Friday, January 20, 2006

The agony of auditions.

A new play is upon us, and as much fun as production is, it unfortunately must begin with the most dreaded of theatre rituals: auditions.

Our audition procedure is as painless as we can make it -- the kids pick from several monologues, they have a few days to prepare, and they come perform them for us (by us, and we, I am referring to the three of us at RHS crazy enough to work with high school drama). It is still inherently a painful procedure though.

Unfortunately, gender equity is a foreign concept in our program. The play has an equal number of male and female parts, but we had 3 times as many girls as guys audition. It means that we have to cut a LOT of girls (and dang, high school girls take everything so personally) and we have pretty slim pickins for the guy's parts. There is definitely a paucity of high school males confident enough in their own masculinity to do drama.

There are three of us that direct together (me, R, and L), so naturally we conduct auditions and deliberate on casting together too. It is a process that works pretty well most of the time, and neither I nor the other assistant have any problems deferring to L, since she's the one who actually teaches this stuff. The panel approach creates a bit of an American Idol feel which some of the auditioners (auditionees? auditionettes? torture victims?) comment on, and we laugh and agree and move on. Privately, we have decided that if we are AI, then I'm Simon. I'm not ashamed. Nothing demands snark like high school drama auditions. Nothing, that is, except high school talent show auditions, which aren't for a couple of months (be afraid). We have a HUGE range of talent, and as a result my audition notes run the gamut from “this kid rocks” to “should perhaps consider a less selective activity”. I don’t say this stuff to the kids of course, I’m not technically evil.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I have done impressions.


Joy Morykon said...

it would suck to try out and not get the part... no matter how old you are. especially hormonal high school. In high school i just never tried out. i was too afraid i wouldn't get it so i never tried.

Brian always say's i only play if i can win.. must be some truth in that. :)

love you!

heather said... did it end up?! I love hearing you talk about your experiences...i can totally relate!! picture me and holli sitting in the theater trying to keep straight faces during auditions. good times!

Kelly said...

Simon huh....see there is a reason the Lord gave you the ability to have honest words! Sounds like despite the long probably get enough laughs to even everything out.