Junior Musicals at Clarion Center for the Arts are a fun, high-energy experience for kids in 2nd-8th grade who love to sing, act, dance or just be goofy. It's a place where kids of different backgrounds and personalities can come together to work toward a common goal, developing team work, public speaking skills and empathy along the way.
How does it work?
Our Junior Musical class is 2 hours long and meets once a week for 4 months. In the 5th month we add a few additional classes and practices leading up to "tech week" and performances in the last week of month 5. During "tech week," students practice on stage every night with microphones and costumes before performing for an audience at the end of the week (anywhere from 2 to 4 performances).
Every kid is guaranteed a part in the show, but we hold auditions at the beginning of the 5-month process to determine which role goes to which kid.
How do I prepare for the audition?
All you need to practice and memorize for the audition is one verse and a chorus from your favorite Disney or Musical Theatre song. You should have it completely memorized and work on singing loudly and expressively. Practice singing it in front of a mirror so you can see what you look like with different facial expressions, hand gestures and movements. We want to see you "act the song."
What do auditions look like?
Students will sign up for a 5-minute audition time slot for the day of auditions (held in lieu of class on the 3rd or 4th week). Auditions are held at Clarion Center for the Arts. During the 5-minute time slot, kids will enter the audition room, stand on the "X" marked out on the floor and start by saying hello to the auditors (which usually consist of the Director, Assistant Directors, Choreographer and any other coaches involved with the show). Be sure to smile when you enter the room and talk to the auditors! They want to see your stage presence. No other kids will be in the room when you audition and the auditors are super friendly and helpful, so you've got nothing to worry about!
When you're ready, simply perform your verse and chorus for the auditors. After you sing your song, the auditors may ask you to (1) sing through some vocal exercises or (2) read some lines from the script. If you're asked to read some lines from the script, take a minute to read through the lines in your head first and think about the best way to act it out. Then once you're ready simply read and act out the lines. One of the auditors will read all of the other characters' lines.
After the auditors have seen everything they need to see from ya, they'll thank you for coming and send you on your way. Make sure you thank them back with a big smile!
When will the cast be announced?
Our auditors usually try to announce the cast no later than the beginning of the next week, so you might have a weekend of anticipation. Remember, "there's no such thing as a small role... only small actors." No matter what role you get, play it well and play it big. Instead of being disappointed about your role, figure out how you can make the most of it. Every part is important for the overall production of the show... so play your part well!
Tips for a Successful Audition
Here are a few pointers to help you have a successful audition:
Smile when you enter the room and greet the auditors. A good smile signals to the auditors that you are confident and friendly to work with.
Come fully prepared and have your song completely memorized. If you can't memorize a short song for your audition, how can we expect you to memorize a whole show?!
Don't talk about how nervous you are with the auditors... fake it 'til you make it! Even if you don't feel confident, if you pretend to be confident you'll have a much better audition.
Be willing to try anything. If the auditors ask you to read lines with a funny voice, don't get shy and say you can't do it. Just give it a shot! No one will laugh at you. The only bad way to do something is to simply not try it at all.
Above all, relax and have fun. If you relax and have fun, you'll have a much better audition than if you worry too much about it. Even if you mess up, just remember that there will always be more shows and opportunities for you to improve. Theatre at CCA isn't about being the best. It's about becoming the best YOU there could ever be.