Show Notes

Meet Michael Baxter, the Artistic Associate of The Muny, and the gatekeeper when it comes to Muny auditions. After discussing how Michael became a dancer and choreographer, we move into how his experiences – on both sides of the audition tables – have helped him craft a safe audition space at The Muny where everyone can be seen. We talk about the specific qualities he looks for during an audition and whether any of those qualities are unique to The Muny’s midwestern setting, as well as how auditions have changed over the years. Then Michael discusses the audition and callback process more in-depth, gives some great advice to those who are interested in auditioning for The Muny, and talks about the St. Louis and Broadway talent with ties to this St. Louis treasure.

“Collaboration itself is constructive eccentricity.” – Michael Baxter

Topic Cues

  • Michael’s background [1:37]
  • Michael’s history with The Muny begins [2:01]
  • How old was Michael when he knew that he wanted to dance for a living? [3:30]
  • Celebrated alumni of Troy High School [4:04]
  • How does Michael’s experience help with casting? [6:09]
  • How does The Muny see auditionees as individuals? [7:05]
  • What qualities does Michael look for when casting at The Muny? [8:08]
  • Is kindness, warmth, and being genuine unique to The Muny? [9:50]
  • Has Michael been in rooms that weren’t supportive? [10:51]
  • How have auditions changed at The Muny? [11:50]
  • What is a day like in the life of the Artistic Associate of The Muny? [12:57]
  • How does casting work for the entire Muny season? [13:56]
  • Actual Muny audition sounds – dance break! [15:33]
  • Breakdown of the audition process [15:49]
  • What happens at callbacks? (Hint: It’s like a second date) [19:17]
  • Discussion of how the casting process is constantly evolving [20:59] Quote section!
  • What would Michael tell someone who wants to audition well? [23:13]
  • The Muny has been around for 102 years…so it has lots of “family”! [24:59]
  • Michael explains one of the reasons that Muny auditions are different: St. Louis talent. [27:45]


Music used in this podcast:

Saturday Afternoon (ID 791) – Lobo Loco
Creative Commons License (by-nc-nd)

Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune

~ Michael Baxter’s favorite piece of classical music ~