When you audition for a musical there is a kind of model which is followed. You start with dancing. Everyone learns a routine from the choreographer, and then you dance in a group of four of five. Once this is done they call out either the numbers who move through to the next round, of the numbers who don’t: “Thank you for coming, but you can go” or some other variation of the same thing. Then you sing, and if they still like you they ask you to stay to read cold from a script.
Perhaps because these things start with dancing there tend to be a LOT of dancers. Skinny little people. And that being said, there is nothing quite like a dance audition to make you wonder about the merits of anorexia or at the very least to make you question you self-esteem and once healthy body image (I consider myself to have a ‘healthy’ body. It’s what helps me sleep after dance auditions). And entering the world of dance and musical theatre auditions is completely different to television and advert commercials and straight theatre. The first time I arrived at one of these a skinny blonde girl, in crop top and spectacular abs, came up to me: “You’re new”. Well…to me, you’re new too.
As an outsider, its sort of like entering into a secret society. All the same girls tend to be at the same auditions, so over time they get to know each other. And all they are able to talk about is the last audition they were at, or the last show they were in.
And yesterday I realised a terrible thing. When I arrived at the auditions I, for the first time, bumped into a group of four girls that had studied at the same institution I had. It was fantastic to see them and catch up. And you know what? We spoke about the last auditions we were at. The most difficult ones we had had up to now and the shows we were currently working on…