Getting the Role You Weren't Expecting

Kate Simpson

  • OnStage Connecticut Columnist

Have you ever prepared for an audition for a certain role and found yourself auditioning for another role in a different vocal range, and a completely different character? I spent a long time focusing on one audition for a particular leading role that would have been a comfortable role.  

The music was I never expected that I would be cast in a completely different show in a different style. Easy for me as it was in my range. I never expected that I would be cast in a completely different show in a different style.  I'm sure it has happened to many of us.  As a classically trained soprano I'm accustomed to singing standard in the style of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I ended up not getting cast in this role, however, two days later I auditioned for the role of Mrs. Walker in The Who's Tommy.

I recently finished my performance for an incredible group. For someone who hasn't had many leading roles, I was ready for the challenge! I was in the show this summer in the ensemble performing as Nurse 2/Specialists Assistant. I knew the music quite well, so this was a helpful factor. Learning the music itself was a breeze for the most part after watching a more seasoned actress play Mrs. Walker. The challenging part for me was not so much in the vocal range I did my best with that. It was putting myself in that character's state of mind. I'm not a mother so I had those doubts and wondered if I would be believable as a mother to the audience.

Mrs. Walker goes through so many emotions in a matter of minutes throughout the show. It is amazing to me what she had to go through.

Playing this role was a learning experience that I will never forget, it has inspired me to branch out and step out of my comfort zone. If anyone has had similar experiences to this I would love to hear your stories.