Dance 10, Looks 3: Where we seek media about Auditions/Selection Process
October 30, 2017 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Can you think of ANY show, documentary, movie, TV show, web series, podcast ANYTHING that has to do with an audition or selection process or competition. It doesn't matter what's being auditioned or selected or competed for: Dance, Acting, Cheerleader, Chess, whatever. Looking for things that show the selection process, but also interested in docs or movies where the subject is training/studying/practicing for a competition or audition. Fiction or Doc, it's all good.

My friend is going to be laid up for for quite some time after a nasty injury. I happen to know she has a little niche fetish for shows that involve an audition, selection process, or those studying or practicing for something. So I want to compile a list or a hard drive full of shows and links to things. She told me once she saw a documentary about girls trying out for the Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleaders and she's has a weird and keen interest ever since. Suggestions can be fiction or documentary, but here's a few examples:

Example: First Position, a doc about dancers preparing for a ballet competition.

Example: Virtuosity about a piano competition.

All suggestions welcome even if it's kind of tangentially related, thank you!
posted by crayon to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
The Audition, about opera students trying to get into the prestigious MET program.
posted by stray at 5:04 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Came in here to recommend First Position.

So I'll recommend another movie with a very different kind of preparation for a selection process: Somm.
posted by jeoc at 5:05 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Every Little Step is a 2008 documentary about dancers auditioning for the revival of A Chorus Line.
posted by danielleh at 5:12 PM on October 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Some other thoughts:

Spellbound is a classic doc in this format.
Bad Words is a comedy about a grown man's misguided attempt to win a national spelling bee similar to the one in Spellbound.

Every Little Step is a doc about the audition process for the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
posted by jeoc at 5:12 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Pitch Perfect
posted by grouse at 5:16 PM on October 30, 2017

A Chorus Line
Staying Alive
Passion Fish has some characters discussing auditions.
I'm pretty sure Waiting for Guffman has some audition scenes.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Amazon series, Mozart in the Jungle, has some audition and prep scenes in the first season.
posted by primate moon at 5:18 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by Room 641-A at 5:31 PM on October 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Drop Dead Gorgeous-it's a mockumentary about a teen beauty pageant! So good.
posted by eeek at 5:32 PM on October 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

There are some great audition scenes in Bunheads, particular in Next.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:32 PM on October 30, 2017

X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and its children

Trashiest possible interpretation with a side of horror: Toddlers and Tiaras

Most capitalist expression: Shark Tank/Dragon’s Den
posted by warriorqueen at 5:37 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mad Hot Ballroom is about schoolchildren competing in ballroom dance.
posted by FencingGal at 5:40 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

There is an episode of Girls in its final season called “Bounce” that is almost entirely of Andrew Rannell’s character Elijah auditioning for a new broadway musical, “White Men Can’t Jump.” It is hysterical and amazing.
posted by sestaaak at 5:41 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tobias Funke has several acting storylines in Arrested Development: Commercial, musical, film.

There's a montage of the pageant contestants' interview auditions in Drop Dead Gorgeous (TW: slurs used against an intellectually disabled character).

Julia Styles' character auditions for Julliard in Save The Last Dance.

You can also find lots of real TV cast auditions online: there are great ones from the lead actors in ET, Amelie, The Notebook, and Game of Thrones.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:46 PM on October 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Broken Chords is a YA novel about a (youth) piano competition.
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:52 PM on October 30, 2017

A few fiction examples. I really like the training montage/competition in Kingsman. Insurgent has a lot of fiddly selection stuff. Hunger Games.
posted by jessamyn at 5:55 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you really don't like your friend and you want her to be even more unhappy about being bedridden, there's an episode of Fuller House in which Kimmy Gibler's daughter auditions for a dance coach. I think it's in season two.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:10 PM on October 30, 2017

Being Bucky.
posted by Floydd at 6:20 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

There is a whole series about the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders- "Making the Team." It's got 12 seasons!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:43 PM on October 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Girl Model is a documentary about teenage models. The main selection/audition takes place in the first 20 minutes or so.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:44 PM on October 30, 2017

So You Think You Can Dance's first 7 or so episodes are all audition-based and then they have the final selection process before the performance episodes start. They're on Hulu!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:49 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Podcast ''The Competition' follows participants in a classical piano competition.
posted by yesbut at 6:58 PM on October 30, 2017

Seconding Bunheads.

