An inside look at Pius Player auditions

We know rehearsals are long and the final production is spectacular, but what's it like to audition for a show?

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An inside look at Pius Player auditions

Seniors Shannon Sullivan and Jamie Martin perform at a dress rehearsal in October for the fall play

Seniors Shannon Sullivan and Jamie Martin perform at a dress rehearsal in October for the fall play "Clue."

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Shelley Buckley

Seniors Shannon Sullivan and Jamie Martin perform at a dress rehearsal in October for the fall play "Clue."

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Shelley Buckley

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Shelley Buckley

Seniors Shannon Sullivan and Jamie Martin perform at a dress rehearsal in October for the fall play "Clue."

Anna Buyarski, Staff Writer

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Each fall and spring, excited fans gather in the St. Pius X Young Center Auditorium to enjoy musicals and plays put on by the Pius Players. But what does it take to obtain one of these coveted positions in the spotlight? Senior Pius Players Jamie Martin, Shannon Sullivan, and Daniel Buckley give a behind-the-scenes look into the audition process.

What is the audition process like?

Shannon Sullivan: For the audition, we are normally given a monologue or a song to sing. Most of the time if a song is given to us, Ms. Turek, the musical director, will set up a day where she can help us learn the song and make sure we know the correct notes.

Jamie Martin: The auditions are pretty formal. We meet at about 3:30 pm and sign in on iPads, receive numbers and warm up with Ms. Turek. Then we go into the hallway and wait for our number to be called. You go in, stand on the “x” on the floor in Ms. Spark’s room, introduce yourself, tell them the song you’ll be singing, and then sing!

Daniel Buckley: The audition process differs whether it is for the fall show or spring musical. The audition for the fall consists of a short monologue and is held in the spring of the previous school year. The audition for the spring is a short portion of a song from the musical we are doing, and it is held in the fall.

How stressful or competitive are auditions?

Sullivan: It’s usually a very stressful process because there is always a part that you want and are hoping for so you have to try your best to get it!

Martin: I’d say auditions are competitive because everyone is so talented, but I’ve never experienced any type of hostile environment between actors trying out. Everyone in Pius Players is very supportive of each other! I still get nervous, but an exciting kind of nervous. As long as I’ve prepared and practiced, all I can do is go in and perform!

Buckley: I find the audition for the fall is more stressful than the one for the spring because you have to choose your own monologue and so your stress includes not only preparing the monologue but also whether Ms. Spark approves of it or not. 

What has been your favorite show to perform in so far?

Sullivan: My absolute favorite play by far has been “Newsies!” It was such a blast to learn all the songs and dances. It was definitely the show where the entire cast bonded the most. I remember after opening night, finishing the show and just feeling so proud because of all the work and commitment that we put into the show.

Martin: I’d say my favorite play would have to be “Clue” which we did this past fall, but my favorite musical was by far “Newsies!” last spring!

Buckley: “Newsies!” has been my favorite musical to perform at Pius because of the nature of the show. It is high energy with lots of fun dancing and singing.

What is the hardest part about the audition process?

Sullivan: The hardest part for me is always the song. It’s pretty difficult to learn and memorize all of the notes and words to the song. Especially this year because we were given the audition songs only a couple days before auditions, it was challenging to remember the notes for the songs.

Martin: In Pius Players we’ve only had a dancing element to the auditions once, last year for “Newsies!,” and that was definitely the hardest part for me, but mostly just because I’m not very coordinated, haha! However for most auditions it’s usually the waiting that makes the most nervous!

Buckley: The hardest part of the audition process varies with each one. For the monologue one, the hardest part is preparing the monologue, memorizing it and determining how to act it out.  For the singing one, the learning of the song is the hardest part, though I find the monologue one more difficult.

The Pius Players have just wrapped up auditions for the spring musical “Oklahoma!” which they’ll perform March 5-8.