Gina Wilhelm Actress – Adventures in Auditioning: SecondStory Repertory
As we near the end of April and beginning of May, several theatre companies in the Seattle/Puget Sound area hold general season auditions.
For those who are unfamiliar (and I was when I moved up here a few years ago), some theatres just have one audition for their whole season.
They will then call actors back throughout the year to see them for specific shows, thereby only having to deal with the callback right when it’s time to start work on the show.
Among the theatre companies that do that are Village Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Musical Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and SecondStory Repertory.
Today was all about SecondStory Repertory, which is based out of Redmond Town Center. Next season they have seven shows on the mainstage as well as four “Sprouts” children’s shows.
I had done the general audition for SecondStory last year, and it had involved a group of some 20 actors all sitting in the auditorium with most of the upcoming season’s directors at the front of the room.
Each actor went up when called and performed in front of everyone else. Each audition group was scheduled in 1-hour blocks.
I therefore assumed that was what was in store for us this year. However, this time it was more of what I have become accustomed to: Three directors, an accompanist, and one actor.
I gave my monologue first. It was received well, I think. At one point in the piece, my character goes from being cynical and despairing to overcome with joy over an essay she’s reading.
One of my biggest strengths is my ability to react to what’s going on onstage (they say acting is reacting).
I had given myself a peptalk before the audition to remember to really react to what my character was reading.
Judging from the chuckles I heard from behind the table, it paid off.
I got some other laughs, too, and at the end, the accompanist said he was going to have to watch the movie from which my piece was adapted. Given his tone, I took that as a compliment.
After that, I sang my song. This was a little challenge today.
The accompanist was playing an electric keyboard, and the volume was down a little quieter than I would have liked. A few times it was hard to hear where the beat was.
However, I continued to sing, remembering to act the music, and they seemed really pleased. I thanked them and left.
The hardest part for me about season general auditions is that they hold callbacks at various times throughout the year, and you don’t really know when they’ll be.
However, they’re doing a number of good shows this season, some with parts for which I think I’d really be suited, and I think things went well, so hopefully I’ll be hearing from them!
In any event, I’ll have more opportunity to get used to the idea: I have my season general audition for Village Theatre in Issaquah this week. More to come!