Movies (fiction unless otherwise noted)
The Beat My Heart Skipped
Creed (really any sports movie I guess!)
Fish Tank
The Fits
Paris is Burning (doc)
Queen of Katwe
Strictly Ballroom
posted by phonebia at 7:01 PM on October 30, 2017

And Best in Show
posted by phonebia at 7:02 PM on October 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Back to the Future - "I'm afraid you're just too darn loud"
posted by Rash at 7:22 PM on October 30, 2017

TuTuMuch (terrible name, great documentary) is about young teens at a summer-long audition for the Royal Winnipeg ballet.
posted by timestep at 7:29 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love the audition scene from Bring it On

Waiting for Guffman

And oh, the dance audition in The Goodbye Girl
posted by Mchelly at 7:33 PM on October 30, 2017

Kings of Pastry follows a group of world-class French pastry chefs as they compete for France's most prestigious craftsmen award: Meilleur Ouvrier de France.
posted by mcbeth at 7:36 PM on October 30, 2017

Pretty sure there were good scenes in Camp as well.
posted by Mchelly at 7:36 PM on October 30, 2017

Toddlers and tiaras or any of those baby beauty pageant shows.
posted by Jubey at 7:38 PM on October 30, 2017

Umm, no one’s mentioning “Sing”? Sure, it’s animated, but it has it all... the two-bit impresario, the everyday people with dreams. And decent music!
posted by lhauser at 7:50 PM on October 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Center Stage, a movie about young adults training and auditioning for the American Ballet Company. Pure cheese featuring Peter Gallagher’s glorious eyebrows.
posted by saturngirl at 7:54 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Getting Into Cirque du Soleil is a 45 minute documentary following some athletes who are hoping to be cast in a Cirque show. I can't vouch for the whole thing, but the first few minutes seemed promising.
posted by danielleh at 8:16 PM on October 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Eagle Huntress is a documentary about the first girl in her family to compete in the traditional Kazakh eagle hunting competition.
posted by librarina at 10:08 PM on October 30, 2017

Seconding the chess biopic Queen of Katwe; the initial source material was an ESPN article which became this book.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:30 PM on October 30, 2017

This beautiful New Zealand film featuring a chess competition (among other things) The Dark Horse might fit the bill.
posted by Coaticass at 11:23 PM on October 30, 2017

Seconding *Center Stage*--it's my favorite dance movie. The recent documentary *Step* is very well done--and there are tons of practice scenes and some great competition scenes.
posted by correcaminos at 3:25 AM on October 31, 2017

And lo, the opening audition from All That Jazz.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:49 AM on October 31, 2017

Since you asked for tangential: Vanya on 42nd Street, a movie version of Uncle Vanya staged as a series of rehearsals of the play.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 5:38 AM on October 31, 2017

The Glee Project is a series-long audition for Glee.
Smash is a series about the making of a Broadway show, and has a focus on auditioning for the lead in one of the first couple of episodes, and then more tangential audition scenes scattered throughout.
posted by daisyace at 5:57 AM on October 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

Top Spin is about training for a table tennis championship.
The Great British Baking Show (aka Great British Bake Off) is a good natured competition for baking EVERYTHING.
posted by jillithd at 6:37 AM on October 31, 2017

High School Musical

I know, I know. But it has signing up for auditions, worrying about auditions, trying not to let friends know about going to auditions, callbacks, other people being jealous at auditions, people being bad at auditions— it is very audition-heavy.

(Also hilarious and it is fun to make friends drink a bunch of wine and then watch it with you.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Jig!:documentary about dancers preparing for the 2010 World Irish Dancing Competition. (link is to full film on youtube.)

Step Up : can delinquent Channing Tatum make it into the prestigious dance academy?
posted by vespabelle at 9:25 PM on October 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone, fantastic suggestions, one & all!
posted by crayon at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2017

Thought of a couple more:

Somewhat tangential- Healing- A prisoner tries to become a better person through the prison's wildlife rehabilitation project.

The Sapphires- the heart-warming adventures of an Australian girl-group during the Vietnam War period.
posted by Coaticass at 1:08 PM on November 3, 2017

On The Day is a documentary about an attempt to form a bagpipe band out of top-rated individual players, and then compete them against more established bands. Official site.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:00 PM on November 4, 2017

I'm late to this, but if books work many of Noel Streatfeild's books have audition scenes. The canonical one is Ballet Shoes, which from memory has at least three audition scenes. There's a film (2007), which I haven't seen, but can't imagine it contains no auditions.
posted by paduasoy at 4:13 PM on November 12, 2017

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