After winter break, students came back to the theater department preparing for their next big production, Grease. Ms. Catania, Mrs. Hoban-Carbone and Ms. Dickens, the performing arts teachers, held audition workshops on January 2 and 3.
“We have found that it’s a good way to help build confidence in students, since they have to audition for all three,” said Catania.
She was referring to the singing, acting and dancing which are all part of auditioning for the musical. For even the most talented of students, this all-around audition can still be intimidating.
During the acting portion, Mrs. Catania started the group with warm up exercises and games to encourage comfort and comradeship among the students. Afterwards, she gave the students a monologue for their audition and a few tips.
“You[‘ve] just got to go for it, and just don’t hold back,” said Catania.
The group was then sent to Ms. Dickens, the chorus teacher. She started with a variety of voice warm ups exclusive to musical singing before giving the audition song. She stressed the importance of letting your rhythm and style flow into the audition.
“Not every song suits everybody’s voice range-wise, especially with something like ‘Suddenly Seymore.’ You can get really caught up in the rhythm and not the telling of the story of the character,” said Dickens.
Also if you decided that the song didn’t fit your voice, you could choose a different one. She played the song over and over for them to begin practicing and understanding the music.
January 3 was dedicated to learning the dance. Ms. Hoban, the dance teacher, chose the famous Hand Jive for the dance audition.
“I want it to be really fun for people and not to be scary. So, I felt like the Hand Jive is probably the most familiar number in Grease,” said Hoban.
Her teaching technique included repetition and demonstrations done by the dance ensemble. The assistants provided the aspiring students with the opportunity to learn the dance on a more one-on-one basis.
“The other thing we’re going to do is post it on Youtube so that people can practice it because they really need to come in prepared to do that dance for the audition,“ said Hoban.
All three teachers stressed the importance of being prepared and and just being confident.
“For many students, it might be their first experience auditioning, and it can be a very scary process. We all decided as an arts team a couple years ago was to provide these workshops so students could really get up in the audition and do their very best,” said Hoban.