Audition Week Stress

by Mia Dodson

For anyone who’s in theater, you know the stress of the audition week. When you walk into the audition room, other people looking at you, having the same stress as you. “Anyone in this room has just as much a chance of getting into the production as me.” No idea when the cast list will be out. Callbacks, singing and dancing and acting in front of people, whether they be friends or total strangers, the anxiety is the same.

It’s a mix of fun and loathing for me, the actual audition is usually fun when my friends are there with me, auditioning at the same time. But when I go home after the audition, that’s when I start to freak out. “Did they like me?” “Did I sound good?” “I sounded awful.” “I read that line totally wrong.” “She was way better than me.” “I sounded nasally there, and there.” “I’m too young for that part.” “She’s going to get that, not me.” “Knowing my luck, I won’t get that part either.” I find myself with these thoughts (among others) floating around in my head when I’m trying to sleep, eat, do school work, sing a song, talk to people, and everything else under the sun. I can barely keep a conversation going without bringing up the audition. I can talk about something else but the topic of the audition or play or cast list is always… there.

There is this little knot in my stomach at all times, that flares bigger whenever I think about any aspect of the play at all. I can’t listen to a song from the play without feeling weird or kind of queasy.

I’m writing this because I’m currently going through an audition week right now for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Encore Theater in Tulare. It’s all I can think about and auditions aren’t even over yet! I try to talk about it with just about everyone I know and It’s really all I can think about. I went in thinking of a role and went out wanting a different one. The cast list should be out within a couple of days, but no matter how long it takes for the cast list to come out, I will be worrying the entire time.

It usually gets a little bit better for a few hours after callbacks. Then it gets even worse. Waiting and WAITING for the cast list, knowing you probably won’t be on it, but having a weird feeling that you might. Not wanting to get in without your friends, or not wanting your friends to get in without you.

Overall, audition week is a pretty sucky week full of stress and worry, but you go through it with other people, and you’re not alone, so I guess that counts for something.

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