One and Done!

Crescendo issue: March 2014
There's a lot of dread that comes along with the audition process for many theatre students and professionals alike.

While a certain amount of that emotion is necessary to drive you to do and be your best, William Church, Interlochen's Theatre Arts Director, says that much of that dread is unwarranted.

"The highlight of this event is hearing how much fun the students have at the auditions," says Church, referring to the National Unified Auditions, which was recently attended by Interlochen students. "The college audition process can be daunting, but when students are properly prepared, they go into the audition rooms with confidence and are able to enjoy themselves. Yes, auditioning can be fun."

This event, held in Chicago, consists of a group of the top undergraduate theatre training programs in the country who travel together to hold auditions for their programs. This is a great convenience for the schools, as it allows them to see students from all over the country at a specific time and location. For Interlochen students, it allows them to share their talents with many programs at a single location as opposed to traveling all over the country.

"Many of our students make additional college visits," says Church, "but the consolidation of multiple auditions in one city over three days has many benefits."

"Students prepare for these auditions through classes in our curriculum such as Audition Technique and the Audition Intensive," he continued. "They also have opportunities to participate in Skype audition masterclasses with actors such as alumni James Francis Ginty and Nick Westrate. Theatre Arts faculty member Robin Ellis arranged these sessions for our seniors, and their advice was invaluable."

In addition to the colleges and universities listed on the event's site, The Juilliard School, North Carolina School for the Arts, NYU, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Rutgers, and several Chicago schools (including DePaul and Roosevelt) were also present.

"If our students were to travel to even half of the schools on their college audition lists, they would miss an incredible amount of classroom and rehearsal time here at Interlochen," Church explained. "While this trip doesn't eliminate that issue, it allows us to continue our production season with far fewer interruptions."

"This is a divisional activity for us and an important step in us helping our graduating students enter the real world outside of Interlochen," he said.