As a college student here at Castleton University, I’ll admit, I have almost no idea what I’m going to do after I graduate.
I have a general idea, but the details are almost nonexistent, which is why my recent trip to the New England Theater Conference in Natick, Massachusetts to audition for acting internships really opened my eyes.
From the moment I stepped up into the waiting room, I was quietly in shock. I had expected to see a lot of people at the audition, but I hadn’t expected that many. And I expected it to be loud, but I hadn’t been expecting it to be that loud.
I quickly came to realize I was wholly unprepared for whatever was to come.
Luckily, I had the support of my girlfriend, which helped me to feel a little less overwhelmed. But I was stressed – and scared. I was tapping my foot a million miles a minute, just waiting for my name to be called.
About an hour after signing in, it was my turn to go perform. I had to prepare two monologues and then perform them in under two minutes for a crowd of theater company scouts who would offer the internships and jobs.
Luckily the performance part of the audition was what I felt confident about. I had prepared and felt like I was ready to nail it.
That wasn’t quite what happened.
The general format of the audition was that you and four others go into a room together and each performed auditions back to back. However, what I didn’t realize was that if you went last, you had to watch the other four performers. I was second to last, which meant I had to watch three incredible auditions before mine.
Suffice to say I got into my head.
I took the steps up to the stage on my turn, and I introduced myself and the pieces I’d be performing. I took my first step, and went to say my first few lines, and blanked for half a second. It was enough to rattle me for the rest of my first monologue.
Did I get through it relatively well? Yes.
Was it as good as it could have been? No.
The words were jumbled at times, and I definitely hesitated a lot. Luckily, I think it just seemed to sound like intentional decisions, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
My second monologue went better, but still not enough to make up for what had happened with my first one. I left the room after feeling disappointed with myself. I told myself I could have done so much better. My brain was so deep in reflection that I didn’t realize how much my whole body was shaking until I went to go to the bathroom two minutes later.
I could barely hold my phone.
I wasn’t the only member of the Castleton theater department to go either. Rudy Ryan also auditioned. He got an offer from a children’s theater. It was a year-long contract and they would cover the cost of travel and living while they toured around. Ryan plans to decline the offer, though, and look for other opportunities.
The rest of my evening at the NETC’s went all right. I got one call back for a five-week theater program over the summer. I’m going to decline the offer because I don’t have the money to pay for that right now. But the experience I gained from the audition process is invaluable to me.