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High School Audition Guide 
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:59 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Westchester County, NY
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Howdy ya'll! Remember me? :lol:

As I'm graduating next month, I just wanted to come back and say that there was indeed a happy ending to my high school theater days after the whole Little Shop debacle I went through...

Basically, since I've last posted on this thread Little Shop has come and gone and the school is still obsessed with it over a year later (isn't that sad?). But anyway, I spent the rest of junior year depressed over that and what happened off the stage where I became a huge joke in the school but I'll leave it at that. Thanks to all that pain I went through that year, I walked into senior year with very low expectations and little to no interest in being in the fall production, which for the first time since 2005 was a musical, Seussical. I really didn't care what part I got, ended up with the Grinch but not because of the director giving me the table scraps but because she and many of the show regulars really wanted me to. I wasn't about to fight it. I also got thrown into being a Wickersham in one scene because one of them had to go to a guitar lesson when the number was being choreographed. At the end of the day, I have nothing but positive memories from the Seussical experience and the show really helped me return back to my normal pre- Little Shop of Horrors self.

The spring show this year was Once Upon a Mattress. Now, with this show, I actually did want to try for something specific so I gained an interest in the Jester over the summer. By the time auditions came around, my interest in the Jester waned when I discovered he wasn't the "annoying Disney sidekick" character every casting website described him as. I then became more interested in the Wizard, even more-so when the director told me I'd more than likely be called back for the Wizard and the King. Everything seemed to be going fine until the callbacks list came out... I knew I'd never be able to do the King but I did in fact get called back for that part, even though we all knew exactly who was going to get it (one of my fellow seniors who is a lot more fluent with on-the-fly pantomime than I'll ever be). For the Wizard, I was up against one of my fellow seniors who we all knew wasn't going to get a lead, a sophomore who didn't really seem like he'd be the type of person who'd get that part and (dramatic music sting) the guy who was the body of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, my auditioning arch-nemesis (he's a pretty nice guy otherwise). At that point, I was thinking "I've pretty much lost already." and went to callbacks to give it my all anyway. The strange thing is that just about everyone who was called back and showed up got to read except me, everyone else was auditioning to be a dancer. When I had to leave slightly early, I asked the director if she wanted me to do anything before I left she brought me outside the room and told me she wanted me to be the Wizard and then she let me head on my way. Filled with half-happiness, half-disbelief I went home and watched the movie Christmas Vacation on TV while waiting for the cast list to be sent. When the cast list came out, there were tons of surprises... including me getting the Wizard! Among the surprises was that the Minstrel was being played by a junior who had quit Seussical because he was dissatisfied with getting Yertle the Turtle (qutting a show for hating your role is a bit taboo around here), of the six Ladies-in-Waiting most of them had been just ensemble in years before, the guy who was the body of the plant got Sir Studley over a lead, his brother (who is equally as much of a celebrity around here) who was called back for the Jester didn't get it (it was between him and another guy... personally the guy who did get it was ridiculously annoying the whole show but that's for another time), the girl who was Mrs. Mayor in Seussical was only in the ensemble (and she quit the show because of it), I could go on all day. There was some easily predicable casting (our Dolly-Audrey being Winnifred, the aforementioned King, etc.) but the eras of across-the-board-same-leads appears to be over. Once Upon a Mattress from start to finish more than likely was the greatest show after The Music Man I've been a part of in HS. What a great way to end out on top.

So the moral of the story my soon-to-be freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors is DON'T LET BAD MINOR ROLES STOP YOU FROM GOING ON TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS. I almost did. But look what a reward I got my senior year for just chugging on. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Theater's like a box of chocolates. You never know what role you're gonna get."

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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it''s the only weapon we have." - Roger Rabbit


Sun May 30, 2010 1:29 pm
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:19 am
Posts: 12
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Our school do it slightly differently, we're split into junior and senior productions so the lower school (Years 7,8 and 9) do their production in the summer and the senior (10,11,12,13) do theirs in the winter. The senior's is always darker and a more complex storyline than the juniors.

