My Actor's Perspective: Part 1 - Before the Audition

Jennifer Kuzmeskas

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

Here it is, one week till auditions…I’m nervous, but I keep telling myself it’s too early to be nervous so I try to play it cool.  I’ve researched the show, chosen the part(s) I’m interested in, chose an audition song and keep rehearsing it over and over again. Will it ever be good enough, is it what the director will be looking for, is it close enough to being “in the style of the show!?” I mean I know I can sing it in my car, but can I sing it in front of the audition committee?  Why does it always sound so different when you sing for other people?  

Aaahhhhh community theatre, such a rewarding and cruel place, all at the same time.  Before I get ahead of myself, how about an introduction, my name is Jennifer, I did a few community theatre productions when I was kid, got away from it for a LONG time and then fell back into it in the fall of 2006.  I caught the “bug” and theatre has been my second home ever since.  The world of community theatre is a place like no other; some of my closest friends are also my toughest competition, the director can be your best friend and auditioning for him/her can be worse than auditioning for a stranger, yet when all is said and done it’s an incredible experience. 

The Upstagers in Del Rio, TX

The Upstagers in Del Rio, TX

The idea of this column has been brewing in my head for quite a while. Community theatre is such a unique experience that so many of us share in and so many others wonder “why we do it” that I wanted to share what it’s like…day to day! For many of us the theatre is a place to relieve stress, to spend time with friends, create something we are passionate about and escape from everyday life for just a little while.  

As a community theatre actor/actress most of us also have full time jobs, families to take care of, doctor’s appointments, laundry, dinner to get on the table and so much more.  Yet, in the midst of an already busy life, we find the time to include 1-4 nights of rehearsal (we won’t discuss tech week yet), time to learn lines, time to learn music, time to learn blocking, a set building/painting night here and there, perhaps some time to gather props, design a playbill, sew costumes, design a poster and so much more.  Not only do we do all of that, but we call it fun…and mean it. 

In this blog I am going to follow my path beginning from pre-audition through performance (assuming that I make it onto the cast list, if not, this will end after auditions) and possibly a bit beyond.  I want to cover the nerves of auditioning, the reconnecting with former cast-mates along with the making of friends with new cast-mates, the trials and tribulations of the rehearsal process, the stress it can put on life, the excitement of performing and post show withdrawal. As is with the rehearsals, some posts will be longer than others, some will contain more content than others, but they should all share an experience and make you feel like you are taking this journey with me.

So back to it being a week before auditions. Logistically, I really need to make sure my theatre resume is up to date, I have a good head shot printed and I should check and see if I can fill out the audition form before I get there.  And that song, I need to make sure that song is ready.