From TXMTW to NYU—One Student’s Success

Broadway professionals and musical theatre artists will all tell you that a top skill performers need is the ability to nail the audition. But for many young artists, college and production auditions create a lot of anxiety, and effective training is hard to find.

That’s why Julio Martinez, a 19-year-old aspiring singer, actor and dancer, decided to attend Texas Musical Theatre Workshop during high school based on the recommendation of his teacher. Julio wanted to learn about the process of college auditions and refine his skills to prepare for a successful future.

“Overcoming the anxiety that comes with auditioning is a difficult process, but the staff and guest artists at TXMTW taught me how to conquer my fear and put my best foot forward,” Julio explained.

Every summer, the Broadway artists that come to TXMTW offer valuable insight on the industry, share stories of their own successes and challenges, and provide meaningful feedback to each student on their skills.

During Julio’s camp experience, Broadway musical director Andy Einhorn (Cinderella, Sondheim on Sondheim, Light in the Piazza) and actress Mandy Gonzales (Hamilton, Wicked, Aida and In the Heights) were on hand to teach master classes and hear the students sing.

The anxiety built for Julio as he waited because he was the last student to perform. Finally, he took center stage and sang “Proud of Your Boy” from Aladdin. Right afterwards, Mandy Gonzalez looked straight at him and said, “See you in New York!”

Those five words stick with Julio today and the affirmation of his talent was a positive turning point for his confidence. Auditioning for college still took a lot of work—practicing, recording, traveling and staying calm despite stress and intimidation.

“Nothing was quite as rewarding as the email giving me the ‘yes’ that I had been hoping for,” Julio explained. “Especially when that ‘yes’ came from NYU.”

From his first musical theatre adventure in a high school production of Guys and Dolls to now studying in New York with classmates who enter the Hamilton lottery every weekend, Julio is truly an example of how dedication, talent and training can build a meaningful life in the arts.

Looking back, Julio says that TXMTW provided some of his favorite experiences in life. Working with experts, competing in the Musical Theatre “Olympics”, hanging out on weekends with peers while doing laundry—he loved every minute.

“The camp gave me the tools to shape myself and find my own style, allowing me to better understand my voice, body, and acting ability,” Julio said. “I believe that TXMTW played a huge role in helping me succeed in all of my recent musical theatre-related endeavors.”

And what’s next for Julio? In five years, he hopes to have his BFA in musical theatre and to be working in a touring company. After that, don’t be surprised if he lands the “EGOT” combination: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards!

Julio’s Tips for Young Musical Theatre Artists

  1. Don’t let the college audition process intimidate you and remember that every school is auditioning for you as well.
  2. Know what is required of you at every audition as soon as possible. The earlier you know what you need, whether it’s a specific song, monologue, etc., the longer you can work with your pieces and the more comfortable you will be in the audition room.
  3. Participate in TXMTW, because the experience you gain and skills you learn are invaluable for becoming a better performer and preparing you for the overall audition process.