Auditioning & the Power of Training

Erin Malody

OnStage Minnesota Columnist

I’ve been taking voice lessons since Halloween.  I’ve never been a complete triple threat because I knew my voice wasn’t the best.  It was actually my greatest weakness of the three.  

In January I went for an open dance call at the Ordway.  I knew it would be a long shot, but I had to try.  Not just because it was the Ordway because their next season includes Jesus Christ Super Star and Annie.  

I worked with my voice teacher on a 16 bar cut of Fever in case I was asked to sing.  I doubted that I’d get picked, but I wanted to be prepared, just in case. Plus, my resume needed some updating including adding my voice lessons to my training section.  

When the day of the audition came I started to have doubts.  Should I even bring my music?  I most likely wouldn’t make the cut after all.  In the end I brought it along.  Better to bring your music and not need it then to need it and not have it right?

There were at least 30 other dancers at the audition.  I actually made a pretty embarrassing mistake during the first number. Right after the routine ended I somehow fell right on my butt. Thankfully I recovered easily enough.  No one even saw it.  Then came the contemporary routine.  It was actually a mix of rock and hip hop.  What made the pressure worse was that it was to a song from Superstar.  I’ve been a fan of Webber since I was a child.  I felt that I had to do my best to do justice to Superstar and Webber.  

After I finished the routine I asked one of the other girls how she thought I did.  She explained that I’d made a few mistakes in the routine, but so did she.  A few minutes later it was the moment of truth.  The Artistic Director came forward with a big pile of resumes.  I could actually see mine.  Right on the bottom of the pile.  I swallowed hard and started silently praying,”Please don’t be the pile of people who didn’t make it.”

Then a miracle happened.  That pile was the people who were asked to stay!  When the director got to my resume he asked me, “Can we hear you sing before we do anything else?”   This was the moment that I’d been wishing for.  I can’t tell you how excited I was.  I hurried back to the waiting room to get my music, still flying high.  My first Ordway Audition and somehow I’d made the cut.

Before I sang the Artistic Director told me,” We put you through because of your voice lessons. We saw that you’d had training and knew we wanted to her you sing.”  When I performed my rendition of Fever everyone at the table was smiling.   I left feeling that maybe, just maybe I might have a chance at getting cast in my Ordway debut.

 If you think that your classes/lessons/workshops won’t help you in auditions think again.  Put those things on your resume as soon as you can.  Especially if you have a big audition coming up. If I hadn’t put my voice lessons on my resume I would not have gotten the closest thing I’ve ever gotten to a callback.