Auditions bring out talent, nerves

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2002

On Nov. 29, the Kenai Performers held their first night of auditions for "The Sound of Music." I did not attend this audition, but I was told that more than 160 hopefuls did.

I went the next evening. I had made up my mind that I would work backstage, help produce, work on posters or maybe even paint sets. However, the closer the auditions came, the more I wanted to experience the excitement and pure fun of being in the production.

My husband, Leroy, and I came early and as soon as I walked into the auditorium, my heart started racing. I have such great memories of last year's production of "The Music Man" and of having had the opportunity to perform. There were so many of us veterans and so many new faces. You could feel the anticipation and excitement, everyone was positively beaming. I could tell this was the first time many of the participants had auditioned.

Carol Ford, who is directing the upcoming production, showed some of the talents she has perfected these past two years as she explained to us how the auditions were going to work. I was so impressed how organized it was!

We were divided into three groups, and each group was assigned a different audition. My group was first assigned to the dancing audition.

We were introduced to the production's choreographer Tara Phillips, who taught us the Austrian waltz. She was very patient and graceful. I was lost from the start. I anxiously looked around for help trying to get on the right foot -- or was it the left one, whatever the case was, I am still not sure.

Quoting Shelly Winters from the "Poseidon Adventure," "Tinkerbell I ain't!" I was so amazed on how well everyone else did. I also could tell how much fun we were all having.

Next, we went back to the auditorium where Carol held the reading audition. The women were reading for Maria and the Baroness, and the men were reading for the Captain and Fritz. There were so many different interpretations of Maria. When my friend Charlyssa Magen tried out, she came up with a "Maria with attitude." I was surprised how nervous I was, so nervous I couldn't remember how I read.

The third audition was for singing. Boy was I humbled. All of my years of practicing in the shower went out the window with one incredibly awful note. How humiliating!

Carol announced that call backs would be listed on the windows of the auditorium that Saturday afternoon.

I was working on Saturday and had to take a break to see if I made the list. I was nervous because I didn't know how I would react if I wasn't called back. I looked around to see if any one was watching, and then I looked at the window with great anticipation until I saw my name. A great relief came over me. I was so excited and exhilarated.

On Sunday it was overwhelming. It was clear that Carol and her staff had an almost impossible task. The talent we have in this town is remarkable. I was so glad I didn't have to make the choices. For many hours the directors -- Carol, Debbie Sounart, the musical director, Rosemary Bird, choral adviser, and Danette Howland, the co-producer --chiseled away the number of hopefuls. We heard "Do Ray Me" hundreds of times in the cutest little voices until the final choices were made.

It is going to be a great cast with a lot of newcomers. The first read through was Tuesday, and I can promise you this is going to be the one play you don't want to miss. I am so honored I have the chance to participate.

Charlotte Legg is a Soldotna resident who own's Charlotte's Restaurant. She is a member of the cast of 'The Sound of Music," which will be performed at Kenai Central High School Feb. 15-17 and 21-24.

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