There isn't a single course on how to perfect an audition, but Otterbein Theatre and Dance students gain experience through doing it within their respective programs. Now it's as natural to them as learning their lines or dance steps.
Lucy Breedlove, Victoria Mesa and Kate Maniuszko, all musical theatre majors expected to graduate in 2023, discussed what auditions were like as freshmen, comparing them to what they are like now as juniors.
“I mean it was a fun environment but it was still really nerve-wracking to like, be the new kids on the block, I guess,” Mesa said.
For Breedlove, her first audition at Otterbein was a good experience, yet still presented a challenge.
“That type of audition was so out of my wheelhouse not being a dance minor, never having done modern dance at all. It was a very uncomfortable experience in a good way,” she said.
Breedlove says it's fun to see how they all have grown through auditions over the years.
Mesa also said that knowing everyone else who auditions makes it more comfortable.
Melissa Lusher, director of the Bachelor of Fine Arts acting program, added that every director has the freedom to decide how they conduct their auditions. However, they normally contain two parts.
First, students go through the initial interview, which includes either a monologue of one to two minutes for a play or a dance call and 34-36 bars of music to sing for a musical. The students get to pick their monologue and music and have only a few days to prepare their pieces.
After the initial interview, students then go through a “callback." According to Lusher, all directors run callbacks differently.
Finally, faculty members come together to decide which shows are in the best interest of both the public and students, as well as what opportunities a show could bring.