Columbia Heights, Minnesota
By Francisco Rivera, iLander Staff Reporter
Sweaty palms. Butterflies. Twitchy fingers. These are common experiences for young, hopeful actors as they audition for a part in the newest CHHS Drama Club production. Trying out for the spring musical is a long process, but what is it actually like?
Auditioning begins with an informational meeting where the director, English teacher Mrs. Jill Jungers, reviews logistics with those interested in participating. She briefly describes the show and explains the roles. Finally, and most importantly, she hands out the music and script that is used to conduct the play. These materials can, and should, be looked over in the participant’s free time so he or she can be prepared to audition.
Next, the music coordinators for the show host several music sessions where hopefuls are given a chance to practice with the very same people who will be judging them a few days later. These music sessions are optional, but offer great opportunity. If you cannot attend any of the music sessions, you will find yourself at a significant disadvantage.
After having worked hard on the materials given, the next step is to finally audition. For the first day of auditions, the script and dancing portions were tackled. In about half-an-hour, everyone was taught a section of a full-length dance routine and was asked to repeat it for the directors.
“The worst part about auditions is when you’ve just finished," said freshman Brooke Malisheski. "All you can think about is how much you sucked."
For the script half of the day, everyone is split into small groups of five or six and asked to read various scenes. After each reading, different students are asked to read different parts. So, everyone is given a chance to read the parts available to them before finally being dismissed for the day.
“All of the anticipation builds to an anti-climax,” said sophomore Taylor Harry. “You practice and practice, but you only get one real shot. You feel confident and ready to go, but once you get up there it’s like you suddenly become stupid.”
The following day is reserved for "callbacks." After completing the basic audition, you may or may not be asked to come back and read even more lines, but this time for a specific character. Callbacks are notoriously high-stress as you can start to see aspiring actors competing for the same role.
“Callbacks are so different from auditions,” said senior Jamie James. "You can really feel the pressure. It’s like you’ve made it to the finals in something and you really want to win. It can be hard, because you can start to see who is being compared to who."
Finally, the next day, a cast list is posted and a verdict is reached. At last, auditions are over and the real show may begin.
(Photo: CHHS students Elizabeth Miske, Jesse McCormick and Tyler Cecil, from left to right, anxiously await an audition. Photo by Francisco Rivera.)