PAY AND EXPENSES
Q: Does Light Opera of New Jersey pay its performers?
A: Yes. We pay everyone from leading roles through ensemble members.
Q: How much pay can I expect?
A: That depends on a number of factors. Specific amounts would generally be discussed one-on-one when a role is offered to a performer. Pay ranges can vary considerably from one production to the next depending on the size of the cast, the number of performances, the expected audience size, and our other expenses to name just a few. If you wish to get a very approximate idea of what a specific role in a specific show might pay before committing to audition, please contact the Executive Producer for the show via our general email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does Light Opera of New Jersey provide housing for out-of-town performers?
A: Usually not. Given sufficient notice we may be able to help with a night or two in someone’s guest room when you have both a long commute and scheduled commitments with us several days in a row. If you have any friends or relatives in our area, you may wish to check with them first to see if they can lodge you for a while. Unfortunately, we must take the housing situation into consideration when casting; if you are not within normal commuting range, assuring us that you can provide your own housing may influence our decision. We serve a very talent-rich area, with Northern New Jersey and New York City within reasonable commuting distance. As a result, we usually fill roles with local talent.
Q: Can you help with transportation?
A: We can try to organize carpools to minimize the time spent driving by any one individual. Some of our rehearsals may be held in New York City if we expect that to be a more convenient location for a majority of those involved. We may also be able to arrange pickups and drop-offs at nearby New Jersey train stations and bus stops for those coming out of NYC. Mass transit within New Jersey is often not practical for anyone not originating or connecting through New York City.
Q: Does Light Opera of New Jersey pay a per diem for living expenses?
Q: Why do I have to tell you my age on your audition registration form?
A: Actually, you don’t – we’ll let you audition even if you provide something other than a number in the answer box for that question, but we may be able to save you some time and expense if you do tell us your age. We are not likely to be casting the elderly or the very young in certain shows, although people in those age ranges may be exactly what we need for other shows. If it appears to us that your age does not match up with any available roles for a given show, we’ll contact you to explain what we are looking for and then let you make the decision whether or not it would still be appropriate for you to audition.
Q: Do I really have to register? Can’t I just show up at the audition?
A: None of our auditions permit walk-ins. You must register for any audition with us. Our online system works for most users, but if you have difficulties with it you may also register through an email sent to the registration coordinator whose name and email address will appear on the main audition page. We will ask for your headshot and your resume as part of the registration process.
Q: What are your auditions like?
A: Most of our auditions will be held in front of a panel consisting of the show’s director, music director, producer and choreographer and possibly the company’s artistic director and executive producers. Other members of our board who are frequently long-term Light Opera of New Jersey cast and crew members may also be present. You may be auditioning for only two or three people or it could be for a dozen or more. In general, you may expect to sing at all of our auditions. Some auditions may involve reading dialog from a script (sometimes provided as Sides on the audition announcement page, sometimes not). Some auditions may have a dance call for roles that require more than a very elemental level of choreography.
Upon arrival you should sign in with the audition proctor who will give you an approximate audition time and direct you to seating, restrooms, water, and so forth. Please return to the proctor at least five to ten minutes before the expected audition time. They will lead you into the audition hall and introduce you to the panel. You may or may not be asked to say a few words about yourself when you first take the stage. You will have a moment to give the accompanist your sheet music and confer with them before collecting yourself and starting to sing. Please provide a legal copy of a legible, clearly marked score in the key that you wish the accompanist to play and give them an idea of your preferred tempo.
For our Music Theater shows, preliminary auditions are generally open to all and may last only about five minutes. These are followed some days later by longer, more focused auditions in a callback round open by invitation only. The preliminary round is first-come, first-heard on the day of the audition. Please notify us in advance on your registration if you will not be signing in during the first two hours on the scheduled audition date. Then we will know that we shouldn’t leave early if we finish sooner than expected. Callbacks are scheduled for specific times that may overlap with other people’s callback auditions so we can see how specific pairs and groups work together. We may need you at callbacks for as little as 15 minutes or as much as a few hours and we will try to schedule you accordingly. We provide accompanists for all Music Theater auditions and do not charge an audition or accompanist’s fee. You may bring your own accompanist if you wish.
For our Opera/Light Opera shows, unless we are already quite familiar with your voice, we will require you to provide an online link to a performance video. Specifications for what should be on that video will be listed on the audition page. We will invite the most viable candidates to individual live auditions that are 10 to 15 minutes long at scheduled times. Some candidates for a role may be invited to attend a callback round after after the initial round. We provide an accompanist at all auditions and request a nominal fee in return for their services at the initial round only. Anyone who has performed with us in prior shows is exempt from that fee, as is anyone who provides their own accompanist. There is no accompanist fee for callbacks.
In some cases we will accept a video in lieu of the initial live audition, both for Music Theater and Opera/Light Opera shows. Details will be given on the main audition page for the show.
Q: When will I hear from you?
A: We try to get the news out, whether good or bad, as soon as we have made decisions. However, we frequently audition 100 or more performers for a show and it can take time to reach a decision, negotiate with an initial set of candidates and possibly have to make additional offers to other candidates. When we conclude that we are not going to offer someone a role, we try to get that news out quickly as well. Letters of regret may go out a few days after the initial audition, or they may go out only after we have reached an agreement with someone else. The initial set of offers will go out as soon as we can come to agreement on who will receive them, typically shortly after the callback auditions. Invitations to callbacks may arrive any time after your initial audition up until a couple of days before the callbacks take place. If you have not heard one way or the other within what you consider a reasonable amount of time, please feel free to contact the registration coordinator whose email address will be listed on the main audition page.