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BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

So... Am I Fantine Material? (Youtube Video)

There's going to be a production of Les Mis in my city this summer, and I really want to be either Fantine or Eponine, but I'm somewhat afraid my (sketchy at best) singing ability will be overshadowed by the fact that I'm overweight (5'6" and 165 lbs.). Fantine and Eponine are probably both supposed to be pretty skinny and waifish, so I'm a bit worried. This is a video of me singing "I Dreamed A Dream," and I will post "On My Own" soon. Constructive criticism would be much appreciated =]

Well, first off, let me start by saying that I am IN NO WAY a professional in the musical industry or anything of the sort, so take everything I say with several grains of salt.

That being said:

a) Regarding the weight - I wouldn't let that stop you from auditioning. You are a beautiful young lady, and you are a little overweight. It's not as though you are obese to the point it might be distracting to the role (I say this as someone who is clinically obese).
In my own opinion just based on the video, I don't think that if I saw an Eponine or Fantine who looks like you, I would think that the casting was all wrong. That being said, it's quite possible (maybe even likely) that the people casting the show will have a different vision of the characters, and may expect someone more waif-like. But if I were you I wouldn't let that issue stop me from auditioning. If they don't like your look, fine. But you don't have to give up from the start because of that issue.

b) Regarding the quality of the song, as I said, I'm no professional. Beyond taking voice lessons myself, and being a Mizzie, I have no qualifications to comment on this. I think you sing well and I like the tone of your voice, but of course I can't say what they are looking for, especially as you didn't mention what kind of production this is (Amateur? Student? semi-professional? etc.)

c) I will give one piece of constructive criticism (as per my own personal taste): I think when you are singing this song (IDAD), you need to think more about the content of the song and the context within the show. It's kind of easy to sort of belt out the end of each line because the song is dramatic, but I find I like it more when the actress singing it actually thinks about those parts of it that are more personal, and doesn't belt them out in quite the same way. The really good performances of it I've seen actually had a play between more quiet, controlled parts and the bigger more dramatic moments.

Again, these are just my own two-unprofessional-cents. Smile
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

It's a student production (School Edition by MTI) for high school students. I am 16, and a high school junior.

I can see where I may come across as a little impersonal with the role, I do get a little belty at some pretty predictable points =/

Thanks for your time and critique, it was very constructive =]

Ok, well, if it's a school production, then I would say you should definitely audition. I think your voice is good and quite mature for your age.

As for the belting, obviously you want some of that in there. It's part of the song. But try to think not just of the song as a song, but also of the song as a moment in the character's development :

The beautiful, young Fantine, who was madly in love, has been abandoned by the man she loved and left with a small child. She has been forced to leave that child with strangers in order to go to work to support them both. She has just been fired from her job just after getting a letter saying that her daughter is very ill and she has to send money so the child can see a doctor.

I'm sure you know this and it's not new to you, but I'm reiterating because it's something worth thinking about when you think about how to sing that song.

Good luck! Smile
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

That's "On My Own." Do I make a better Eponine or Fantine?

Hi Smile

I'm also by no means a professional, but from my point of view, your voice is more Fantiney than Eponiney. Yes, I like to use the technical words... I just think the tone of your voice is more suited to the role of Fantine, and certainly more suited to IDAD than OMO.

As for the weight thing, I really, really don't think it will be an issue in a school production - they will more than likely be looking for the people who can sing and act the roles the best, or at least, that's what has been the case in my experience of school shows.

Good luck!
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

OK, thank you =] I'm just worried about the weight issue, and I was pretty sure that I was more of a Fantine than an Eponine. I just can't sing pop =P

I'm no professional either, but as your peer I will give you my advice, cut and dry.

You're GORGEOUS. The weight won't even matter. Don't even think twice about it. You're fine. More than fine, actually. That shouldn't work against you in the slightest.

As for the songs, the problem here is, you sang them both pretty much in head voice the entire time. Granted, On My Own is lower, so you had to use your chest voice at times, but still, you didn't belt any of the endings at all, which made me kind of Sad

However, I definitely think you have potential as an Eponine. I say just go for it! Just really practice belting the top notes instead of head voicing them, and you will have an EXCELLENT shot at the role.

Keep up the good work, girly! Smile <3

P.S. Not for nothing, but this is my favorite high school Eponine. Just listen to her, she uses both head voice and belting appropriately. Her phrasing and pronounciations are DREADFUL, but the actual vocals and acting are spot on. Very Happy

I agree. Fantine sounds better in your voice.

I also think Fantine is more suited to your voice than Eponine. The tone of your voice is so lovely and mature, which I just think is more suited for Fantine instead of Eponine.

And one thing I've learned from high school theater, is that appearance actually really isn't as important as singing/acting ability, or in my school's case, seniority. So I wouldn't worry. I played Fantine in the SE over a year ago and while I'm pretty "average" size and curvy, the girl I was double cast with was slightly larger than me but that didn't matter at all. And the good thing with Les Mis and the time period it's set in is that you can masquerade your weight pretty well with corsets and such. Smile So don't be nervous about that at all. Just focus on the singing and acting. One word of advice I will give to you is that I noticed you had a bit of jaw tension/shaking going on, which can be very distracting. Just make sure you relax your jaw, you might want to see a voice teacher (if you have one) or your choir director for specific techniques on how to do that. Smile

Best of luck to you! Smile

You're definantly a Fantine. Your voice is amazing. At some times you seemed a bit tense toward the end of the song. But at most times I was like "can I have your voice?! Please?" And your hair. You have really pretty hair (I hate my hair, so I'm always uber jealous of people with really pretty hair) Just remember to act while you sing!

Your OMO was a bit under-emotional and lacked energy, however.

