The Thoughts in Your Head as you Prepare for Juries
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The Thoughts in Your Head as you Prepare for Juries

As Told By Spongebob

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The Thoughts in Your Head as you Prepare for Juries
Courtesy of Kishwaukee College

I am a theatre major and a voice performance minor. I also attended a performing arts high school for musical theatre. As a result, I have had a fair share of experience in the jury process. No, this has nothing to do with a court of law. Juries, if you are not majoring in some area of the performing arts, are high-stakes performance-based final exams, usually performed before a “jury” of faculty in your department. Some schools might call these performances “boards,” “evaluations,” or “panels.”

If you’re a BFA acting major, you might be required to perform at least two monologues, or occasionally a scene with a partner. In my voice minor, I am required to have eight classical pieces “memorized, prepared, and performance ready.” Sometimes, these juries can be a significant portion of your grade in a class. In some instances, these juries can determine whether you get to continue in your program.

Here is a list of experiences we performance majors all faced as we go through the notions of passing our juries:

1. When you have to complete so much paperwork

This paperwork can range from a character analysis for acting or musical theatre pieces or translations of your pieces in a foreign language for classical voice (both word-for-word and a poetic translation), not to mention copying all of your pieces (with scoring, analysis, and/or translations) to be placed in a notebook to be reviewed by your professors. The tedium of this work can drive you mad to the point where you feel excited when you write one letter onto paper or a Word document.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F18%2F636150807669214824-48959282_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=287&h=148288162d8b07b4d33a79428f695ce578bf1b630ea1454096e1115df7a5f03e&size=980x&c=2665840447 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F18%252F636150807669214824-48959282_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D287%26h%3D148288162d8b07b4d33a79428f695ce578bf1b630ea1454096e1115df7a5f03e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2665840447%22%7D" expand=1]

2. When you (ironically) get sick...

Despite taking so much Vitamin C and Zinc during the semester, and have to rest your voice in hopes that you do not sound like a velociraptor in the coming weeks. Oh, the woe of being around germ-infested college kids!

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F18%2F636150808785578728-986150601_giphy-1.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=964&h=4b53639dad877c14138308022a4e6efa8ba6a49967829acea9631ca8e6006143&size=980x&c=2701122399 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F18%252F636150808785578728-986150601_giphy-1.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D964%26h%3D4b53639dad877c14138308022a4e6efa8ba6a49967829acea9631ca8e6006143%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2701122399%22%7D" expand=1]

3. When your hands are tied because of all the demands you have as a student

These demands may range from a week of tech for a mainstage show, three concerts back to back, recital attendance (yes, that's a class), music theory or script analysis exams, or exams in your gen eds.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F18%2F6361509671316032041708813061_giphy-2.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=983&h=8bc28772d92bc9c8b4e7dfd0a7b7257f649def70d2addf0406f2494fed6641ac&size=980x&c=2544544572 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F18%252F6361509671316032041708813061_giphy-2.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D983%26h%3D8bc28772d92bc9c8b4e7dfd0a7b7257f649def70d2addf0406f2494fed6641ac%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2544544572%22%7D" expand=1]

4. When you wish you could just audition professionally already

It's not like you need a degree to be an actor/singer/musician, right?

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F18%2F6361509702205516491888775904_giphy-3.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=247&h=53b41c6f99fc902a1bf9d4450debd6e371363e21fae6e87c3099df4b10ad61a4&size=980x&c=4130463643 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F18%252F6361509702205516491888775904_giphy-3.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D247%26h%3D53b41c6f99fc902a1bf9d4450debd6e371363e21fae6e87c3099df4b10ad61a4%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4130463643%22%7D" expand=1]

5. When you just want to go home for Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice already!

Unfortunately, memorizing and scoring that Shakespeare monologue or Puccini aria you have to perform is your first priority.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F19%2F636151893094849165-1099051761_giphy-4.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=60&h=1b86a64910dd279a43ccb0f6ec62a24c98f305f6512b47be03eeed986216a2a1&size=980x&c=3335210692 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F19%252F636151893094849165-1099051761_giphy-4.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D60%26h%3D1b86a64910dd279a43ccb0f6ec62a24c98f305f6512b47be03eeed986216a2a1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3335210692%22%7D" expand=1]

6. When it is the day of your jury and you're wearing your Sunday Best

This is probably the best dressed you'll ever be all semester (even for auditions and class performances).

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F19%2F636151902691842720-1502814777_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=0&h=74a24483cff87f4501f1a4254b3c18513e07ce112efc617ed27b79cc439ba17f&size=980x&c=784991886 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F19%252F636151902691842720-1502814777_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D0%26h%3D74a24483cff87f4501f1a4254b3c18513e07ce112efc617ed27b79cc439ba17f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D784991886%22%7D" expand=1]

7. When you're waiting in the hallway for your turn to perform

You have so much adrenaline, you'd think you had a date with the firing squad. You whisper/hum your pieces and pray that you not (God forbid) flub a word or crack on that high A-flat in one of your songs.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F19%2F636151905661717786-428085418_200.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=639&h=b7fd0a51f64bf3eaf975950cb1f6153c0c7371ee61b4e89239de13625ba517e8&size=980x&c=3626932015 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F19%252F636151905661717786-428085418_200.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D639%26h%3Db7fd0a51f64bf3eaf975950cb1f6153c0c7371ee61b4e89239de13625ba517e8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3626932015%22%7D" expand=1]

8. When you finally go into the room

You've seen these teachers' faces before. You slate your name and your pieces (as per usual). Within five seconds (or when your accompanist plays the starting chords of your first piece), your heart beats so fast that you might as well call it quits now.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F19%2F636151964901999964-746720536_giphy.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=35&h=151c4466c59b74bef0da49ebd29b542803fdea7b012ee307499c32311790da5f&size=980x&c=1313819149 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F19%252F636151964901999964-746720536_giphy.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D35%26h%3D151c4466c59b74bef0da49ebd29b542803fdea7b012ee307499c32311790da5f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1313819149%22%7D" expand=1]

9. When you finally finish your pieces

You breathe in the biggest sigh of relief you've ever exhaled in your life. You see the smiles on your professors' faces (at least one of which is mouthing the words to your pieces in support). You feel like your performance is EGOT worthy. Moments like this reaffirm that you should keep performing, and not switch your major to engineering, pre-med, or underwater basket weaving.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F11%2F20%2F6361519748487615021806804604_SpongeBob_SquarePants_Sweet_Victory_Original_Music_Video_In_Full_1080p_Hd.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=21&h=7d97ce108833762485af11ea67e240aa9a5bdc816a152ce2d9162d92927dbfc0&size=980x&c=205767622 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F11%252F20%252F6361519748487615021806804604_SpongeBob_SquarePants_Sweet_Victory_Original_Music_Video_In_Full_1080p_Hd.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D21%26h%3D7d97ce108833762485af11ea67e240aa9a5bdc816a152ce2d9162d92927dbfc0%26size%3D980x%26c%3D205767622%22%7D" expand=1]


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