I didn’t audition for the fall show my freshmen year because I thought, like almost every freshmen, I wouldn’t get in. Boy was I wrong. I remember auditioning for the musical in November and the theatre teacher asking me where I had been for fall play auditions. She could have used me. Hindsight is 20/20.
Now as a teacher, I see this happen every year. You can never assume you won’t get in. Freshmen have walked into lead roles on the first day of school. Anything is possible.
‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.’ – Wayne Gretzky
Last year for our fall play Robin Hood I took everyone who auditioned. The actor who played Robin Hood didn’t expect a part in the show, “I was just practicing for Peter Pan.” And look what happened, that kid played both Robin and Peter last year. Why? Because he SHOWED UP.
Lesson 1: Show up. Be there. Go to the audition.
For Robin Hood we had a young amazing cast, many of whom had never acted before. They showed up when the advanced actors in the junior class did not. We had mainly Freshmen, Sophomore’s and Seniors in the show because the Juniors didn’t audition. Some Juniors spoke to me after telling me, they didn’t think they’d get in, so they did their sport, or did something else, I thought to myself, ‘They could have walked into a lead.’ You never know if you don’t try. But also know that because of other people’s choices, good things can happen to you.
Lesson 2: Anything is possible.
Think about it, if the powerhouse juniors had auditioned, we would have had a different cast entirely. But they didn’t, so all these amazing actors were able to step into roles they had previously thought impossible to hold as a first time actor. Please, never assume you won’t get in a play. Also, if you look at the sports schedule, most of the fun sports are in the fall… so that means if a person chooses a fall sport, you get more of a chance to be in the show!
This does lead to lesson 3. Please never assume you will get in as well. Assuming has lead to many a heartbreak in my life and watching the lives of my students. Don’t pre-cast, don’t create scenarios. It leads to heartache and nights crying over how unfair everything is. I’ve been there, you can’t fool me, I was one of you once upon a time. I know all the tricks and all the things you say to yourself to talk you out of auditioning or convince yourself that only you’d be able to play that part.
Lesson 3: Never Assume
We wouldn’t have theatre if only one person could play a character. Thank goodness!
In the end, you will remember your times in high school in terms of highs and lows. I remember getting a lead in the musical my sophomore year, I also remember that conversation with my teacher freshmen year and my feeling of regret. I know this is really old and so not cool anymore, but #YOLO. So I ask you why not?
I guess what I’m trying to get across is to audition, audition for everything, audition for a learning experience, audition to get into a play, audition to practice confidence. Anything can happen, but it won’t if you don’t try.