This time we discuss how to fake your way into an a cappella group when you don’t know how to sing.
Setting the Stage: A cappella is getting more popular by the day, and you decide that it’s time for you to cash in and become part of the crowd. The only problem is you can’t carry a tune to save your life. Time to go join the ultimate frisbee team instead, right? Wrong! There’s still hope for you. You can fake your way in!
Song Selection: When it comes time to audition for your would-be a cappella group, you need to think about songs that will distract listeners from the fact that you can’t actually sing. There a few options here—one is a song with a heavy accent. Pick a song by The Beatles and show off your best British vocals, go with The Dropkick Murphys and go Irish, pick a country western tune and lay the drawl on as thick as you can (note, that won’t work quite so well if your group is located in the south. An accent won’t fool people forever, but if you can pull it off authentically enough, people will ignore your intonation and focus on your mystique for the length of an audition period. Of course, you need to make sure you maintain the accent while you’re talking to your auditioners, and whenever they might hear you outside of auditions until you’re welcomed into the gang.
Another option is not to sing at all. Instead, get the words flowing with a rap. More experienced auditioners may call your bluff and say they need to hear some singing too, but if you can rap well enough, you just might fool those who are easily distracted.
Setting: Faking your way through an audition will work best if there’s a lot of background noise to mask your vocals. Try and pick an audition time that coincides with lunch hour, or another period most likely to have a lot of foot traffic passing the audition room. For more extreme cases, consider calling in some favors and getting some friends to very intentionally cause a ruckus outside the audition area when you’re up for consideration, or, if they have the equipment, have them pose as construction crew and get as many tools as possible whirring and banging next door.
Choreography: Auditions typically don’t include much in the way of choreography—but that simple fact will make it all the more remarkable when your audition does! Kick things off with a back flip into a split then spin in slow motion while doing the robot until you’re facing the auditioners. That introduction alone should earn you a callback.
Other Notes: If you’re going to fake your way into an a cappella group, you need to start thinking about ways of earning your keep so you won’t get thrown out once the gig is up. Vocal percussion is a good practical skill to help you keep your place. A bit less directly, behind the scenes skills like an ability to arrange music or choreography can up your stock. If all else fails look at what sort of unique non-a cappella-related advantages you can contribute to the group. Are you one of the only group members over 21? Become a supplier for the less fortunate. Do you have money to spare? Buy the group a new set of t-shirts. Undeservedly maintaining your slot in an a cappella group calls on you to use your resources to the fullest.