Hey it’s Kiley! I will share a personal story that may encourage others to try out for the musical or children’s theater show, here at GCC! The audition may be nerve-racking, but if one perseveres and is casted all freak-outs are worth it! There’s a tangible approach to acting, it’s a craft, like something you can actually touch and work on, and embody something more. On stage I feel most comfortable with myself and this passion will never leave me!
I went into my audition, like a blank canvas, not knowing what to expect. I was handed a script with the words The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in the-Moon Marigolds, silently I thought, “what am I getting myself into?” .I was a little nervous and jittery at the same time but I was willing to put myself out there in order to be cast. The director, Ed Scott, was well aged and talked with slow meticulous diction. He was not short but not tall, wearing monochromatic colors that blended in with the room. These subtle details I took in, to help me infer the type of person he was. As he introduced himself and talked about the plot of the production I would take note of his mannerisms. The way he approached the characters he was talking about, I needed to figure out which character I would be best fit for.
I listened intently as he described his vision and the characters involved. The drama is about a struggling single-parent family in the mid 60s, and with only five seen characters. I did not fit the mother or the sick old woman because of age. At the time I had bright red hair and a bold outfit to match. I thought about how my appearance may play a part in getting cast, this made me feel a bit jumpy. Ed had me read Ruth with a woman the would read Beatrice(the mother). We went in the other room, got acquainted and practiced a few times. When the time came to audition I used all my energy to portray this character, who I did not fully understand . The lines I had to say for the scene were written to be manic and irrational. My interpretation at first was a little off. Ed calmly explained Ruth’s character more detailed. Ed had us do the scene one more time.
I went out of my audition not knowing what to expect for the outcome. I was only in 10th grade and did not have much experience in dramas. This was also GTG an adult theater group, so I promised myself that I would not be heartbroken if I did not get a role. I went out of there knowing that there was only 3 parts I could possibly get, the odds were not in my favor. I was pleasantly surprised by a phone call that I had gotten the part and would be Ruth. Practice would start on Monday.
The first practice was a read through of the whole drama. The cast was made up of five women who would soon become almost a second family to me. We sat in a lopsided circle and politely made awkward conversation before we started. I read through my lines uneasy and slowly at first finding out the character I was soon to pretend to be.It was intense and a bit complicated. I was out of my comfort level, once again. The musical prior to this was Annie where I played, Miss Hannagan, a manic drunk who serves to frighten and yet give some comical relief to the audience. I sighed thinking that I would have to play yet another eccentric character. After the read-through my director asked me in private “would you consider smoking onstage?, Ask your mother if it’d be ok.” My initial thought was to say “No are you crazy”, but I ended up saying “sure thing”. I would also have to be physically abused on stage. This was a bit startling at first but I was eager to effectively portray Ruth’s side of the story to the audience.
Practices went long and were emotionally as well as physically draining. I needed to find a connection to my character, so I researched to gain more insight. I read and watched several films concerning epileptic seizers. I learned from my mom that I myself had these as a child. This was a taboo fact my mom never shared with me before. I felt silly at first to do an epileptic seizer, but my director was patient and understanding. I would often get so discouraged at practice, but my cast members were very positive and supportive. My director latter informed me that I would not have to smoke on stage because of the buildings regulations. I was relieved to say the least. Ruth was now addicted to black licorice. I did not care for it in the beginning but by the end I looked forward to the “treat” scenes.
I found myself having trouble remembering lines. I tried everything from saying them over and over to writing them down, but nothing seemed to stick. It was difficult because my lines were not logical, and jumped from topic to topic. My director suggested that I tape my lines and play the tape before I go to sleep, surprisingly this seemed to work. I remember the feeling of excitement when I got those few troubling lines with ease.
A character is not one dimensional, as an actress its your job to find these subtle quirks. I tried to show Ruth’s vulnerable and innocent qualities that were overshadowed. Ruth was a gamma ray just a bolt of energy with no direction. She was misunderstood and her self confidence was beaten out of her. I felt so much compassion for her and made it my obligation to tell her story.
The show was drawing near and the tension was high. I now had to think about costumes, make-up, and everything in between. I had special bonds and inside jokes with each member of the cast. When the stress was high we all knew how to push each others buttons. Although there were times when I was so frustrated I considered quitting, but now I consider the lifelong memories.
On opening night I had butterflies, I was eager to go on stage. I felt that sort of invisible magic on stage. My fair pale skin tingled as I made my entrance. I had embodied my character each word clear and every expression audible. Radiant energy poured out my skin till the lights dimmed ,and the curtains closed.
Monday December 6 at 5PM
Tuesday December 7 at 6PM
Be prepared to sing, dance and act scenes!
EVERYONE WELCOME TO AUDITION!!!! Bring a friend!