Posted on August 23, 2006 at 11:13 pm

The title of this blog entry is sadly apropos.  I’m way overdue for one of these columns, and even this one will be pathetically truncated, but it’s all I have time for!  Sorry!
Anyway, here goes nothin’. Dayeanne Hutton writes:
I’m looking forward to auditioning for your new musical “13” and I was wondering what rock songs would be appropriate for teenagers. I really want to be prepared but I’m not very familar with a lot of rock music, yes, I am a musical theatre buff, guilty.
JRB says:
It depends on which part you’re auditioning for, to be honest, but a good rule of thumb is to look for the artists who can really sing. The danger with asking most coaches for rock material is that they don’t have any better reference point than you do; most theater voice coaches are “musical theatre buffs”, as you say. (I call them “show tune queens.”) But the point is, there are a lot of contemporary pop and rock singers who really do have voices and they have producers who pick songs that show those voices off. Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Jason Mraz, Edwin McCain, Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer, Paris Hilton, the list goes on and on, please anyone who’s got suggestions put ’em in the comments box. Certainly not all of the songs from all of those artists are good for auditions, but just pick someone and start singing along, find the things you enjoy singing, THEN get to a coach and make a good audition cut out of it.
I’m kidding about Paris Hilton. Please tell me you knew that.
Meredith McCall asks:
I am a actress/singer in Austin, Texas and I am scheduled to record an independent cd in September. I am very interested in recording “Stars and The Moon” from Songs For A New World. I am finding it very difficult to determine whom to contact about obtaining the mechanical rights for this song. I am hoping that you may be able to assist me. Any information you could provide would be appreciated. I plan to do a small pressing of 500 cds.
JRB saith:
I’m amazed I haven’t put the answer to this one up on the website at some point, but I haven’t. Meredith, I’m so thrilled you want to record my song. My stuff isn’t registered with Harry Fox, so the way to get a mechanical license to record my songs is to write a request with the name of the song, the producing entity (which in this case is probably you), and the number of copies you plan to press, and then fax that request for a license to Mark Sendroff at 212 840-6401. You can also e-mail him at He has a crack staff (or a staff on crack) that will deal with this quickly for you. And thanks for wanting to put my song on your album!
Brian Falgoust wants to know:
“Dreaming Wide Awake” is one of my favorite music and vocal arrangements ever. And I can’t help but think, when I listen to it, that there is a much deeper meaning that I can’t grasp. That there is actually deep sadness behind the seemingly uplifting lyrics.
My friend and I were discussing the meaning of the song one day, and she had mentioned that it could possibly be about a woman who is in a bad relationship, where there may be abuse, rape, anger, and she is dreaming and waiting for the day when she can be free from all of that pain.
Maybe I’m just looking into it way too much, but I really would like the know what you were thinking when you wrote the song.

To which JRB has this to say:
Hmm. Nope, that’s not where I was going with it, but I guess if that works for you then more power to you. The real story is this: I had, for a time, considered writing a musical about a group of young German university students who formed a resistance network during the last days of World War II, and this song was to be sung by the girl in the group as she watches the leader conduct a meeting. So she’s a young woman, 17 or 18, and she’s stepping into an emotional and political landslide, and she’s thrilled and excited and terrified, and that’s where the song came from.
Oh, I’m done. Yikes, it’s such a lame entry, sorry, I’ll get back to writing these soon, I promise. Meanwhile, wish us luck: we start “13” auditions on Friday. Oh my God.