The junior production everyone has an equal chance really. You all have drama lessons and the teacher know you vaguely. We were told early on that Y9 sometimes do get priority but in Y7 we had 2 girls in major parts and in Y8 a different girl in our year was cast as Aladin and we all knew she deserved it- she had a fantastic voice. I tried out every year and I never got into the call backs, you couldn't prepare for these auditions, they gave you songs to sing and pieces to act once you had got there. Standing in lines singing 'A whole new world' was terrifying for me as I've always been quite shy around people but when it came to the stage I was always confident- I just never got that far. In Y9 I decided to throw caution to the wings, we were given a song we had to sing as a group and we had to come up with a short dance sequence whilst singing it. I had the idea someone should sing the first verse as a solo and no one would do it- so I did it, got through to callbacks and got one of the six names parts in the production.

But at the same time I was getting into the techincal side as a sound technician, I felt it gave me a better understanding of the theatre and what went on backstage. I loved it so much that I didn't audition again to be on stage (however I still decided to do drama GCSE) I was always backstage with the cast. Last year I was given the honour of being DSM, which is normally awarded to Y13 and I had just become a Y11. Now I've been told the drama department can't do without me, they told my parents if I didn't continue the subject they'd throw a fit.

In our audition process everyone has to work together, we always have things to do in groups so we can see who works best in a team and many of those people get cast. In a production we think it works as a 'drama family' and divas won't last long.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:18 am
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: Hudson, Wi
Current Obsession: PUTTIN ON THE RIIIIIITZZZZZ
Main Role: Performer
Post 
My highschool is messed up:
In our spring play Freshman took up half the cast! (Not that that's a bad thing, seeing as I AM one).
But I would have to say there is nothing worse than auditioning for a play that you have NO clue what the story or characters are! But it is kinda weird seeing as both plays I have tried out for I've had no idea what it was, and got lead roles in both...
But my advice to any who cares, the biggest thing about auditioning is to STAND OUT, BE MEMORABLE! (Without being weird or crazy)

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[b]Past Roles:[/b] "[u]Frog Prince of Spamalot[/u]": Hyronomys Frog, "[u]You Can''t Take it With You[/u]" : Grandpa, "[u]Hello, Dolly[/u]!" : Policeman and Chorus.


Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:43 pm
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Chorus Member
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 91
Location: Missouri
Main Role: Performer
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As I've mentioned on this thread before, I re-read this post before each new high school year. I'm going to be a junior this fall, and am beyond excited:)

I feel like seniority plays a bigger role in my school than I would like it to, although now that I'm getting older it naturally doesn't bother me as much beings it gives me a greater chance at lead roles. I just wanted to thank-you again DaddyDiesel. You're my audition help guru. I accredit a lot of my success in shows to you, beings your advice was what I've sworn by. Thank-you!
-CayleeJo

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Present: Indian Dancer, Lighting Designer, & Fly Rail Operator for Annie Get Your Gun
Past: Lady Montague, Scenic Designer, & Fly Rail Operator for Romeo & Juliet


Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:34 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:19 am
Posts: 9
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My school used to have a really messed up system. Half the time the old director would cast without having auditions. My eighth grade year he gave the role of Horton from Seussical to his son (who was a freshman at the time) who absolutely had no knack for singing. It was pitiful, but their JoJo saved the show...he was phenomenal. The only good thing that came out of not having auditions was discovering that little boy.

He was fired my sophomore year and the choir teacher took the position, she was much better. She brought back auditions and pulled off a pretty good Grease that year. Our Sandy was a sophomore so she wasn't into seniority, she wanted a good show.

I really didn't get into the musical theater program until my junior year because of that first director, but I figured with the new director I'd give it a chance.

