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How to tackle nerves: the audition process at MU

Caleb Bressler
Staff Writer

Auditioning can be both a dreaded and hopeful word in the entertainment industries. On one hand, it is means there is an opportunity to try to get involved in a show. But it also means a stressful experience. For anyone who has seen “A Chorus Line,” it is obvious how grueling auditions can be. Time consuming, generally nerve-racking and many times disheartening, auditions generally are not considered the most enjoyable way to spend time.

Even so, to get into any kind of show, it is generally impossible to bypass auditions.

However, for those who have never had an audition before, there are a number of things to keep in mind to make the audition process go smoothly.

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“…take as much time as you can memorizing the monologue or whatever…is required and bring it with you no matter where you are,” says Christian Legaspi when asked what advice he had on auditioning.

Legaspi, a senior, is a theatre major at Millersville. He has been through numerous auditions for University Theatre productions, the All Campus Musical Organization (ACMO) and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center. Currently, Legaspi is in Millersville’s production of “Pirates of Penzance.”

Legaspi also discussed how he deals with the nerve-racking build-up, and the pressure of the audition itself.

Christian Legaspi is a senior theatre major at Millersville.

“I do get nervous,” Legaspi says, “and how I deal with that is…I don’t get my expectations high, because if you do then you’re bound to…make yourself worry…”

In other words, don’t get your hopes up that your name will be found on the callback list.

“I just think to myself, ‘you know what, I’ll just do this, and what are the odds that I’m going to be in the show?’…But I still give my best,” Legaspi adds.

Obviously, though, there are different kinds of auditions for different kinds of media. This means the preparation for some auditions may be slightly different than for others.

“…most likely for a play…you have to find your own monologue,” says Legaspi. “…and you just have to keep memorizing…until the day of your audition.”

For musical theatre, Legaspi says, you need to add a song into the mix.

“You have to get your own…sheet music,” Legaspi says.

In terms of choosing a song, Legaspi says it is largely based on the director of the show.
“…if they say ‘pick any song you want,’ pick any song you want. If they say ‘pick a song from a Broadway musical,’ then you have to pick a song from a Broadway musical,” Legaspi says.

There are also organizations on campus that people can join and get used to the auditioning process in a more relaxed environment. The All Campus Musical Organization is one option.

“…you have to attend their meetings…so that you can show…you’re involved,” Legaspi explains. “So show up, and then whatever the ACMO board has, try to get involved as much as you can.”

Legaspi is also involved in the Glee club, which involves an audition to join.

It’s also way to get to know others “in the biz,” which is another important aspect of auditioning, for theatre, television or film.

And why do Legaspi, and actors like him, put themselves through such an ordeal?

“Well because it’s required,” Legaspi says with a laugh. “I think in a way putting yourself in an audition, it helps you build more confidence. Especially speaking in front of people.”

And even though auditions are painful at times, Legaspi says they are still worth it.

“You get used to it, but at the same time you get nervous doing it also because…you really want to get into that show and then if you don’t, you’re going to be disappointed…”

For Legaspi, though, not matter how difficult auditions can be, he is always looking forward.

“…just believe in yourself, be confident and don’t give up. If you try so much, if you try a lot, don’t give up, even though you get rejected a lot, keep going. ‘Cause you never know…maybe that someone over there…somewhere in the future, someone will want you.”