Posted by: Caty B (February 27, 2010)
My newest experience of all: Chicago Unifieds.
I went to audition for the U of Oklahoma, U of Michigan, and Point Park University. I got through all 3, plus a walk in with Penn State. I got there midday on Jan 31, took the train from the airport to nearby the Palmer House Hilton where the auditions were and where I stayed with my mom... just like almost every other kid. It was quite potentially the most hectic place to be. If it was just you and one other person in an elevator or walking through a hallway or maybe at the 7-11 on the corner, the conversation was polite, things like "Are you here for auditions? Me too. I'm auditioning at X-Y-Z. Break a leg!" which I will say was nice. HOWEVER, if you were at an audition or on a floor in which a ton of kids were auditioning, every look was scathing as though you were being sized up. Stage mothers are terrifying.
It was a bizarre experience from the standpoint that I didn't expect there to be like 500 kids and their parents there (there were people warming up everywhere. I walked by the room where you get ice and heard a soprano doing scales). But I will say that you are among your peers in a place like this. It's just odd to be one of the most outgoing people in a theatre magnet program and then you get to somewhere like this and you're one of the more meek. The people who are comfortable automatically in that situation freak me out.
My first audtion was OU. One 1min monologue, two 32bar songs. I did reasons to be pretty, "Raunchy," and "Just a Housewife." The one persopn in there evaluating me asked how my years of dance training I'd had, I said none because I was thinking high school and formal classes, which makes that statement very true. He had me do my thing, told it was excellent, but w/o dance training there was no point in giving me a callback. He then proceed to have me list my other schools and told me they would be looking for the same thing and wouldn't accept me, so I should go try to get a walkin at Evansville for their theatre school. As you can probably guess, this ruined the entire experience for me and is probably what made me so introverted during the trip. AND as you probably guess, I got downstairs to my mom, told her, and went to the bathroom to shed a few tears in private. OU man, if you're out there, try sending a letter next time. That was completely unprofessional of you.
My next audition (after frantically trying to find walkins) was Michigan. Prepare Two 2min monologues and Two 16bar songs: They'll pick. It made me insanely nervous to go in there after what the guy from OU had said, it being my top choice and all. I went in, they organized an info session for the students and parents complete with packets on the school, they do the session, I want to go to the school even more, and we break for the dance call. "If you don't have dance training, don't worry. We're looking for trainability" I HAVE THAT!! TAKE ME!! We did a few ballet combos (very tiny ones that were not hard. don't freak out.) and then a short MT style dance to New York, New York. You betcha I felt those "The Battery's Down" vibes. I didn't really screw up. For being untrained and having no clue what I was doing, I did rather well. This was also the simplest/most fun dance call I had. We all then went outside of the room and waited for our scheduled times for the monologue/song part. I checked back with Penn State for a walkin, they said the next day and I then came back and waited some more. I heard a ton of songs that I considered for auditions and thanked God that didn't pick them. I got in there, gave my music to the accompanist, she was super nice (some accompanists have trouble smiling after a while. I feel them.), got up there, they asked what I had prepared (monologue wise) and they chose the one from The Waiting Room by Lisa Loomer. It went well. They asked if I'd worked on it with my acting teacher I said a few times, but mostly on my own (name that musical). and then he asked me to sing "Just a Housewife" which went well, but then he had me do "Raunchy" which was better. We talked about the area I was from cause he'd been to a school near there (Pebblebrook...there was also a crazy talented girl from my Emerson audition that had been in my dance call for Mich that goes to Pebblebrook. Their Aida from Aida.) and honestly, that audition was probably my best.
The next day I went to check back in with Penn State, she still had me on the waitng list. I went to my Point Park audition. One 1min monologue (reasons), one 32bar song (Raunchy). I went in, the women helping organize it were super nice, making my ajudicator, Mr. Grumpy Gills, look like a total grouch. I got through my monologue and half of my song w/o him even looking at me. He took notes the whole time (it drove me insane!). A couple hours later (no penn audition during that time. but I did get lunch at a super crowded, super tastey bakery) I had my dance call. Quite possibly the hardest of my dance calls. It was lead by an alumni who is now a dance captain at the Chicago ballet and it was in a tiny room. Imagine this: 30 kids in a 40 by 20 foot space and the ajudicator is at the end of the 40 so we're traveling across the 20 ft. AWFUL. OH and did I mention these dance calls are on carpet? so yeah. it wasn't too horrible. My entire group forgot the dance at one specific point, but I mean, what're you going to do? We were the first group. They held a short info session afterwards, making Oscar the Grouch look like actually a pretty nice guy whom I'd enjoy working with.
