My Legally Blonde Audition Process
Some of you may know, that I am a bit of a theatre nerd.
I have been a fan of professional and community theatre since my junior year in high school. I have had my fair share of lead and supporting roles in various plays and musicals as well as stepping into the directors chair on several occasions. I am also the director and founder of the Off The Cuff Improv Group, and we perform in Jefferson City and could be coming to Sedalia in the future.
My colleague Aubrey informed me that there is a community theatre in Sedalia, so I looked up Liberty Center Association for the Arts on Facebook and found the info. They were having auditions for the musical Legally Blonde. The musical is based on the movie that stared Reese Witherspoon in the title role. I had not auditioned for a role in over a year. I auditioned for a role in a play while I was living in Indiana, and it did not go well. I was not made to feel welcome, the show appeared to be pre-cast, and despite the director wanting me in the show, I pointed out the fact that how they handled things was not professional.
So I was interested to see how this group here in Sedalia handled things. As an actor, all we ask is to be given a fair shot at whatever part we may be interested in. We are happy to go through the process, and you may not get cast, but you just want a fair shot. Here's how the audition process went for me, and how things turned out.
There were 3 dates for auditions at the theater, so I went on Tuesday night. Since I get up early, the fact that auditions were at 6pm was a good thing. There was to be a singing part, cold readings from the script, and a dance portion.
Above is the form I had to fill out. It gave us the info on the show, granted them permission to use photos of us, details on characters, etc. It was a simple form, and it also asked us for a short bio about ourselves, interests, previous roles, etc. I filled it out and waited my turn. I asked how many people came the first night, and if there were any men who auditioned. I was told 1 man auditioned. This was not a huge surprise to me. There always seems to be a difficulty in finding men in community theater especially in musicals. Not all of dance or sing and this show has far more roles for women than men.
When it was my turn to audition, I had to have a song prepared. My audition song was from the musical "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". It is the song that opens the show. It is called "Comedy Tonight". It fits into my vocal range, easy to sing, and it was something I am very comfortable with. I was prepared to have someone play it, but that option was not encouraged, so I found the You Tube karaoke version to sing to. After I sang, the vocal director tested my vocal range and I was done with that portion of the audition.
There was supposed to be a dance portion of the audition, but apparently the choreographer was unable to attend, so thankfully I didn't have to dance. I have had bi-lateral knee surgery as well as a few operations on my left foot, so I cannot dance very well anymore. Simple stuff I could do. But I was grateful to not have to do any dancing. It is hard!
Next came time to do the cold readings. This is when you are told to read a part from the script. In the audition form, you are asked what part you are interested in, which part might you accept, or not accept. For me, I was interested in the role of Callahan. He is the arrogant lawyer that is hired to defend Brooke in a murder trial, and also takes a liking to Elle. It also falls into the age range that I am, and his vocal part also fits me.
Surprisingly, I never read for that part on Tuesday. To be fair, the director of the show was on Zoom, and not in person, so she was unable to see what part I was interested in. As a director myself, you usually gauge someone's appearance to help decide what part they might fit it. I was asked to read for Emmitt (Luke Wilson in the film) as well as Warner. Now these are good parts, but I thought I was too old for them. I was surprised, but read both parts the best that I could.
I was one of only two men who auditioned and there were some talented ladies there. After we were all done, I went to the director and crew and told them if they were considering me for other parts than Callahan, I would be interested, despite not putting that info on my form. I left and an hour later got a text from the director asking me to return Wednesday night for callbacks. I was pleased.
I returned Wednesday night and had a chance to read for all three male leads, and read with a few ladies that I recognized from the day before. This time, the director was there in person, and we read the same scenes but just with different pairings. Again, as an actor, we just want a fair shot, and I was given that. I was one of three men who were there, and we all read each part. I left there feeling confident that a possible role would be offered.
This morning I got the offer. So it looks like this May I will be seen on the Liberty Center stage as Emmitt in Legally Blonde - The Musical. I am excited for the opportunity, and hopefully I will be able to get enough sleep. But I hope all of you come to see the show. There will be more details coming as the dates get closer. Grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to working with the cast. It should be a lot of fun.