The Real Struggle of the Audition Process:

Jennifer Butler

After being on crew for a production of Deathtrap a year and a half ago, I decided that I wanted a chance to be onstage and would be auditioning for the spring show.  Now here comes my anxiety again, having never really had to audition for anything before.

So, audition day arrives and being anxious like I can get, I was the first one there. I mean literally the first person to arrive. I believe that I was there even before the audition staff. That ledme to being one of the first people to sign in, even after hiding in my car for as long as possible. After myself, about half a dozen others showed up to the audition and shortly after we were all called into the audition room.

In the audition room, we all took turns reading sides for different roles. What threw me off was that I ended up reading first and my nerves kicked into high gear. I thought I had done well, that was until I saw the others go. When the audition was over, I left thinking there was no way I was going to get cast based on what I saw. However, I did hold out hope until the official confirmation. I will admit that even though I had a feeling that the rejection was coming, I was still disappointed.

When it came to auditioning for the summer show, I made a promise to myself. That promise was that I would not be the first one there. Having only real audition under my belt, I had the mindset that if you show up first they (the director and producers) would make you go first.

Well I soon learned that was not always the case. For this audition, you either had to prepare a story or a song based on the part that you were auditioning for, along with the reading of sides. I was about the fourth or fifth person to arrive. I was thrilled about how the timing worked out and I was not the first one there.

After we were all welcomed into the audition room, the producer told us that we would then be auditioning in the order in which we signed up prior to that night. So low and behold, my name gets called first. I laughed it off, stood up and told my story. Afterwards, I felt like I did well and waited while everyone else took their turn. Then came the reading of the sides. That went well and I along with a few others were asked to stay for call backs. Even the call backs went well. I left that night feeling like I might actually get a role. Unfortunately, I did not get cast but was asked to work on the production team, which I was thrilled about even while being disappointed that I did not get cast. I now realize that the production team offer was a blessing in disguise but that’s a story for a different day.

Last but not least, was my audition for the fall show. This audition was the one I felt the most prepared for.  I read the script more than once and felt like I really knew the characters. Upon arrival for that evening, I discovered that I was not the first to arrive and sign in. That seemed to easy my nerves just a little bit, that was until the room started to fill up with lots of people. I knew that we weren’t all auditioning for the same rolesbut because of my anxiety that intensifies when I am a part of a large crowd.

I thought I did well, not my best but I was still satisfied with my audition. Unfortunately, with such a large audition pool, I did not get cast but became a part of the production team.

I have yet to have a chance to audition again but that day will come. For the next couple of shows I will be trying my hands at producing amongst other roles. As producer, I am to sit and be a part of the audition process from the other side of the table. This was a completely new experience for me but it made me realize, that no matter how prepared for the audition you are. The director will select who he or she feels best for the role. Not getting cast may have nothing to do with your audition, it may come down to who the director thinks is best suited for the role. Realizing this I hope will calm the nerves when it does come time to audition again. However what I do know for sure is that when the time comes, whether or not I am cast, I will still get to be a part of the show in some way. In the end that is all that really matters, because if you’re like me and love theatre, you love all aspects of a show.