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May 30, 2013

Summer Show: Les Miserables

This past weekend was auditions for Les Mis with my summer theatre family.
Prepare yourself for a long-ish post.

It's been a dream of mine to be in Les Miserables. 
Heck, I think it's any musical obsessed person's dream to be in this show.

The director of the summer shows has been talking about doing Les Miserables for as long as I can remember. Show vets knew that the second the show's rights became available, we would be dropping whatever show we had planned to take up the monster of a show.
Needless to say, the vets have been prepping for a while.

Open auditions were really intimidating. I had been practicing my audition pieces with my vocal coach for over a month, hitting things here and there. Finally, in the past 2 weeks, really cracking down.
I chose to audition for both Eponine and Cossette, and because their parts were so different I was required to sing 2 songs.
Cossette's song was easiest to choose because she only has one song that she sings alone for more than 8 bars. 'In My Life' was set and a little hard for me when it came to breath support.
Eponine was the part that I was trying to not freak out about. Her part in the show is the anthem and role model for all teenage angst! I connected with her from the time I was very young and going through some angsty years.
Who didn't?!
I decided that in order to stand out from many of those auditioning I needed to do the unexpected. I scrapped 'On My Own' and took up 'Little Fall of Rain'
Crazy, but smart.
It's a piece that shows off the low part of my voice as well as my acting skills.
I, essentially, had to die in my audition. Possibly sacrifice my vocals to 'die'.
Talk about a risk!

Saturday morning, I was there early to help out (and settle some nerves with physical labor and distractions). Because I was early I was given the 2nd audition spot.
I tend to be a ham when it comes to auditions. Having friends there, auditioning on the same day, didn't help. I think there was a queen wave and a curtsy at the end... Along with some off stage banter when I couldn't find the song in the musical score.
I was up there for a while, but my audition went well.
Really well.

Going second was a bit of a kill for the confidence I had left.
There were over 50 people each day, 90% of them women.
Of those women, 70% were auditioning for Eponine and Cossette.
Audition after audition consisted of women, college age, auditioning for the same part, and doing extremely well.
Some of them were theatre majors.
One girl chose to announce that she would be changing her audition to chorus because of another girl who she didn't know was going to be there.
It was an intense 4 hours!

I was obsessive enough to go to Sunday's auditions.
It consisted of the same.
For another 4 hours.
By the end of the weekend I began to find the same songs really annoying.
Only one other person chose to sing 'Little Fall of Rain', which made me happy.

After auditions were over, a few of us decided that going home alone wasn't any fun, or smart, since the cast list would be out that night.
My house had wine.

We had some glasses of yummy Camelot Cellars wine and watched musicals, gossiped a little and analyzed everything from the weekend.
A lot.
We guessed that every part would have call backs.

Around 11:45pm we got the email. I couldn't even read, I was so nervous.
Suddenly people were screaming my name.
I got it.
I got Eponine!

{Frances Reffelle from the original London and Broadway cast.}

We all freaked out for a little then got back to looking at the list.


Nearly every other part were like we expected.
Call backs.

My excited high was quickly crushed when we realized that the call backs weren't including some of us there that night. It was heart breaking, because they did exceptionally well in their auditions. One was left off mistakenly, praise the Lord.

It was a really crazy night with emotional highs and lows.

Call backs were Wednesday night at our first official chorus rehearsal.
It was really hard to watch friends go against friends. Everyone was so talented and good!

The cast is complete now.
I shed tears for friends who didn't get their dream roles, and celebrated for others.
It's such a strange, exciting, and heartbreaking place to be.


Grammy Goodwill said...

Wow - how exciting and thrilling for you! Thanks for a look inside the theater world.

Emily Hornburg said...

AHHHHH CONGRATS! I hate auditioning with a passion. I get so nervous. But my local theatre is doing a musical in September (they won't announce which one until June though. UGH!) and this is getting me excited to see what they'll be doing. I love plays, but musicals are my first love and I can't wait to dig into one again. YAY!

Darby Hawley said...

Ahhhhh I'm so excited for you! You are going to be awesome! I can't wait to see some of Jake's handy camera work of you singing!

Alex[andra] said...

Omygosh, congratulations! That's a huge accomplishment! I wish I could be there to see you perform when you do. It's nice that you were able to bond with the people you auditioned with, but obviously it was hard to see friends not get cast. Seriously though, congratulations to you!

Isla said...

Congratulations, that's fantastic! I love Les Mis...I'd love to hear what you have to say about the movie version, if you've seen it...

Danielle Villano said...

Congratulations - I actually just got goose bumps reading this post! It made me really miss (and shudder at the thought of) auditioning for shows. I can't wait to hear more about your experience! :)


7th Crow Designs said...

Congrats "lil sis"!! Way jealous and very excited for you!

7th Crow Designs said...

Congrats "lil sis"!! Way jealous and very excited for you!