I actually got a Penn State audition. It was short and sweet. They film the auditions. They were nice and the alum who helped me get the audition was so sweet. I got a letter from them the other day though rejecting me. At least I hadn't turned in the application for the school yet.
SO. that's what it's like. The most stressful 3 days on your life. I'll tell you about Arizona some other time. I'm supposed to hear from Point Park and Michigan this week or next week!
Much love and good thoughts-
Posted by: Charlie B (February 23, 2010)
Hey, you found my blog! And you're reading it! Hi.
I enjoy writing and I have another blog at another site where I write about some pretty random stuff, but seeing as this is a theatre page and I'm just getting set up with a major theatre project, it seemed like a good idea to blog it on here.
I've been thinking about this project fo rmonths and it's finally happening. I'm a primary school teacher at a small country school that has previously had no experience with the arts. I love theatre and I'm very involved in the amateur theatre community. The school recognised my passion and I teach high school drama in addition to my primary classes, and this year I have been given the opportunity to direct a school production. After considering a few options, I had my heart set on Seussical Jr although I was a bit sceptic as to how the school would go with such a show when they have had such little experience with performing. But I have been given a great suport network and budget, I've been encouraged to do something I"m passionate about, and so I have finally acquired the licence and I'm ready to begin!
Posted by: Kaitlin Davis (February 23, 2010)
The President of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Michael M. Kaiser, will be making a stop at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, as part of his nationwide speaking tour. He will be addressing the issues facing nonprofit performing arts groups today.
The event is free to the public, and will be followed by a Q&A period. For more information or to RSVP, click here.
Posted by: Matt Spencer (February 19, 2010)
A new week bring yet a new schedual. We're only 27 days away from opening Guys & Dolls and there is MUCH to be done.
We have a dance rehearsal tomorrow morning then next week is cram packed with act two scenes and dances.
Mr. East, our school's male beauty padgent is tonight, and yours truley, along with the other nathan, a Sky, and a Nicley, are competing. Which makes for some intresting scheudling delmas.
We're working with two very diffrent parts of the school and have to work on their projects with as much umf as possible.
So I'll have to use "World Peace" as a awnser.
On to other news, I auditioned for Urinetown at the Delaware All-State Theater about four weeks ago. Yesterday Morning I found out I'll be playing Tiny Tom in June at the DuPont Theater.
See you in rehearsal.
Posted by: Cindy Ripley (February 18, 2010)
As I watch some of the incredible challenges at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I can’t help but make the comparisons to the process of creating a valuable theater experience with kids. You do the same things on a daily basis, many of you using kids from a complete range of abilities to boot! They learn, they listen, they interact with other kids they never would meet, they keep a schedule, they work as a team, they create something new and brilliant, friends and family are there for them, they have a blast and they NEVER forget it. You create gold, silver and bronze medalists on an ongoing basis accompanied by heartfelt stories that Bob Costas would relish. I heard many of these stories from teachers in Texas this past week at TMEA. You deserve medals in your own right for your tireless efforts to give kids what they need despite budgets, enrollments, space issues and time. Many of you however are not conserving your most important resource, YOU. Get help, reward yourself at least in a small way and empower others to do what you do along the way. Sounds easy, but I KNOW it is not. Those of you that fit into any of these descriptions, please think about joining us for a Junior Theater Teaching Intensive this summer. We deal with the whole package, including preserving YOU! They happen on a weekend in NYC and Houston. Info to follow this week!
Those of you who continually want to give your kids more opportunities and are located in the tri-state area around NYC, consider one of our one-week summer programs. Auditions are coming up March 13 in NYC. We all direct different shows and it truly is one of MY personal favorite things to do! Info from Lindsay at iTheatrics to follow.
Enjoy these Olympics, a signature event of our culture that all are proud of. Thanks for simulating them on a personal basis with kids all over the world! Cindy
iTheatrics 2010 Summer Auditions!!!!
We are thrilled to announce our upcoming auditions for the iTheatrics 2010 Summer Junior Theater Academy Workshops will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010 from 10am—6pm in Midtown Manhattan with callbacks happening on Sunday, March 14, 2010.