As a junior, I beat out many seniors for a role in Spelling Bee (although it was a male role, any guys we had who could belt like that were already cast so they cast me as Mitch, but I don't mind because it was my first show so I wasn't expecting anything anyway). There were actually only three seniors in the cast (Leaf, Panch, and Marcy), but they were cast perfectly. There were four juniors (Olive<--was Sandy, Rona, Logainne, and Mitch), one sophomore (William), and one freshman (Chip, he was actually the JoJo I mentioned before). Age isn't quite a big deal with that director, she went by talent. I ended up getting Aida in Aida too so apparently it's not about experience either. Our Radames was a junior too even though a senior (Leaf) heavily campaigned for the role, but he ended up with Mereb.

But now all of that doesn't matter because our teacher moved across the country to work at a big fancy private school. Now we have a new head of the theater department, the band director of the school, as if he didn't already have enough on his plate now he has all marching band, bell choir, show choir, select choir, concert choir, and concert band. He's a musical genius, but we're skeptical about how he'll cast. 1) Because he hates the second director I mentioned and a lot of us were her teachers pets (myself included) 2) He tends to favor his bandies and bell choir kids.

So now I'm a senior. And I am really hoping for a good season. I'm not trying to brag, but the two top candidates for leads are myself for any alto/mezzo role and our Sandy/Olive for any soprano role, but both of us were probably director #2's favorites whereas our Logainne (who is decent soprano, but a very choir-y voice, can't really hold her own) is a favorite of the new director as well as our Rona (who actually got Rona by chance, she wasn't even supposed to get a role, but she did...okay... she belts like no tomorrow, but it's more like a scream and she's rarely on pitch but she's decent) who is a drum major for his marching band this year...

Talking to my old director, she says that if he plans on casting by talent that we would get good roles, but if not...ehhh

Ugh...it's my senior year. I'm really hoping he's not gonna be a jerk about this...

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Currently: Rusty in Footloose
Previously: Aida in AIDA, Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee


Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:23 am
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:59 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Westchester County, NY
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iliketosing wrote:
My school used to have a really messed up system. Half the time the old director would cast without having auditions. My eighth grade year he gave the role of Horton from Seussical to his son (who was a freshman at the time) who absolutely had no knack for singing. It was pitiful, but their JoJo saved the show...he was phenomenal. The only good thing that came out of not having auditions was discovering that little boy.


Interesting. When my school did Seussical, the director cast her son as Horton as well. It was very unexpected, actually, he had never gotten a lead role in any of the shows prior (the closest he got was being part of the quartet in The Music Man when we were both freshmen)... but he did have to work just as hard as everybody else to get that part, though. In the end, he really deserved it and made Horton a much more sympathetic character than the others who were called back for him would have.

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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it''s the only weapon we have." - Roger Rabbit


Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:11 pm
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:32 am
Posts: 20
Location: Hudson, Wi
Current Obsession: PUTTIN ON THE RIIIIIITZZZZZ
Main Role: Performer
Post Hello Dolly Audition
Yo! I My highschool is holding auditions for "Hello Dolly" soon, I myself have never heard any songs from, or have any clue what it's about.
I've played:
Bottom in Midsummers Night Dream
Hyronomys Frog in Frog Prince of Spamalot
Grandpa in You Can't Take It With you.
I'm a Bass/Baritone, and not very good :P
But anyhoo, which parts should I aim for/could fit me?
What's it about?
Thanks :) I really could use the help.

_________________
[b]Past Roles:[/b] "[u]Frog Prince of Spamalot[/u]": Hyronomys Frog, "[u]You Can''t Take it With You[/u]" : Grandpa, "[u]Hello, Dolly[/u]!" : Policeman and Chorus.


Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:43 pm
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:59 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Westchester County, NY
Post Re: Hello Dolly Audition
Quab wrote:
Yo! I My highschool is holding auditions for "Hello Dolly" soon, I myself have never heard any songs from, or have any clue what it's about.
I've played:
Bottom in Midsummers Night Dream
Hyronomys Frog in Frog Prince of Spamalot
Grandpa in You Can't Take It With you.
I'm a Bass/Baritone, and not very good :P
But anyhoo, which parts should I aim for/could fit me?
What's it about?
Thanks :) I really could use the help.


