Chronicles of An Aspiring Theatre Major: January

Kasie Patlove, Staff Writer

As I write this article, I am officially FREAKING OUT. I have four days left until my first college audition at…oh wait you must have forgotten the rules. I’m not revealing any of the colleges I will be auditioning at until after I’ve made my decision, so that I will not be pressured toward any particular school by anyone who may read these memoirs. For now, we’ll call the location of this first audition “College A”. Anyhow, on with the story!

I have since been academically accepted to two other universities, but I still need to audition my way into their theater programs. I’ve been rehearsing like crazy and trying to stay organized, so I’m ready to go.  This is not necessarily an easy task when you’ve been a nervous mess like I’ve been. Although theater is not physically demanding in the same way as sports, it is definitely not for lazy people. I have needed to get myself into top physical condition for these auditions and eventually for a career in the business of theater. All of my auditions will consist of a one-hour dance call. This means that you are taught a short dance combination by a teacher at the school and then asked to perform the dance the best you can in small groups of three or four.  Basically, I need to be in top shape so I can keep up for the entire hour and show what I can do when it’s my time to perform. I go to a gym at least four times a week working on cardio, flexibility, and strength training, as well as lots of additional stretching at home. Also, on weekends I go downtown to a studio called Koresh Dance, where I take three hours of intense ballet and jazz classes in order to keep up the technique and endurance that I will need for my auditions. Now, seeing as we’re at an average temperature of 35 degrees with extremely windy weather, I’ve taken many precautions so I don’t get sick. If you get sick, you have to reschedule your audition, and that’s just one big mess. Hand sanitizer, scarves, Airborne, hot tea, and sleep have become my dear friends.

I have also had to put aside a ton of extra time to prepare for this first audition. I had to record and edit an mp3 track of my two audition songs so that they were just the right volume and speed and put them on a CD that I will use at the audition. These are rather unusual circumstances, as normally at my auditions there will be a staff member there to serve as my accompanist. However, since my first audition is so close to the holiday seasons, most of the faculty for my first audition will still be on winter break. Who’d have thought that even at a highly competitive theater program, there wouldn’t be an available teacher to play the piano even while everyone else is on break? Regardless, I need to rehearse my songs with the music, so I have my timing and acting just right. I need to be able to do it in my sleep! I have also been practicing how I will enter the room to introduce myself and the pieces I will be performing. My entrance will be a crucial part of my audition for multiple reasons. First of all, I will most definitely be wearing high heels because I’m short. Not just like a little small, I’m like five feet on a good day. Believe it or not, an actor’s size can often come into play when being cast for parts, so I’m doing everything I can to appear as average height as possible for my auditions. The second obstacle will be something I’ve known how to do for quite a while: walking. I surely don’t want the first impression I make at a college audition to be falling flat on my face on the way into the room, and considering I have a knack for taking a spill or two now and again, I’ve been extra careful to practice every step to assure that I’ll get them right. My entrance has to show that I’m calm, cool, and collected, but also it must portray me as a friendly and likeable person. Basically, I want the auditors to think, “I like this girl. It would be nice to work with her for four years”.  It is also very important to dress professionally, while still being comfortable and showing off your personality. Because of my height (or lack thereof), I want to market myself as mature, yet still fun and quirky.

And of course, as the most important part in any endeavor, I had to pick out the perfect outfit. I feel most confident and comfortable wearing dresses, so I’ve decided on a bright purple dress with a black sweater, tights, and heels. Same goes for dance, but I’ve chosen a bright red top and black bottoms, which is appropriate and will not hinder movement. So, tonight my big mission is packing. I need to be super prepared with extra clothes, sheet music, snacks, water, and makeup in case of any emergencies. My mother has made it her job to make checklists galore (not that my obsessive compulsive self is complaining!) and help me organize so that I don’t forget anything. We are flying up to College A on Friday to account for delays and other road bumps that may occur.  At 8:30 Saturday morning, it’s off to the school to begin audition number one! It’s almost intermission for my story Harriton, and all I can do is trust the work that I’ve done and hope for the best!