This exciting summer features new adaptations created in partnership with Music Theater International, Disney Theatrical Group and Tams-Witmark. Whether you prefer “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or the pop hits from Disney’s Camp Rock, there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone’s tastes!
· The Wizard of Oz JR. (July 5 – July 9)
· Singin’ in the Rain JR. (July 12 – July 16)
· Disney’s Camp Rock JR. (July 19 – July 23)
· Disney’s My Son Pinocchio (July 26 – July 30)
· Annie KIDS (July 26 – July 30)
· Hairspray JR. (August 2 – August 6)
To sign up for an audition time, email the student’s name and grade to Lindsay@itheatrics.com by March 3rd. Auditions will be done in small groups and you should expect to stay for approximately 90 minutes for your audition. You will receive a confirmation time, what to prepare, and the exact location of the auditions by March 4th. Audition slots will be available on a first come first serve basis and there are a limited number of slots available. Make sure to sign up as soon as possible!
Posted by: Kaitlin Davis (February 17, 2010)
As someone who has been involved in the performing arts for the majority of my lifetime, I can speak firsthand to its' incredible power. My experiences with musical theater allowed me to identify a personal strength and provided a creative and positive emotional outlet. Not to mention, I've met some pretty nifty friends and had the privilege of working with some equally nifty people. However, there are many situations in which the arts have acted as more than an encouraging extracurricular. In an ever growing number of cases, the arts provide meaning and power and the ability to see beyond tomorrow and into a promising future.
Such was the case with Denisse Polanco, a student at Bronx Prep Charter School. I recently stumbled upon an article by Polanco's former teacher and I was touched once again by the transformative power of the theater. A student who never gave college a second thought was empowered to continue with her education and look to horizons that had never previously existed in her world. She was given the key to a greater and brighter world.
Stories like this one remind me each day why I believe so strongly in the importance of the arts in our classrooms and beyond.
For more on Denisse's story, click here.
Posted by: Matt Spencer (February 15, 2010)
So, due to this crazy snow storm we've been having in PA, our rehearsal process for Guys & Dolls has been a little unorthadox.
We didn't have rehearsal last week, but we start rehearsal again this after noon. Right before the next strom.
We start a frantic rehearsal schedual this week, with a bunch of make up rehearsals from cancled practices.
Lets see what Mother Nature has in store for our adventure in Guys & Dolls
Posted by: Kaitlin Davis (February 12, 2010)
This weekend, lovebirds of all shapes and sizes will celebrate their affections with chocolates, flowers and diamonds (wishful thinking?!...just kidding!). For my darling and I, Valentine's Day has always been the perfect excuse to squeeze a show into our frequently crowded schedules. A few years ago, we caught the enchanting Maria Friedman in one of the last Broadway performances of "The Woman in White." More recently, I absolutely adored Christine Ebersole in "Grey Gardens." (Yes, we have questionable taste in musicals where romance is concerned!) Even our first Valentine's Day together was steeped in theatrics, as we were performing in a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" over the holiday. Thus begs the question: what should we see this year?! Just kidding! I'm more interested in how the magical world of theater has played a role in your Valentine's Day celebrations. Cute stories? I'd love to hear them! Post them here, or e-mail me: email@example.com and I'll compile the best results in an upcoming blog. Oh...and Happy Valentine's Day!
Posted by: Rodney Robbins (February 9, 2010)
So, I'm working a new play about a man with multiple personality disorder, and I'm writing a book of seriously silly poems for kids. This morning, a cool title pops into my head. Here is th poem that goes with it. I think it's a good poem for actors and playwrights.
Today My Name is Astrid
(C) 2010 by Rodney Robbins
Today my name is Astrid
I am queen of all I see.
From the foot lights to the balcony,
Everyone’s watching me.
Today my name is Astrid,
But yesterday was just fine:
I was Ace the race car driver,
Passing on an inside line.
Today my name is Astrid.
Before I was Jamal:
A camel driver from Cairo.
I was black and thin and tall.
Today my name is Astrid,
But my mother calls me Jane.
I asked her, "Where’s your ticket?"
She doesn’t need me to explain.
Today my name is Astrid,
And my mother is Tim Bucktoo.
Tim’s the symphony conductor,
And gives me my opening cue.
Today my name is Astrid.
I sing like an angel and then ...
When the concert’s over,
It’s just me and mom again.