There was a fantastic comment on Friday’s guest blog post by Irene Gonzalez. Irene wrote a lovely piece with suggestions on how a student can improve their school’s drama program. Christine Sargeant wrote the following on the topic of all the choice roles going to seniors:
I like what you said about seniority, and acting like the seniors as far as maturity, dedication and commitment. Let me tell you, it works. I am the drama adviser for our district. Our “department” consists of myself, the choir director, and anyone who joins our inaugural drama club come Monday. Sure, we tend to cast the same people in our shows, but that is because the same people come out time after time to audition. We do a play for high school students only in the fall, and a musical in the spring open to high school and middle school students.
Let me share an e-mail I received this week:
Hello Mrs. ***! This is ***. I would like to ask you if there is a possibility I can try out for the High school Play, Murder in the House of Horrors. I have done some research on it just to get a feel for the play and would be delighted if I could stop by on the first week of school to pick up the audition packet as well as the other High Schoolers” Although I am only an 8th grader this year i would still LOVE to be in this play” i even kind of want to audition for an actual role instead of just an extra. If you believe i am not ready for a more “Matured” play then don’t be afraid to say no but i really will try hard and hopefully ad something to this production, thanks for your consideration!
Am I allowing her to audition? You betcha! And she is going to receive the same consideration that the high school seniors get. I had the chance to work with her in the musical last year, and as Ms. Gonzalez said, I noticed her dedication, and her maturity then. So you see, how you act DOES make a difference. Show you are serious, be mature, and things will fall your way. Another thing that you can do is to accept or even seek out a backstage role occasionally. Its a great way to show you care about the whole theater experience, and it really helps you ON stage when you know and appreciate what goes on BACK stage.
Oh, and by the way: JUNIORS have had leads for the last 3 Spring productions, we have had. I’m not tooting my own horn, I just jumped on board for our school district last Spring. Have faith, and have fun on stage!
:::Follow Christine on Twitter: @SargeantChris
I think this is an important lesson for all walks of life, not just theatre. It’s only natural that known people will get preference over unknown people. But there are many ways for an unknown to become known. It takes guts, heart, and chutzpah to put yourself on the line like that, but the hard work does pay off. If you’re interested in doing this, I highly recommend following Scott Ginsberg, who has made an entire career out of being Scott, the guy who wears a nametag.