Senior secrets: Audition tips

Caitlin Husted, Editor In Chief

Backstage of KFAC, Shayla Rogers sits in a line of chairs, ready to audition for her first show at Millikin University. She nervously plays with her necklace while she watches her peers make the walk onto the stage one-by-one to audition for the fall shows.

When her time finally comes, she stands up from the chair and shakily walks out onto the giant stage. Looking down at her nude high heels, she finds the little X placed on the stage and places her toes on top of it. Her eyes lift to the auditorium to see her new faculty sitting in front of her. Different worries and fears run through her head, but she pushes them all away. Instead, she takes a deep breath, smiles, and begins.

Looking back now, Rogers, senior musical theater major, laughs about her first experience auditioning for Millikin.

“It’s a little terrifying, especially the first time. But as you go on, it gets better,” Rogers said.

Many theater majors have experienced the same fear, excitement and pure nervousness that comes along with walking up on stage. For those who are about to embark on their first Millikin audition, the seniors of the Department of Theater and Dance have wisdom and advice to impart to their peers.

Senior B.A. theatre major Joseph Bezenek reflects on his first audition at Millikin.

“I felt like I was taking my first step toward something altogether terrifying and thrilling. And the moment I took that step was the moment I had to choose between the two,” He said. “Fear is merely an opportunity to be courageous. Without fear, courage doesn’t exist.”

Bezenek’s first piece of advice for the novices of Millikin auditions is to remember that the directors want you to succeed.

“They aren’t sitting in the audience hoping to see you fail, because without you they don’t have actors for their show,” he said.

He also advises students to come to auditions well-prepared. He said, “Know your monologue like the back of your hand, have the cut of your song clearly marked in your music, and be able to give a solid temp to the accompanist before you go up.”

Senior musical theater major Ryan Lacy also had wisdom to impart to his fellow students. His first piece of advice, don’t ever be afraid to be yourself.

“Honor the story of your monologue and song, but make sure that you are being true to who you are as a young actor and aspiring professional,” Lacy said.

He also advises students to embrace all that is showbiz. “You are competing against people who have been doing this for four years,” he said. “It’s not [always] fair, but welcome to the reality of every real world audition. And at the end of your four years, you will have your turn too.”

But the most important piece of advice these seniors want to give to their peers is to have fun! This is an experience that you will never get again. Enjoy the challenges, trials, the mishaps and all the craziness that comes with auditioning.

“We sing, act, dance and make fools of ourselves onstage in front of thousands of people for money,” Lacy said. “Let’s be honest, it’s silly but it’s one of the hardest and most demanding things anyone could ever do. Take the work seriously, but never forget that.”