Over the weekend, NBC’s “The Voice” held an open casting call for season 9. The open call was held at the Javits Center both Saturday and Sunday. The doors opened at 7 a.m. and the first group of musicians gathered in line for the first round of auditions at 9 a.m. followed by a second group at 2 p.m.
The snow did not stop these dedicated musicians from braving the harsh weather to take a chance on their dreams. From subways and trains, to cars, people came from different areas both near and far including; NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virgina. There were people there auditioning for their first, second, and third time.
After waiting in line for doors to open, everyone was checked in and then escorted to the holding area. During the waiting stage, I had the opportunity to talk to so many amazing people. People of all ages and from all different walks of life came together for one common cause, to become “The Voice”. The room was full of nerves and excitement. Everyone was full of energy, and excited to share their love of music and for the show. Everyone was ready to get into the room and show what they could do with the hopes of following their passion and making it on the show.
Throughout the waiting process people hung out in the holding area while chatting and warming up. While one musician warmed up singing John Legend’s “All of Me”, many others joined in and sang along with him. Another group waiting for their turn to audition, began singing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”. Musicians then had their chance to get into the casting room and show off their talents!
After the first round of auditions, another group came in at 2 p.m. for their chance to perform. Jennifer and Tyler warmed up the crowd in the Javits Center while waiting for the doors to re-open for their group.
“The Voice” is a very respected production and the vibe of the open casting call was filled with positivity and great energy, from the musicians to the crew. I even had the opportunity to interview Casting Director, Michelle McNulty who was great to chat with, so friendly, and loves what she does!
Interview with The Voice Casting Director Michelle McNulty
upfrontNY: What is an open casting process usually like?
Michelle McNulty: People need to go on to our website nbcthevoice.com where they can register for the open calls. We have them in cities all across the country, New York, LA, Chicago and Atlanta are our open call cities. They get their artist audition pass that gives them a time to arrive so that people aren’t waiting in the cold for that long. There are 2 different audition times. They will sing for one of the talent producers that work on the show. They will sing a verse and a chorus acapella for the open call and if we like what we hear we will schedule them for a call back which is scheduled later on in the week.
upfrontNY: What do you look for in a musician to bring them forward to the next round?
Michelle McNulty: The first and foremost is we are listening to the voice. It can be anything from rad-tone to incredible runs. It’s so different for each person. There’s just that intangible thing that people always talk about that is just sort of there. It can be in the shy form or a big boisterous form. Whichever way it is, it’s just something magical and special about that person, but the voice first.
upfrontNY: Are musicians invited to bring an instrument during their audition such as a guitar?
Michelle McNulty: For the open call auditions no instruments. If they are selected for a call back then they can bring them and can play their instruments there.
upfrontNY: What advice do you give those who are auditioning?
Michelle McNulty: I think the most important thing is to pick songs that fit your voice not just songs you like. Being aware of what kind of artist you are. Be yourself, don’t try to be anything other than you.
upfrontNY: What is the best part of casting for “The Voice?”
Michelle McNulty: I love it especially because we see them from the very very beginning. It’s seeing that something magical and special and then watching their journey through the show. That’s my favorite thing. Its incredible once they get on the show, the coaching and how that just blossoms.
upfrontNY: Are there any songs that you are hoping to hear this season?
Michelle McNulty: I hope people sing Waves by Mr. Probz. I am really into Nick Jonas’ album. The new Taylor Swift album. I have a list of songs I am super stoked to hear people sing.
upfrontNY: I was talking to someone outside and they told me that on the facebook page there is a list of overdone songs.
Michelle McNulty: A huge thing we try and do is to make sure is that our social media is active. We give these hints. We have the top 12 from season 7 tweeting out their advice for top 12 Tuesday.
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