Oh, the audition. An entirely artificial situation in which someone who wants the part has to put their money where their mouth is and do it…without the luxury of props, costumes, or anyone else to collaborate with. And as simple as it might sound in theory, anyone who’s watched old “I Love Lucy” reruns can tell you just how much can go wrong.
Right before the holiday break, all three classes held auditions for the various roles in our operas. In the Humperdincks’ workspace, our students had spent several weeks mulling over which roles they thought might suit them. We asked them to consider if they would prefer to sing, act or dance, and which parts would be the most fun.
Now, let’s be clear: Auditioning is difficult when you’re fully grown and trained and prepared. Even when it goes swimmingly and you get the role, gig, job or part, it’s still an extremely stressful situation!
And up against nerves and hopes, our students were fantastic. Some sang, some danced, some simply showed us their interpretation of a specific character with silent acting. All were dynamic and hilarious, all knew exactly what they wanted, and then they went and got it. And I think they did so well because they’ve been invested in a process of creation and exploration. They’ve spent so much time concentrated on these characters that they developed themselves that their nerves did not get the best of them. They were too busy creating something cool to be nervous!
It’s also important to point out that the students were entirely supportive of each other. Auditions were held during class, and the kids watched each other perform. A sense of understanding permeated through the classroom, and they applauded each other’s efforts enthusiastically.
I couldn’t be more proud of our Humperdincks for their great work so far this year. They continue to blow my mind and surprise me all the time. Next comes rehearsing, choreographing, singing and costume-making! And I, for one, cannot wait.
-By Ariana Strahl, Partner Teaching Artist 2014-2015