A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Auditions



When I was writing my post about how I miss singing in a choir, I almost got derailed and started talking about auditions. So I decided to make the topic of auditions a separate post.

Growing up, I was always in school choirs and bands. I also performed in community show choirs and musicals. Then of course in college I was a music major. As you can imagine, I have attended A LOT of auditions.

Putting yourself out there to audition for things takes a lot of guts. It teaches you how it feels to be rejected... sometimes over and over again. One thing I have learned from all those auditions is that 99% of the time, there’s always going to be someone better than me, or more fit for the part. I don’t say this to be a debby downer, I say this because I am a realist!

Even if I didn’t always get the part I wanted, my auditions usually went as well as they could have because I prepared. But I do have one audition horror story...

When I was in my late 20s, I decided to audition for a chorus part in the show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Allenbury Playhouse. I’m not sure if Allenbury is considered regional theater, but I knew they sometimes cast local performers as chorus members in their shows. My point is, it’s a professional theater but it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to audition there. I prepared a song and a monologue, which I performed for the director and all the other people there to audition. When I was done, the director asked me, “Aren’t there any community theaters around here you could audition for?”

WOW. BURN.

I don’t know if he asked me that question to be helpful or hurtful. My resume was in his hands, so if he had glanced at it, he would have seen all the community theater shows I had already done. If he was trying to be mean, it was uncalled for. Maybe I sucked and had no business being at the audition, but all he had to say was something like, “Thanks, you may be hearing from us in the next few days if we have a part for you.”

I remember my first audition ever. I sang You Are Sixteen Going On Seventeen from The Sound of Music. It was an odd choice for a 9 year old! I auditioned for a part in the show Oliver! and was ecstatic to be cast as a girl and not a boy! (Sometimes community theaters can’t find enough boys to fill all the parts in Oliver! so some girls have to play boys.)

When I was 13, I auditioned for The Will Rogers Follies but didn’t get a part because they thought I was too young to be a Zigfield Girl. But about a week into rehearsals, one of the Zigfield Girls quit so they offered me the part! “They have to wear skimpy clothes,” the director warned my mom. She didn’t care!


Mom, brother Julian, me, and Dad

The oldest Zigfield girl and the youngest!


One summer during college, I auditioned for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown but didn’t get any part at all. I ended up playing the bass in the pit orchestra... on the keyboard. That was the only time I ever played in a pit, so at least I had a new experience. This was the first summer since I was 13 that I wasn’t in a musical so I was very sad. I don’t remember what I ended up doing with all my spare time that summer.

In college, I auditioned for IUP’s production of Cabaret. I LOVE Cabaret and really wanted to be in it but didn’t get a part. I was very sad, but understood. IUP had a great music and theater department so between the two, there was a lot of talent.  I never auditioned for a show at my college again. I just knew that I wouldn’t get in.

Because I have done the choreography for many musicals, I have found myself on the other side of the audition experience- the casting committee. And now as a music teacher, I sometimes audition students to sing solos in my 4th grade chorus. I always make it a point to congratulate every student who auditions because it is very brave of them to put themselves out there and go for it.


The reason I bring this all up is because I am thinking of auditioning for a show this spring! Theater Harrisburg is doing Hairspray. I love that show and would love to be a dancer. We’ll see if I pull the trigger and go for it! I haven’t done a show in a long time because I love to sleep, but lately I can’t sleep anyway, so who cares!?

Have you ever auditioned for anything?
What's your favorite musical?

16 comments:

  1. I say go for it! What do you have to lose? You don't know unless you put yourself out there like you have done plenty of other times. I remember when I was in 10th grade maybe even 9th I tried out to be a part of the musical I think it was the Wizard of Oz and didn't make it. Which I was perfectly fine with that. Because Freshman and Sophomores usually didn't make it unless you were in Chorus and I was not. But I thought it was worth a shot to try.

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    1. Definitely worth a shot to try! Luckily I went to a small school so I always got into the musicals BUT I know a lot of the big schools around here it is very competitive and freshmen and sophomores are lucky to get in.

