Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kelley Annesley on The Morning Blend

By Mithra Ballesteros, First Stage Children's Theater

Young performer and Theater Academy student Kelley Annesley sat down this morning with Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle at The Morning Blend on Today's TMJ4 to talk about auditioning at First Stage Children's Theater

Ms. Annesley, who is seventeen, offered 5 tips to a great audition.  Watch her interview here.

Here are condensed versions Ms. Annesley's tips:

1.  Don't be nervous!  Remember that it is in the director's best interest for you to do well, so relax!
2.  Choose a monologue that fits who you are.  Pck a character that matches your age and gender.
3.  You should love your monologue, since you are going to be working on it a lot.  Pick a monologue that interests and excites you.
4.  Stay focused while performing.  Pick a spot in the room and focus on it.  You don't have to stare at the directors.
5.  When singing a song in an audition, sing just a snippet of a song.

Kelley Annesley (far right), and the cast from HOW I BECAME A PIRATE.  Photo by Mark Frohna.

First Stage Children's Theater Company Manager Desiree Rosas agrees with Kelley's suggestions.  "Kelley's absolutely right!  Try not to be nervous.  And I'll go even further and say that you should remember all the kids in the room are in the same position.  So support each other."

Ms. Rosas had a couple more tips:
1.  Introduce yourself!  Tell us your name and your age before you begin performing your monologue.
2.  Do pick an age-appropriate and gender-specific monologue.  And try to understand your character, and know the beginning, the middle, and the end of your character's story.
3.  Be natural.  If the monologue says that the character is walking and talking at the same time, do that.

When looking for material to use for an audition, the library is a good place to start.  Look through monologue books for ideas.  Also, First Stage sells monologue books in the lobby of the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

Sometimes, an even better source for a monologue is a favorite book or story.  Rosas recommends taking a short passage spoken by a favorite character in a book and turning that into a monologue.  "It's okay if it's just a dozen lines.  Monologues should be no longer than one minute, and a minute goes by so fast when you're performing.  Sometimes pulling a monologue from a book is better because the young actor can better understand their character's arc."

First Stage Children's Theater casts up to 120 young performers per season.  Auditions take place in August.  Click here for more information about auditions.  Please keep in mind that many audition slots are already full.

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