Summer is fast approaching and we are getting ready! In addition to the 12 weeks of awesome fun week long summer camps that fill our days with laugher and super fun students we are in our 6th season of Summer Performance Intensives!!
On Saturday March 9th from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm we are hosting our auditions for our Summer Performance Intensives at the Playhouse Conservatory. We started our doing Intensives for our more advanced and committed students looking for a challenge in the summer months. Performance Intensives are by audition. We have two exciting options in age appropriate categories:
The Junior Intensive is for ages 8-13, and produces a full show in three weeks with a full final public performance. Every student gets a role, costume, and three weeks of comprehensive actor training in the context of a full musical theatre performance. Plus it is FUN!! The students work hard on acting, voice, and dance with professional leadership.
- Junior Intensive: Annie Jr.
- Intensive Rehearsal: June 10-29th
- Performances: June 28-29, and July 1st.
The Teen Intensive features the Youth Repertory Theatre Company for ages 13-18. YRTC produces two (or three) shows from the ground up with students providing creative leadership for the Company, designing their own costumes, sound, lights, and scenic elements in addition to front of house operations like box office and marketing. This is a five week Intensive with two full weekends of performances. We do cutting edge musicals and plays, sometimes with our own twist, and it is a fantastic challenge and a lot of FUN! Teens take on greater responsibility for their productions and engage in advanced actor training in voice, movement, dance, even Shakespeare!
- Teen Intensives: TBA (look for a special announcement in the next few weeks!)
- Intensive Rehearsal: July 8-August 8
- Performances: August 8-11, 15-18
PH: Tell me about the audition experience at the Playhouse? What is it like?
Kasey: You audition in small groups, and the director might ask you to do silly things, like charge like a buffalo or make your scariest witch face. Then you would read a small part from the script and possibly sing a part of a song. Auditions last about 15 minutes.
Eric: The audition experience at the Playhouse is wonderful, because it helps you prepare for professional theatre, and adult auditions. The Playhouse auditions are designed like a real Broadway auditions. Now depending on which type of show you are auditioning for the experience might be different. The musical experience involves you singing a song—usually a 32 bar song or selection from a song. Now the play and musical experience both involve a cold reading exercise, which is one of the most helpful exercise in theater, this is a skill I like to study up on. Then you will exit the room and if you have any questions you would ask the director. If you are offered a role, you will get a call from one of the staff members and they would tell you what your part is in the show and the audition process would be done.
PH: How do you prepare for auditions?
Kasey: I learn about the show by reading the script or the book or watching the movie. The classes at the Playhouse are good practice for auditioning for bigger shows. I take voice lessons to learn how to use my diaphragm to project my voice and improve my singing.
Eric: The one class that really widened my eyes of auditioning would be Audition Techniques which was last year during spring break, where I got to learn the do and don’ts of auditions, things that impress directors, and I’ve been trying to use these techniques in my later auditions. These are all real good things to prepare for an audition, and if you prepare more I feel less nervous for auditions.
PH: What would you tell a kid who was nervous to audition?
Kasey: I would tell them, don’t sweat it you are going to do great. If you have to sing at the audition, make sure you practice your song so you don’t forget the words. Auditions are fun because you can use your imagination, and because you don’t audition by yourself it isn’t as scary.
Eric: Auditioning is usually the scariest part of being in a show, because you don’t know the outcome. The one thing I would suggest is if you research a show, don’t get too attached to a particular character because if you end of not getting the part it will make you even more upset at rehearsals, which is damaging to the show itself. The thing I mainly suggest is to go out there and be loose and have fun and not be tense about the show, or what part you get. Just be relaxed and try your best! The most nervous part for me is still singing songs in front of people, but the thing I learned to not get nervous is to picture yourself singing to in the room and no one is there. These are some of the ways I try not to get nervous. But know, everyone gets nervous at first, when walking in the room. Experience is the most helpful thing because it helps you get over your fears, every audition is practice for the next one.
PH: What is the best part about being in shows? Is it worth all the work of preparing and being nervous and all of that?
Kasey: I have learned that acting is hard work and it takes commitment. The best part about being in shows is how fun the final productions are. I like being on stage and hearing the whispers in the audience before the show starts, knowing we can make them laugh. You also get to meet a lot of new people, new games and it is hard to say goodbye to them when the show ends. The hard work is worth it because we all work together to create something we can be proud of.
Eric: The best thing about being in shows is that you get to meet people with the same interest as you. And that all the people at the The Playhouse are as accepting and welcome to you as family. In theater there is a bond that you cannot find anywhere else which is a very magical thing. Doing the show is the best thing ever, whenever I get onstage, my energy picks up in a way it doesn’t do any other time. That is the very special thing about theater—that moment when you get on stage for the audience… it just lights you up.
Thanks Kasey and Eric! Hopefully you guys learned a lot of useful tips from them that you can use at your next audition. Auditions can be scary and nerve-wracking, but at the end of the day, everyone has had some slip ups and embarrassing things happen at an audition. The point is: we learn from them and make the next one better! Just be confident and be prepared and you will do great
Here’s a fun question to kids, teens and adults: what’s your best/worst/most challenging/most embarrassing/most awesome audition story? Take your pick and leave us a comment with your story! We’d love to hear it!