Monday, January 10, 2005

And Thus We Begin.

I got to school this morning at 7:20 - 10 minutes before the students are allowed into the building. My plan was to laminate the cast list before posting it, to prevent "jokes" written by the passing crowds. So, after being ambushed by one of my auditioners in the parking lot as I pulled into a space, I headed straight to the office and switched on the laminator.

It took 11 minutes to warm up.

Papers laminated, I wedged my way down the hall, hearing the shouts as I neared the auditorium doors - "There she is! She's coming!" The crowd parted and I taped the papers to the door, then barely made my way out of the crowd as it surged forward to look. Cheers, shouts across the hall - "You made it!" "You're Mayzie!" Etc. The cell phones come out as kids call home. Fortunately, I don't see too many kids in tears or visibly upset- I always dread that part.

I did hear of some dissention in the ranks - kids saying we played favorites, casting students from my Advanced Drama class primarily. So the question - do we address these feelings or ignore them? I asked Janelle (the choir teacher) , and we decided to talk to the cast about it.
The thing is, I know it can help to have something like that to believe in. If you can blame the rejection (i.e. not being cast how you want) on a more external factor, it's easier to deal with.
But we didn't play favorites. All three of us directors collaborated on the decisions. There may be some benefit to having me as a drama teacher, since that means a) I have seen more of your talent over the semester/year and b) you have direct training in how to audition. However, many of my students ended up as extras and many students I have never had in class made bigger roles. The thing is, it's just up to the directors. That's the thing that sucks about auditions - you are being judged by people who won't or can't tell you why you're just not right.

Ug. Empathy.

The rehearsal went well, though. We reviewed what the characters are/do, handed out scripts, and started working on "Oh the Thinks" (the opening song). There is so much excitement and creativity surging through these kids!

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