Around this time last year, I had just finished my college auditions and was anxiously waiting for results. I remember, the nerve-wracking anticipation. Would I be accepted? Could I pursue musical theatre in college? Could I afford it? Thankfully it all worked out and I am now at a wonderful school doing what I love. Although, the pre-college anxiety is now over, I was reminded yesterday of all those fears. Last year, when I auditioned at my school I remember leaving the dance portion and being introduced to some of the cast of the upcoming production of Showboat. Little did I know that almost exactly a year later would a group of auditions be brought into a rehearsal for a show I am now in. This full circle moment led me to reflect on my nearly complete first year as a MT major.
In August, a scared little freshman moved into her dorm room anxious to either run away as quickly as she could or meet as many people as she could. That night I met the other theatre freshman who would soon become my family. The first day of classes we were thrown into auditions for Hamlet. I quickly became way too busy to even think of home and solely became focused on my new job as assistant stage manager and props master of my first college show. Being thrown into things like this helped us all to adjust quickly and bond with the rest of our department. I was also hired for work study in the theatre department where I work with the technical director building sets and hanging lights. This job has opened my eyes to the previously unfamiliar world of technical theatre. While it is not what I want to go into as a career, I have learned valuable skills that make me useful and available to a wider range of jobs.
After Hamlet we went straight into the fall musical production of Spitfire Grill again, I did props and also tried my hand at stage handing. This show flew by. I was also cast in a student directed one act production of Red Carnations. It was fun getting to act for the first time in front of some of my peers and overall just to act again (the first time since my senior production of Snow White). This was done during finals week right before the much needed month long winter break. We also had auditions for Big Fish right before break, and again I worked backstage. As much as I love that show, I was thankful to not start the spring semester going headfirst into rehearsals. Also, I was holding out for Glass Menagerie auditions the first day back from break.
Now my school is very intense with having auditions directly after the previous show ends (sometimes before) and if you are BFA Musical Theatre like me, you are required to audition for everything. All the other shows up to this point did not have roles for me and that was why I was content to work backstage. However, I had been in love with the Glass Menagerie since my sophomore year of high school and knew I had to play Laura. Over Christmas break I found the perfect monologue (a surprise because I usually suck at monologues) and after auditions, two rounds of callbacks and nearly two weeks of waiting for a cast list i was thrilled to learn that I had gotten the part.
We have now been in rehearsal for a week, are about to be half way off book and have blocked the entire show. I actually prefer moving at this quick pace unlike high school where the productions dragged on forever. We have about 3 full weeks of rehearsal left before the show and I think its going to be excellent. Balancing such an intensive rehearsal schedule along with my 18 credit hours and practicing for other commitments has been a struggle but a necessary learning experience. College has brought about so many unexpected experiences and I am thankful for them all, the good and the bad. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments!
Here’s to the rest of the semester!