Elf the Musical – Brief Synopsis
A title known the world over, Elf The Musical is a must-produce holiday musical that can easily become an annual tradition for any theatre. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin on Broadway), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).
Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Elf The Musical - Character Breakdown
Buddy - Born a human but raised at the North Pole as a Christmas Elf, Buddy is eager to find his place in the world. He is a child at heart and that child-like curiosity makes him both endearing and gets him into trouble. Gender: male. Age: 25 to 35. Vocal range top: C5. Vocal range bottom: Ab2.
Jovie - Buddy's girlfriend. She works at Macy's and has a bit of a cynical outlook on life and love because of the men she's dated. She is caught off guard by Buddy's genuinely big heart. Gender: female. Age: 25 to 30. Vocal range top: D5. Vocal range bottom: G3.
Walter - Buddy's workaholic father. He is a Children's book writer, but lacks any of the childlike spirit that Buddy has. He is selfish, tense, and generally angry with life. Gender: male. Age: 55 to 65. Vocal range top: G4. Vocal range bottom: A2.
Emily - Walter's wife. Though she is sweet and willing to take him in, she thinks Buddy is crazy at first. Wishes her husband would spend more time with the family. Gender: female. Age: 40 to 50. Vocal range top: Eb5. Vocal range bottom: F3.
Michael - Buddy's stepbrother who is excited to have a new friend and brother. Unlike his mother, he doesn't take much convincing to have Christmas spirit, but like his mother, he wishes his father would spend more time with the family. Gender: male. Age: 12 to 16. Vocal range top: G5. Vocal range bottom: F3.
Deb - Walter's secretary. Takes an instant liking to Buddy simply for the novelty of it. Though she aims to please and is a bit of a suck-up, she feels under appreciated. Gender: female. Age: 25 to 55. Vocal range top: Eb5. Vocal range bottom: D4.
Manager - A heavy-set manager at Macy's. He is a good, friendly guy just trying to do his job and get by. Gender: male. Age: 35 to 40. Vocal range top: F#4. Vocal range bottom: B2.
Greenway - Walter's boss. He is what Walter will become if he continues down the path he is on. A tyrannical, workaholic who cares nothing about the people around him or who work for him. Gender: male. Age: 55 to 65.
Santa - Just another workingman. Loves his job and Christmas, but also likes to kick-back and watch the game when a rare opportunity arises. A natural storyteller. Gender: male. Age: 65 to 80. Vocal range top: E4. Vocal range bottom: A2.
Chadwick - One of Walter's right-hand men. He is desperate to keep his job, and perhaps the dumber of the two. Gender: male. Age: 40 to 50.
Matthews - One of Walter's right-hand men. He is desperate to keep his job and is the schemer of the two. Gender: male. Age: 35 to 40.
Ensemble - Mrs. Claus, Elves, Charlie, Shwanda, Mr. Narwhal, Teenager, Employees, Security Guard 1&2, Customer 1&2, Saleswoman, Store Elf 1&2, Fake Santa 1&2&3, Boy, Mother, Policeman 1&2, Sarah, Jim, Vendor, Waitress, Charlotte, Man, Woman.
Top 10 Audition Tips
1. Act. Don’t just read/sing.
Remember, you are auditioning to act in a play or musical. Yes, there are times when simply being cute is enough, but for the most part, we are looking for actors. So many people stand before the director and read the lines they were given that when someone really tries to act out the part they make a big impression. And that’s what you want…to stand out from the crowd.
2. Bring a photo.
You need to do everything you can to help the director remember who you are, and not blend in with the crowd. That becomes much more difficult to do if the director can’t place a face with the audition form. When you turn your photo in during registration it is attached to the audition form, so when we look at your form at the end of the auditions we can remember who you are.
3. Learn a little bit about the play/musical you are auditioning for.
The more you understand the play/musical and the characters, the more you will be able to do with the piece of script you will be given to audition with.
4. Take the time you need to prepare.
Remember Rule #1 – Act. Don’t just read. Once you are given your piece of script, take some time to get familiar with the part you are given to audition with. Don’t worry if it isn’t the part you want in the play. Parts will be assigned after the auditions. We just want to know that you have the ability to actually act. If you did your research and learned a little bit about the play, you can start to make some decisions about how to play the part during your audition.
5. Slow down and enunciate every word.
One sure sign of nervousness is speeding through the lines. When you talk too fast it is harder to make sure each word is understood, and the emotion that should accompany those words does not come through. Slow down and make sure you say each word clearly.
6. If you make a mistake, battle though it.
Even the best actors occasionally make mistakes on stage. But good actors know how to work through their mistakes without letting the audience realize that a mistake was made. One of the things we are looking for is poise. We want to know how you will react when things don’t go as rehearsed. If you fall apart during an audition, it doesn’t give the director much confidence that you will react well on the nights of the show. If you do make a mistake, don’t apologize. Don’t ask to start over. Just pick up from where the mistake was made and push forward.
7. Try to come early.
In order to make the best impression, you should make every effort to come earlier. Not only are we fresher and more alert, there are also fewer auditions for the director to compare you to. The later in the auditions it gets, the harder it is to make an impression, and to have the director remember you and your performance.
8. Don’t be too cocky.
No one is guaranteed a spot in a play or musical. It doesn’t matter what other roles you have had, or what other theaters you have worked with. If we decide you are not the right fit for the role, you will not get the part. If you have good acting/singing/dancing experience, and you audition well, you greatly increase you chances of getting cast. If you come across as being someone that is hard to work with, it makes it much more difficult for the director to give you a part. After all, who wants to take on a headache?
I have seen quite a few actors walk into an audition because they just assume they will be given a part, and their audition is flat and uninspiring. Then they are shocked when they didn’t get a major role (or ANY role) in the play. If you are taking the director’s time to go through the audition, you need to give it your best. Every. Time.
If you have acting experience, we will know from the information on your audition form or your resume. And we do like to see some previous experience, but again, that does not guarantee you a part. It is not unusual that a person with no previous acting experience gets a good part because they blew us away in the auditions.
9. Audition often.
One of the biggest obstacles between you and getting cast in a play is your nervousness. Nervousness makes you more timid. It makes you rely on the script in your hand too much, so you end up reading and not acting. It makes you talk too fast. It make you less memorable and more likely to get lost in the crowd.
The best way to overcome your nervousness is to practice. That means auditioning more.
If you don’t get the part, shake it off as a learning experience, and when the next show rolls around, go out and audition again. The more you go through the process, the easier it becomes.
10. If you don’t get the part, DON’T ARGUE ABOUT IT.
The decisions about who to cast and who we have to say “no” to, are not always easy. There is a lot of discussion about who does and who does not get a role. If the director decides that you are not the best fit for this show, please respect their decision about what they feel is best for the show they are directing. It doesn’t always mean that you had a bad audition, or that you’re not a good actor/singer/dancer. It just means that you were not the best person for this part in this particular production. Arguing leave a bad impression on the people that cast the shows. You will not change anyone’s mind. All it does is make it more difficult for the director to cast you in a future production. That being said, it is appropriate to privately ask what you could do to improve so you have a better chance of getting into future shows.