If my knowledge of the show is right (it's been a long two and a half years...), I'd consider Horace Vandergelder (primary male lead but corresponds very well with your past roles) or Rudolph. But that's just my opinion.

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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it''s the only weapon we have." - Roger Rabbit


Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:54 pm
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Broadway Legend
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:59 pm
Posts: 1494
Location: Ohio
Current Obsession: Bare, Next to Normal
Post Re: Hello Dolly Audition
Quab wrote:
Yo! I My highschool is holding auditions for "Hello Dolly" soon, I myself have never heard any songs from, or have any clue what it's about.
I've played:
Bottom in Midsummers Night Dream
Hyronomys Frog in Frog Prince of Spamalot
Grandpa in You Can't Take It With you.
I'm a Bass/Baritone, and not very good :P
But anyhoo, which parts should I aim for/could fit me?
What's it about?
Thanks :) I really could use the help.

http://www.tams-witmark.com/musicals/hellodolly.html

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Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:24 am
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 4:16 pm
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Location: Hope Falls, West Virginia
Current Obsession: Edges
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Post Re: High School Audition Guide
Okay so my school... politics is, as I'm sure in most high schols, a HUGE deal in our school shows. And it sucks. They favor choir kids over everyone, and we have a HUGE senior class this year full of choir kids. Seeing as it's not even a show choir and I have a crammed schedule as it is, I'm not in choir. My school always uses this against me, never casting me in school shows. Not even in chorus.
Anyways, we're doing Seussical this year, and I really want to be a bird girl. I'm a high soprano with belt and a strong dancer, I have a resume full of training (vocal, acting, and dance), shows in theatre all around the area, and vocal performances but I feel like they'll still look me over and ask me work backstage like they always do. I really want an audition that will give them absolutely no reason to not cast me, prejudices aside. Any extra advice?

Oh and I'm a junior.

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"The cathartic possiblity of the theatre needs nothing more than the actor and the stage."

Past: Lola in Damn Yankees, Berthe in Pippin
Currently: Miss Skillon in See How They Run
Upcoming: Entering college as a theatre major


Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:19 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:47 pm
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Current Obsession: Ellen Greene is currently my girl :)
Main Role: Performer
Post Re: High School Audition Guide
Hi!

I have an audition for Godspell coming up at my local boy's high school (my school's sister). I'm 16 and a junior. For the first time, the school is doing cuts. At this school, I've previously played Mary Kenny in Do Black Patent Leather Shoes... and various ensemble roles in Damn Yankees. This is also my 9th time working with this director. This past summer he had me fill in on two week's notice the role of Joly in Les Mis, so I'm thinking he thinks I'm dependable as an actress, or at least as a hard worker.

But I'm still worried about cuts at these auditions. I'm not auditioning for a certain role, but getting a role would be fabulous. I'm thinking for auditions about singing "Somebody to Love" from We Will Rock You. I know those auditioning well enough to say that it won't be a popular or overdone choice (it's the same group for every show) and I know that I can sing it, but I'm worried it's not right for the show. Any help would be great!

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Currently: Glory (Almost, Maine), waiting for camp and attempting to pass the APUSH exam
Recent: Self (Godspell) Cook 1 (Hello Dolly!), Joly (Les Miserables)

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Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:56 am
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:54 pm
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Main Role: Performer
Post Re: High School Audition Guide
Honestly, I finally made an account here JUST so I could post on this board.

I'm a senior at a small high school (700 kids) that is much more into sports than theatre. However, there is a faithful following in the drama department and we always seem to turn up an interesting mix of kids at auditions. It's not like we're dead in the water, we have a substantial footing and there's no chance of losing it. However...

