Examining the terrors of musical auditions and participation


Ashley Ortizcazarin

McCracken dramatically sits and reflects on her young theatre career.

Lizzie McCracken, Staff Writer

It is no secret that BSM lives for drama, in the theater that is. The Senior High has a total of 3 shows a year, the Fall Play, One-Act, and the Spring Musical. This year, the Spring Musical is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I have never auditioned for a production while at BSM, until now. I am a senior who hasn’t been in a musical since 8th Grade. I thought it would be a fun activity to add to my after-school regimen, but I was in way over my head. From auditions, to blocking, music, and choreography, it’s not as easy at it sounds.

I soon realized that the dancing style in Cinderella is definitely not within my dancing skill set

— McCracken

Some students spend weeks practicing to find their perfect song and choreography, but not me. I didn’t really even know that I was going to audition until the week of, and didn’t know what song I was going to sing until hours before. Considering the fact that I’m not in choir, nor have I ever auditioned before, I knew that I wasn’t going to get a lead. It wouldn’t matter if I were Beyonce, without previous theater experience, I had no chance getting a main part. After arriving at auditions, we first learned a short dance number, and performed it in groups of four infront of everyone. I am in no way a professional dancer, but I usually know how to bust a move when I need to. I soon realized that the dancing style in Cinderella is definitely not within my dancing skill set. I managed to stay on beat for the majority of the time, and got through the dancing with only a couple of hitches. A lot of gavottes later (a term I did not know beforehand, but it means a medium-paced French style of dance), we began to line up outside for the singing portion.

I had not been nervous all day until it was almost my turn. I was number 15, meaning 14 people sang before me. There were mixed responses from the auditionees when they left the theater, some feeling confident, and others beating themselves up because they didn’t hit the B flat quite right. I thought it would be easy considering the fact that hardly anyone was listening, but I was wrong. I completely choked. I had never cared that much about my singing voice until that moment, and as I walked out of the theater I became someone I had never thought I would become. I too, was that person beating themselves up because they didn’t hit that B flat. Around 15 more people took their turn after me, so I then had some time to cool down and eventually realize I didn’t really have much of a shot anyways.

Then it was time to read lines, which is pretty self explanatory. We got assigned to read certain parts in groups, and went on stage to read them. This is when I mixed up upstage and downstage, which are theater terms that are extremely misleading. Contrary to popular belief, downstage is actually the front of the stage, and upstage is the back. Once I got the hang of the terminology, that portion went smoothly.

After all was said and done, the director told us that the cast list would be up by the end of the day the next day. I was anxiously refreshing my email, hoping my name would appear somewhere on that list. We got an email at roughly 4PM, and I don’t think I have ever tapped my phone as fast as I did in that moment. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and there is my name. In the ensemble. It’s no Petunia in my 8th Grade play of Alice in Wonderland, but I’m happy. I am glad I got a part (even though everyone got one), and I plan on being the best townsperson BSM has ever seen.