we had to make excuses for their singing. When most of the broadway Annies sang you were impressed but these days the singing is the calibar of anyone found in a grade school chorus. Let's face anyone who can go through the motions at that age is a remarkable feet for a child. But I"m talking about not average kids that age most kids that age can't remember how to spell much less get up in front of a class. I know it takes a special girl to play the role but I am just talking about singing,.
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JB
JB

November 22nd, 2008, 8:32 am #4

Julie, why is it that so many Annies aren't really singers or good at all? Is it that Martin decided to change the role to be more acted than sung or is it just hard to find real singers. I mean you can hear the difference from say Julie as a child to some of these other kids. I saw some videos of "smile" and one of the girls basically spoke her lines. It was aweful. Out of all of the Annies out there there are so few who are true singers. I mean any little kid may sound cute but as far as singing goes a lot of these so called Annies aren't singers and I was just wondering why? Please dont' take offense to this I am looking for a serious discussion as to why this may be. I mentioned no names so please take this post seriously and lets' all be honest and admit that some of these kids can't sing but I'm sure they may be able to act well. But I am only referring to the sing aspect.
It's all a matter of opinion of course. In my opinion from an acting perspective I would prefer a child who embodies the role emotionally verses a technically perfect singer. Yeah, but I gotta agree with you that it does seem odd to me that from the entire talent pool out there one couldn't pick an Annie that is both talented vocally and acting wise. (said from an objective standpoint. I have not heard the current cast)

But then again if we're going true to the show, these aren't perfect little Shirley Temple trained vocalists. They're supposed to be orphans. Raw and untrained with a little edge. Which makes vocal flaws endearing and true to their characters.

Yeah, it's debatable.
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Prehaps...
Prehaps...

November 22nd, 2008, 1:12 pm #5

Thanks for replying but your response is exactly what I didn't want. You know there are little girls under all those circumstances still can sing. Somewhere along the line being able to sing well took back seat. I wanted some opinions why. Was it lack of girls who could do it. Let's face there are some Annie's who can sing you can tell under any circumstances. I wanted to know why is that no longer the case. The thing I loved about Annie was unlike other shows with kids in it these kids actually held their own with the adults. Annie set a new standard that just because they were kids didn't mean we had to make excuses for their singing. When most of the broadway Annies sang you were impressed but these days the singing is the calibar of anyone found in a grade school chorus. Let's face anyone who can go through the motions at that age is a remarkable feet for a child. But I"m talking about not average kids that age most kids that age can't remember how to spell much less get up in front of a class. I know it takes a special girl to play the role but I am just talking about singing,.
Hi! Maybe it has to do with the shows that are Non-Union, and therefore the proper training is not in place. Maybe at the auditions, the girls sing wonderfully, but then without the care from the Union, things start to slip.

Or, prehaps sometimes, casting is done thru "connections"!

But, in the end, isn't great seeing kids perform, no matter what?!

Laura, your questions were valid and if you get slack from asking, I hope you realize you've done nothing wrong!
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Joined: March 6th, 2006, 9:12 pm

November 22nd, 2008, 5:25 pm #6

Julie, why is it that so many Annies aren't really singers or good at all? Is it that Martin decided to change the role to be more acted than sung or is it just hard to find real singers. I mean you can hear the difference from say Julie as a child to some of these other kids. I saw some videos of "smile" and one of the girls basically spoke her lines. It was aweful. Out of all of the Annies out there there are so few who are true singers. I mean any little kid may sound cute but as far as singing goes a lot of these so called Annies aren't singers and I was just wondering why? Please dont' take offense to this I am looking for a serious discussion as to why this may be. I mentioned no names so please take this post seriously and lets' all be honest and admit that some of these kids can't sing but I'm sure they may be able to act well. But I am only referring to the sing aspect.
I think your question is perfectly valid and not offensive at all.

In many cases, the "look" outweighs some other things, so a child who is a better singer with a completely wrong "look" will not get cast, and a weaker singer will be. Also, for tours, they not only have to find 7 girls who can sing their roles, but they have to find 7 girls with parents who are willing to commit to the grueling schedule of a tour! I think this probably limits their options severely, whereas in a Broadway show, more families would be willing to uproot themselves and move to NYC, knowing that they will be staying in one place. Does that make sense?

I know that when I auditioned for the Sound of Music Asia tour (and keep in mind, Annie is probably going to China in the summer, so it's a similar situation), the turnout of kids auditioning was not as large as one might have expected, because there are many families that support their children in theatre, but cannot go on tour -- families with two working parents who can't leave their jobs or telecommute, for example.

Also, in the case of non-Equity tours, the child is getting paid plus per diem, but the parent is only getting per diem. The child's salary is very low for theatre, while the family might also be losing money from the parent chaperone who is no longer making a salary (quitting job, taking an unpaid leave, etc). So ... many families with potentially great Annies would not be able to accept the role just due to their situation, which would make the casting directors ask the second choice Annie, then the third, and so on.