Our drama department is brilliantly corrupt. Oh my goodness, it's sickening sometimes. Our director plays favorites, yes, but the favorites don't go by class standing. It's practically a butt-kissing competition. There was one theatre pet that got her position as the theatre pet by telling our director at her freshman audition that she had been in community theatre performances. That's all it took. She got parts she didn't deserve and became one of the biggest divas in the theatre... just as one example. The kids who weren't his favorites got cast off the side regardless of talent or seniority...

One issue everybody has with him is his typecasting. I understand that kids need to look right in certain parts... but his typecasting is beyond ridiculous. Basically, at the end of the day, the roles are doled out according to looks. Almost every. single. time. I can't tell you how many parts I've lost because I'm "not right" (i.e, 5'10" and only an inch shorter than our leading male) lookwise for the role. When we put on Midsummer Night's Dream last year, the majority of the cast was based on hair color, which resulted in a completely incompetent Titania, SAVE FOR Helena, who, according to script, is supposed to be taller than Hermia. Helena was the aformentioned favorite. She was shorter than Hermia. She sucked at walking in heels.

In any case, the good thing about our theatre is that it's EXTREMELY easy to know how to work the system to your advantage IF you catch onto the games it plays. You can essentially guarantee yourself a part by researching the play and preparing your audition around the part you FIT. Not the part you want... the part that he will see you playing. I'm resigned to the fact that I'll never play the ingenue... I'm just too tall, and I'm too eccentric of a personality for my director to look past it. I'm constrantly cast as crazy old bats. I stopped finding it offensive after the third time.

So, obviously, as soon as I figured out what I had to do, I started kissing butt right away. I even interned with the director all year just to get me a leg up on the productions. It worked... for both shows this year I had the female lead. I had to keep offering and offering to do extra things, make the donkey head for Midsummer, assistant direct as well as star in Harvey (Which, for anyone who cares, is an AWFUL show. Never do it. The script will make you want to vomit. I had to wring more than a few necks over memorizing lines in that show) and now I'm student interning in his acting 1 class and dramaturging for Fiddler on the Roof. I literally clawed my way to the top. I really am convinced that the majority of the reason I was considered for most of the roles I got was because of my sitting next to my director saying "oh, what a wonderful idea!" through everything. And, of course, because I "Just look like a Hippolyta. Except the hair. That needs to be blonde. Go bleach it." (WTF?)

The most recent example of this corrupted hierarchy is our spring musical, Fiddler on the Roof. I knew right away that if I wanted a part, I had to shoot for Golde. I literally shoved the part down his throat. My hair was in a bun all audition week, I wore minimal makeup, my monologue was about an old mother yelling at her kids, I broke all sorts of theatre etiquette and sang "Do you love me?" for my audition (not that he cares about theatre etiquette) and dressed in frumpy neutrals for visual lineup. It also helped that the other 30 girls trying out all put down "Hodel" as their preferred roles... truthfully, I probably should have been Yente, seeing as I'm the only girl who could sing her low F (our high school is NOT known for its singing talent... and everyone wants to be flying sopranos because they get all the glory) I had no competition, while other girls were crying over Hodel. I NEVER come to school after a cast list is posted. There is simply too much drama. People were shafted BIGTIME in Fiddler... people much better at stage singing than I were not considered for sisters simply because they had lead roles in the last show. I somehow slipped under that radar. Newbies with no experience and heavily loaded schedules were given leads because my director could "just envision them in the part... I can teach acting, I can teach singing, I can't teach looking like a Perchik! Doesn't he look so much like a Perchik?!"

Anyways, that was a novel for sure. It felt really good to get all that out. I guess my point is that if you know how to manipulate the system at my school, you're set. Also, prepare to be typecast. Horribly.

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Current Role(s)- Golde, Fiddler on the Roof
Previous Roles- Hippolyta, Midsummer; Veta Louise Simmons, Harvey


Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:48 pm
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