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  2. Life is too short not to go for what you want.

    I grew up in choirs & bands as well. Played the flute. Sang in my temple choir til I graduated HS. Played in the band in college, but now my flute just gathers dust. Played in state band several years, so yes, lots of auditioning. I actually think that's part of why I like running -- it allows me to be competitive, even if only against myself (and anyone I'm trying to beat at the end of a race).

    I did play in the Orchestra for Man of La Mancha my senior year in HS, which was a ton of fun (and work!).

    I was good, but not good enough, so I know what you mean. I chose not to go to school for music. I have also never acted. Not my thing at all.

    Lately I've been thinking about learning guitar . . .

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    1. State band! You must have been very talented and worked really hard! My clarinet just gathers dust now too. I get it out at school but don't play it much.

      It sounds like we both have had a very musical upbringing! I never saw Man of La Mancha. I can't say I had fun playing in the pit (I wanted to be IN the show) but I'm glad I had the experience.

      My dream was to be on Broadway... now I teach elem. music so I do get to "perform" each day hahaha just in a different way.

      I often wanted to take up guitar but never got around to it. When my school purchased ukuleles for my classroom, I had to teach myself how to play it because, well, I was going to teach the students how to play it. The uke is sooooo fun and easy to learn. It's definitely a good beginning string instrument because it only has 4 strings. String instruments do NOT come naturally to me.

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  3. This is really cool!! When did you start doing performances? and why? When did you figure out you had an amazing singing voice?

    It takes A LOT of courage to audition for anything, and I admire you so much for that!

    Also, your hair looks so good in that picture!

    I suck at any performances stuff. I tried out for a dance group in Penn State, but they sucked. they showed us the routine once, and expect us to perform it the next day. I didn't make the group, but I was glad I didn't.

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    1. When I was in second grade, my mom took me to see a local community theater production of Annie. I was in love with musical theater since! The theater did Grease the next summer, so obviously I couldn't be in it. But the summer after that, they did Oliver and from 4th grade all through college I was usually in about 2 shows per year. After college, I have only done 3 shows- Rent, Rocky Horror, and Godspell.

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  4. You've done a lot of auditioning! I'm not sure I'd be brave enough for that. The only thing I can remember ever trying out for was a cheerleader in school. It was a fail. Not sure why, maybe my friends were doing it. It was out of my comfort zone really. I hope you go for that audition. Why not!
    What part did you play in Rocky Horror?

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    1. Omg I auditioned to be a cheerleader too! I forgot about that! I played the part of Columbia.

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  5. I just saw the musical Dear Evan Hansen and I LOVED it! Have you listened to the soundtrack yet? You should listen to "Waving Through A Window" on youtube! Let me know what you think. The musical is emotional and I was amazed with the talent of the small cast of 8.

    I think you should audition....and then blog about the experience!

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    1. I have not even heard of the musical! Thanks for the rec, I will look it up.

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  6. Oh wow, it's been a long while since I auditioned for anything, it must have been back in highschool and it was such a horrible experience (I didn't have a good relationship with the drama teacher) and I never wanted to do it again afterwards. Rejection is hard.
    Kudos to you for putting yourself out there. It's indeed very brave!

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    1. I am sorry you had a bad experience! It can hurt being rejected even if it wasn't a bad experience. :(

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  7. how fun! I love musicals. not sure my favorite, but I love RENT, Wicked and Les Mis... I've seen them all too many times and I'd see them all again! I can't remember the last time I auditioned for anything - maybe high school? Or junior high? I was in the chorus in a few musicals in junior high (Hello Dolly and The Wizard of Oz) but only minor roles :)

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    1. I love Rent as well! I was in it several years ago and it was a dream come true.

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  8. You are so talented you should absolutely audition!!
    I love The King and I and i loved Blood Brothers too

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    1. I never saw Blood Brothers but I do know some songs from The King and I.

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