I also think that the popular music of today has a (negative) affect on kids who grow up wanting to sing. Back when Annie first opened on Broadway, we didn't have the music of today, with so many electronic effects that practically anyone who wants to can "be" a singer and sound decent. I think because voices were less manipulated back then, kids listened to singers and aspired to sing like their favorite singers, who were better "vocal role models," if that makes sense. We don't have that anymore -- the good vocal role models in music that is new/popular are pretty much of the past.



Last edited by -Grief- on November 22nd, 2008, 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Laura
Laura

November 22nd, 2008, 6:01 pm #7

Everyone, thank you for your intelligent honest input. You guys really gave great points and I am grateful you were able to see that I wasn't picking on anyone. You have really opened my eyes to the big picture. Thank you.
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

November 22nd, 2008, 6:07 pm #8

Julie, why is it that so many Annies aren't really singers or good at all? Is it that Martin decided to change the role to be more acted than sung or is it just hard to find real singers. I mean you can hear the difference from say Julie as a child to some of these other kids. I saw some videos of "smile" and one of the girls basically spoke her lines. It was aweful. Out of all of the Annies out there there are so few who are true singers. I mean any little kid may sound cute but as far as singing goes a lot of these so called Annies aren't singers and I was just wondering why? Please dont' take offense to this I am looking for a serious discussion as to why this may be. I mentioned no names so please take this post seriously and lets' all be honest and admit that some of these kids can't sing but I'm sure they may be able to act well. But I am only referring to the sing aspect.
I think "Grief" hit it on the nose. I think today's music and today's singers have had a huge impact on children. If you look at Miley Cyrus or the HSM kids, you'll notice that they are less singers and more celebrity than anything else. Anyone can be made into a singer in a recording studio. Theatre, on the other hand, demands a singer who can perform live 8 shows a week, without the help of pre-recorded tracks or backup singers. Most kids new to auditioning (like those attending a non-Union audition) have little or no experience performing 8 shows a week and little or no training. I also think that kids who sing pop music have no idea how to belt or sustain a strong, high note. They don't know how to finesse a note or make it sound pleasurable to the ear, since that is not an issue in recorded music. Man of the kids of today want to grow up to be on the Disney Channel, not on Broadway.

Julie
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Musical Theater Fan
Musical Theater Fan

November 22nd, 2008, 7:24 pm #9

I agree with Grief and Julie. I also think that the audience accepts these performances from children and aren't as concerned about the vocals that I would be. I still believe that muscials should have great singing and acting and dancing. I don't want to see kids perform that aren't the best and recently in many shows that I have seen and yes some include B'Way Shows, tours, etc. I have noticed without saying names that loud is more important than the actual hitting of notes. Children don't seem to have to perform at the same standard as adults. However, it seems the audience is okay with this, they like kids being kids on stage. However, I want to see really talented children in roles. I don't like squeaky, loud or nasal voices just because they are a certain height or fit the costume. I believe there are many talented kids. I wish them the best at getting parts. I want feel like the price I pay for a ticket is worth it. With that said, I have not seen 13 (this cast looks like is loaded with talent), Shrek or Billy E.. If they are still on Broadway we hope to see them in 2009. And I haven't seen the new cast of Annie and have no reason to not believe that they are a talented group of girls. My opinion is made without names or mention of shows and it is what I believe has happens to shows with kids in the last few years and yes this would include Disney and Kid Movies. The expectations of the general public seem less to me. It is more about being a celebrity then having real talent. When you get that talent - it is fun to be amazed. It is about making money first and the quality of the work second. It seems to me that many don't believe they go together!
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me again
me again

November 23rd, 2008, 3:24 am #10

I think your question is perfectly valid and not offensive at all.

In many cases, the "look" outweighs some other things, so a child who is a better singer with a completely wrong "look" will not get cast, and a weaker singer will be. Also, for tours, they not only have to find 7 girls who can sing their roles, but they have to find 7 girls with parents who are willing to commit to the grueling schedule of a tour! I think this probably limits their options severely, whereas in a Broadway show, more families would be willing to uproot themselves and move to NYC, knowing that they will be staying in one place. Does that make sense?

I know that when I auditioned for the Sound of Music Asia tour (and keep in mind, Annie is probably going to China in the summer, so it's a similar situation), the turnout of kids auditioning was not as large as one might have expected, because there are many families that support their children in theatre, but cannot go on tour -- families with two working parents who can't leave their jobs or telecommute, for example.

Also, in the case of non-Equity tours, the child is getting paid plus per diem, but the parent is only getting per diem. The child's salary is very low for theatre, while the family might also be losing money from the parent chaperone who is no longer making a salary (quitting job, taking an unpaid leave, etc). So ... many families with potentially great Annies would not be able to accept the role just due to their situation, which would make the casting directors ask the second choice Annie, then the third, and so on.

I also think that the popular music of today has a (negative) affect on kids who grow up wanting to sing. Back when Annie first opened on Broadway, we didn't have the music of today, with so many electronic effects that practically anyone who wants to can "be" a singer and sound decent. I think because voices were less manipulated back then, kids listened to singers and aspired to sing like their favorite singers, who were better "vocal role models," if that makes sense. We don't have that anymore -- the good vocal role models in music that is new/popular are pretty much of the past.


was easier when 1000 girls showed up at the auditions compared to 175 this year.
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