Think of it this way, Eponine is supposed to be ugly, and you're very pretty, and so is Fantine (expect when she is sick and dying, and a whore) so as for appearance you're already closer to Fantine. And don't really worry about appearances/weigh anyways.. At the high school level, its voice and acting that matters (or as SmallTownIngenue, seniority)

Good Luck!

(PS I'm also in high school so what I say may not be the best advice)

Okay, I guess I'm in the minority here, as I think you're better suited for Eponine, so I suggest just putting both down on your sheet. Hopefully you get called back for both. But if I were directing, I'd definitely consider you for Eponine more than Fantine, esp. after hearing you on both songs.

But best of luck! <3
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Thanks for all the support and help, everyone. I feel like I actually have a shot at this now =]

Fantine all the way.

You're not bad as Eponine either, but I agree with what Jman said about the belting.

And if that's overweight, then I'm Edna Turnblad.

You look great.

Break a leg!
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Honestly, I've never learned how to belt. I've been training to be an opera singer since I was a kid, so all of I've ever learned is head voice. Any tips on how to belt?

It's basically your speaking/chest voice, but on the higher bits. Don't tense up, be very open, and just go for it. If you crack here and there on the higher stuff, you know you're doing it right. I know that sounds weird, but honestly, it's the only way to expand your register properly.

Granted, I'm no expert singer, or even a highly trained singer, but that's just what I've learned out of my 8 years of being involved in the theatre haha.
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Applause Thank you! I think I (somewhat) have it! My parenta are getting a little tired of hearing me singing Les Mis at the top of my lungs, but they will just have to learn to deal with it until auditions... in April. Muahahaha. Twisted Evil
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

I tried belting... No. just no. It was seriously that bad.

Yes! Just, yes!

Seriously, you actually sound much better putting a little more !Umph! into it. I noticed you only tried belting the high, sustained notes which is fine, and even if you do it that way, it'll sound better than singing it the other way.

Your "I know that he is blind" was very good. The other attempts at belting were less effective but that's mostly cause there wasn't the emotion in your face and voice to accompany it. But that doesn't matter now as you are obviously not performing and just focusing on your voice. I can imagine the attempts working with just the right amount of emotional power behind them.

Good job. Keep it up!!!

EDIT: On second thought, considering I'm not a pro, maybe you should consult one before pushing your voice like that. I don't want you to ruin your voice then blame the random dude that gave you advice on the internet, lol.

It was not "seriously bad". It is very much better than the previous version of "On My Own". I still think your "I dreamed a dream" was better, but you have some very powerful notes here and I think you are on the right track.

In the constructive criticism area: I think you should make sure you are on the correct rhythm for the karaoke track. It's hard to tell on the recording, but I think there were a few moments where your rhythm was a little off.

Also, at one point in the middle you sort of slipped into a more "posh" English accent which worked well when you did it in IDAD (throughout the song), but feels a little strange for OMO. It's not a big deal so it's not something you should stress, but just a thought.

Overall, though, very nice and much improved.

Also, on a totally non-related note, I LOVE your eyeglasses. Smile

Girl, that was FANTASTIC! You are RIGHT on track! Keep up the good work! Smile

You have a very solid "mix-belt" right now. It's quite good. Keep it up, and just make sure that you can make the sound as supported and as possible. If you need anyone to kind of emulate your placement on (not your sound though, don't try to "sound" like this person, but see if you can place your voice in the same spot they do, as i think your voice is similar), listen to Lea Michele and/or Lea Salonga. They have very good mixes that sound like belts almost all of the time, esp. on this song Smile

I think your voice really suits Fantine! Go for the role girl, you deserve it Smile Let us know how you get on.
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993 - Fantine's Death

Jman - I LOVE LEA SALONGA!!!! If I could sing like her, my life would be complete.

SianZena - Your icon made me smile for a solid thirty minutes =D

Wow! That is just beautiful! I got a little teary eyed!

Great job!

As far as I'm concerned, you get the part. Smile

So, I will be honest - I don't usually read these threads. Yes, it is probably because they tend to be repetitive: young girl asking the same sort of questions basic questions about the Fantine/Eponine etc... but I am really glad that I read this one! It's so nice to see how supportive everyone on the board is.

@ BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993 Break a leg! I really want to know if you get the part - I think you are doing a great job by the looks of it and have my fingers crossed for you! Keep us posted on what happens! (I feel a bit emotionally invested in this now!)

Sorry if this was a pointless post, but I was just feeling the MdN love!!!

<3 <3
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Thanks, everyone! Auditions are in just over a month, and I've been working hard almost every day! I'm singing On My Own for our school talent show, and it's a bit hard seeing as this is what I'm used to singing:

But, anywho... All the support and advice has been very much appreciated, and I will definately keep everyone posted on th audition results!

Thanks <3
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Well, guys... the results are in... and... I'M EPONINE! I'm so ecstatic. I'll get pictures and everything. Can't wait for the show! It's in July, and if any of you are anywhere near Marietta, OH, you should come see it. It's gonna be great!

Amazing! Congrats! I'm glad it turned out so well for you!
Have fun with the production and I'm sure, if there's anything else, everyone will be just as supportive. It will be great to get invested and to grow into the character, but most of all: Have fun!
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Thanks... Very Happy

I think I peed a little when I saw the cast list.

Actually. I did pee a little. I confess.

Passerby on the busy street outside the theater were probably a little perplexed as to why a young girl was dancing crazily and jumping for joy while staring helplessly at a small piece of paper taped to the window.
BrOaDwAy BaBy 1993

Double post, I know, I'm ashamed Embarassed

But my new signature isn't showing up, and I'm trying to see if it works.

Urg. I am perplexed.
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