Through the Audition Process With Elizabeth Gerken

by Elizabeth Gerken – Cartoonist

It’s the morning of auditions and my heart keeps beating faster every minute as I lay in bed under the mounds of blankets staring at the celling thinking of everything that could go wrong. My alarm beeps and nocks me out of my nervous daze and I lumber out of bed to get ready, trying to calm the anxiety just enough to get through the day. This works until about fourth period when my drama friends and I have class together and we can’t stop talking about what were doing for auditions and trying to weed as much information out of the people who had auditioned the pervious day in the hopes well be slightly more mentally prepared. However, much to my disappointment, none of this “investigating” clams my ever-increasing nerves in the slightest. For the next two periods I sit in uncomfortable chairs, desperately trying to push all my thoughts down for at least a second so I could grasp a bit of information from classes that will prove to be a waste if I can’t find a way to focus.

Finally, the school day is over and a whole new type of anxiety settles in as Mr. Chopyak explains how the auditions will work. We are dismissed to the space outside the PAC to wait to be individually called in to audition. People are pacing everywhere, reciting monologues, singing with their phones speakers up to their ear so their backtracking doesn’t mess anybody else up and the anxiety is palpable. My friends and I decide to practice our auditions in front of each other and offer advice, self-esteem boosters and emotional support before we are next on the chopping block.

After a wait that felt like a century, I was called in to go. My heart dropped and picked itself up again as I entered the doors to the sound of my friends cheering me on with words of luck and support. The room was silent, and Mrs. Wilson was sitting alone, in the middle of the fourth row marking down what I assumed to be notes from the previous person. My shake hands manage to hand her my audition papers and my knees somehow carry me to the stage. Mrs. Wilson is warm and kind trying to make me as comfortable as possible and to some extent it works. I introduce myself and the monologue ill be doing in my awkward try hard professional voice and she gives me the go ahead to start when I’m ready. After Taking a deep breath in a last-ditch attempt to calm myself down, I start and to my surprise it goes fairly well without any major mistakes. A sigh of relief comes out as quiet as I can make it because the first part was over, or at least I thought it was. After I was done, she applauded then asked me who the character was talking to. Taken aback by this new situation, I calmly explain the context and she says to do the beginning again but to think about the words like I was saying them for the first time. I do so, she compliments my choice of monologue and I walk along with Paige, the sound technician who was helping with auditions, to the band room where I would sing for Mr. Chopyak and Mr. Urmenita.

Sinning in front of anybody is horrifying no matter what the situation, but when you know that this could affect your placement in the hierarchy of parts, a whole new level of terror is reached. This was especially true for me since all I wanted was to audition and for once not be told the I was incredibly pitchy and needed to get better overall. So, I was thoroughly intimidated when I walked in to see the two of them sitting there waiting. I introduced myself after Mr. Urmenita asked, “Witch one are you?” then introduced my song and sang. I was a bit shaky out of nerves on some of the high parts but overall, I was proud of myself. This was reinforced when, upon me finishing the final note, Mr. Chopyak just said, “Beautiful.” At this point I was confident with my audition and the last thing that I had to do was have my range checked by Mr. Urmenita. I sang higher than I thought I could and not as low as I knew I could because I was still so scared my chest voice just seemed to not be willing to work.

They thanked me for auditioning and then dismissed me. A wave of relief crashed over me as I walked out of the band room with this huge weight l This was the first audition that I was confident

about and I was so incredibly proud of myself for even getting up and doing it. When I returned to the commons there was an influx of questions from friends about how I did and I was pleased to say it went well by my standards.

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