Those who are deeply involved in the world of theatre will tell you that contrary to popular belief, it is not an easy road. Audition season is always a stressful time for actors and your mind can go 100 different ways in terms of performing the perfect audition song and/or monologue. This isn’t just true in the professional sector of theatre, but also college and even high school theatre.
Audition season is also a time when tensions are high and drama may or may not arise (depending on where you are). It’s not a guarantee, but it can happen and audition season is a typical breeding ground for drama. I personally have come across actors who expect the best role for themselves every time and get very upset when they don’t get it. Everyone knows actors like that; they don’t understand the concept of starting from the bottom and slowly improving until you are possibly given a big role. I compare it to going up the stairs. You cannot just jump ten steps to get to the top, that’s extremely difficult, so you must go one step at a time and learn more along the way.
In high school, my stair analogy was very much in play. I joined my high school’s drama club during my freshman year because I couldn’t wait to get an opportunity to perform and get over my fear of people watching me (a fear that I have gladly gotten over). I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of my high school acting career, therefore, I would have been happy to accept any role in any production.
Unfortunately, I’d gotten my first rejection after my first high school audition. My school did a fall play and a spring musical and the fall play at that time had a small cast and I was surrounded by many talented, experienced actors. I was sad at first, but figured that I still had a chance with the spring musical. Well, the musical audition season came along and bam…. I’d finally gotten chosen to be part of the ensemble for Avon High School’s production of Grease. I was so excited and on the weekend of performances, I had an absolute blast and vowed to continue auditioning for every show in later years.
And that I did. I happily kept accepting smaller roles for fall plays and ensemble roles for spring musicals. It was fun no matter what. Then came my senior year of high school. That’s when I finally started moving up the stairs.
The fall play for my senior year was a comedic farce with a cast of about six people (three women, three men). I was a little nervous because I remembered the last time I auditioned for a show with a small cast. Nonetheless, I went in and did my absolute best.
After two days, I received the news: I got the lead role.
I was so happy that I remember crying. I’d finally gotten noticed and gotten the chance to challenge myself as an actress. The show was so fun and interesting and fast forward to performance weekend and I was overwhelmed with the positivity from my family and friends and strangers. It was life-changing and it lead to another big role in the spring musical after that.
I guess my point is that once you start working, never quit. It will pay off at some point. The result could be life-changing and could spur your confidence and skill. The world of theatre is certainly not the only world in which you won’t know what could happen, but the best defense against uncertainty is to be prepared, perhaps overly prepared at times. You never know what could come out of a certain experience and just remember that you cannot just jump a few steps to get to the top. You have to go one step at a time.